Gen Z share slang that they reckon leave their parents baffled
Gen Z slang “hits different” for middle-aged people – and these are the top 20 terms that leave them most baffled. A poll of 2,000 adults found “choong”, “leng”, and “it slaps” are most likely to leave over-45s scratching their heads.
And “snatched”, “peng”, and “boujee” are also terms Gen Z use that baffle those older adults – while others are confused by “charge it”, “aired”, and “shook”.
As a result, 26 percent of older adults have turned to Google or Urban Dictionary to work out the meaning behind their kids’ or younger colleagues’ cryptic utterings.
But nearly one in ten (seven percent) wouldn’t dream of owning up to being unsure about the meaning of a slang word or phrase.
The research was commissioned by Mentos Gum, which also took to the streets with top influencer Nella Rose, to ask Gen Z about the slang words they use that their parents don’t always understand.
It emerged that 70 percent of Gen Z – the generation born after 1996 – find it easy to pick up new slang, compared to just 22 percent of those over 45.
And 34 percent of Millennials – those aged 25-41 – are more likely to attempt to keep up with the latest lingo, compared with just eight percent of Boomers in their 60s and 70s.
A spokesman for Mentos Gum said: “Every generation invents their own fresh take on slang, and for some, it’s very important to feel up to date with current phrases.
“Staying in the loop with slang is almost like learning phrases in a new language before you go abroad – it can sometimes feel like a necessary way to feel involved in a culture.”
The study also found 49 percent of all respondents believe Gen Z own the book of the quirkiest terminology.
However, the term “far out”, often used in the 1960s, was still recognised and understood by 32 percent of Gen Z.
And the word “groovy” is still going strong, with 75 percent of Boomers, and 51 percent of Gen Z, familiar with the term.
When it comes to modern slang, if it wasn’t for hearing the unfamiliar jargon on social media (38 percent), TV and film (36 percent), or on public transport (26 percent), many would be none the wiser.
And 28 percent of those over 45 said the new slang they hear comes from their own children.
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But for 21 percent of older adults, it feels “difficult” to relate to the youth because of their vocabulary – with 29 percent just smiling and nodding to save face, but having no idea where to chip in.
It also emerged 25 percent of those polled, via OnePoll, reckon they hear one or two words a day they don’t recognise.
Nearly four in ten (38 percent) notice some slang phrases are said in an exaggerated way, and 34 percent have seen them accompanied with a hand action for best effect – while 26 percent have also observed it performed with an accent.
Once they’ve wrapped their heads around all the rules, just 15 percent of middle-aged folk will attempt to use the saying themselves.
Mentos’ spokesman added: “It’s up for debate as to which generation has the best slang words and phrases – but it’s interesting to see that the Gen Z slang “phrasebook” is considered by so many to be the quirkiest.
“It looks as though Millennials are still saying “yes” to fresh new words as they come along, but will they drop these words as they get older? And which of these new slang terms will still be going strong in 20 or 30 years’ time – who knows?”
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