Article: A crash course in Gen-Z workplace slangs


A crash course in Gen-Z workplace slangs

Familiarity with Gen-Z slangs enables individuals to remain up-to-date, bridge generational differences, and establish connections with younger peers, friends, and family members.
A crash course in Gen-Z workplace slangs

Time and tide wait for no one, as the famous quote goes. Time keeps moving forward, and our only choice is to progress along with it. Adaptation plays a significant role in this process, and it involves not only acquiring technical skills but also improving our communication abilities. With the arrival of the new generation, bringing their unique languages and slangs, it's essential for us, boomers, to embrace this change and collaborate to achieve something remarkable. 

Since Gen Z do not use phrases like ‘bandwidth’ ‘TIA’ or ‘don't boil the ocean’ in their everyday work lingo, and bring their own Gen Z jargon to the workplace, we bring you some day-to-day slangs and jargons that Gen Z use in a professional settings.

1. Aesthetic 

In the vocabulary of Gen Z, the term aesthetic goes beyond its traditional association with beauty. This generation employs it to depict a delightful style, mood, aura, fashion sense, or taste. The term can function both as an adjective and a noun, allowing for versatile usage.

2. Adulting

Adulting refers to the process of assuming the behaviours and responsibilities typically associated with adulthood. It encompasses a range of tasks and responsibilities that individuals undertake as they transition into independent, self-sufficient lifestyles. These tasks may include paying bills, managing finances, maintaining a household, making important decisions, and handling various life challenges.

3. Basic

When used as an adjective, the term basic often characterises an individual as lacking originality or conforming to mainstream trends. It is commonly employed to describe someone who adheres closely to popular culture, fashion, or behaviour without displaying unique or distinctive traits.

4. Bet

The term bet is commonly used as a casual and informal way of expressing agreement, affirmation, or acceptance. It serves as a substitute for words like yes, OK, or it's on. So, when someone says bet, they are indicating their willingness to go along with a plan, agreement, or proposition.

5. Big yikes

The phrase big yikes is commonly used as an expression to convey a strong sense of negativity or to describe something that is considered unfavourable or undesirable. It serves as a way of expressing disapproval or disappointment.

6. Cap

The term cap is often used in contemporary slang to refer to a falsehood or a lie. When someone accuses another person of capping, they are suggesting that the individual is not telling the truth or is being deceitful.

7. Dank

The term is often used to describe a meme that possesses a particularly impactful or hard-hitting quality. Unlike many other slang terms, dank does not have a precise or universally agreed-upon definition. Instead, its meaning is largely context-dependent and subjective.


An acronym derived from the phrase ‘fear of missing out.’ It captures the sensation of anxiety or unease that individuals experience when they believe they are being excluded from a social gathering, event, or experience. FOMO reflects the fear of not being present in the midst of something exciting, enjoyable, or memorable.

9. Fell off

When someone or something that was previously popular or widely embraced loses its appeal or popularity over time, it can be described as having fallen off. This phrase suggests a decline in interest, relevance, or effectiveness.

10. FR

The abbreviation stands for ‘for real’ and is used to emphasise the authenticity, truthfulness, or seriousness of a statement.

11. Flex

The term flex is commonly used to describe the act of showcasing or bragging about one's accomplishments or possessions. It refers to the deliberate display of achievements, skills, or material possessions in order to impress others or gain recognition.

12. G.O.A.T.

The acronym G.O.A.T. stands for ‘Greatest of All Time’. It is used to designate individuals who are considered unparalleled in their field or industry. For example, Serena Williams, she is widely regarded as the G.O.A.T. of tennis due to her remarkable achievements and dominance in the sport. However, Serena's influence extends beyond the tennis court. She has also been successful in other fields.

13. Ghosting

Ghosting refers to the act of abruptly ceasing communication without providing any explanation or further response to messages or emails. It involves intentionally cutting off contact or abruptly disappearing from a conversation, leaving the other party without any clarity or closure.

14. Glow-up

A description of someone's transformative journey from a previous state to an improved version of themselves. The term encapsulates the idea of personal growth and positive development.

15. Hard launch

This refers to the sudden and unexpected unveiling of something new, often without prior warning or preparation. It is commonly used to describe the introduction of a new relationship, contrasting with the concept of a soft launch.

16. Highkey

The term is used to emphasise or intensify something, conveying a strong sense of certainty, emphasis, or enthusiasm. It is the opposite of lowkey and serves as an adverb to emphasize the speaker's level of desire, enthusiasm, or commitment towards a particular goal or situation.

17. Hits different

This is used to describe a distinct and powerful emotional response or experience that differs from typical or expected reactions. When something hits different, it signifies that it elicits a response that is both positive and unique, evoking strong emotions or resonating with the individual in an exceptional manner.


The abbreviation IYKYK stands for ‘If you know, you know.’ It refers to a situation, concept, or reference that is only comprehensible to a select group of people who possess the necessary context or understanding.

19. Ick

The term ick has traditionally been used to describe something disgusting or unpleasant, but its meaning has evolved due to a popular trend on social media. Initially, the phrase ‘give me the ick’ was used by Gen Z individuals to express aversion towards certain behaviours or habits displayed by someone they were dating. However, this trend has expanded, and now many people are sharing their ‘icks in various aspects of life.

20. Naur

The term naur is a simplified expression that essentially means no or know. It serves as a more emphatic or dramatic way of conveying a negative response, and is pronounced similarly to no with an accent.

21. Say less

The phrase say less is a concise way of expressing agreement or understanding with what someone has just said. It is derived from the longer phrase say no more and serves as a way to convey that further explanation or elaboration is unnecessary because the listener is already on the same page.

22. Simp

This is used to describe an individual who displays excessive admiration or attention towards someone else. However, it is typically employed in a derogatory manner, implying that the person is investing an unusual or unwarranted level of affection or devotion towards the object of their admiration.

23. Slay

This refers to the act of accomplishing something with exceptional skill or doing a task exceptionally well. It conveys the idea of performing at a high level or achieving success in a particular endeavour. When someone slays, they demonstrate competence, excellence, or mastery in their actions or accomplishments.

24. Slaps

When someone describes something as slaps, it signifies that the particular thing is exceptionally good or enjoyable. The term is used to express a high level of appreciation or enthusiasm for the quality, taste, or impact of something.

25. Shoot your shot

The phrase encourages someone to take a chance or pursue something they desire, particularly in situations involving romantic or personal interests. It is often used to motivate individuals to approach someone or express their interest without fear of rejection.

26. Stan

The term stan is used to describe unwavering and fervent support or admiration for someone or something. When someone stans a person, idea, or entity, it means they are an avid and dedicated supporter.

27. Sus

The term is a shortened version of the word "suspicious." It is commonly used as slang to refer to something or someone that seems questionable, dubious, or worthy of suspicion.

28. Tea

It is commonly associated with the act of spilling the tea, which means revealing or divulging secret or interesting details about someone or something. When someone mentions tea, they are referring to the latest news, rumours, or intriguing information that might spark curiosity or excitement.

29. TL;DR

The acronym TL;DR stands for too long; didn't read. It is employed to provide a concise summary or overview of a lengthy piece of text or information. When someone uses "TL;DR," they are indicating that they are offering a condensed version or summary of the content for those who may not have the time or inclination to read the entire text.

30. TFW

The acronym TFW stands for that feeling when. It is typically used to express a relatable emotion or sentiment in response to a particular situation. When someone includes TFW in a statement, they are conveying that they can relate to the feeling being described.

31. Unserious

A playful and lighthearted way of describing something or someone as being absurd, ridiculous, or not to be taken seriously. It suggests a lack of gravity or importance associated with the subject matter or individual in question.

32. Vibing

It refers to experiencing a general sense of positive energy or resonance towards someone or something. When someone is vibing, it means they are in sync or in harmony with a particular person, situation, or overall ambiance.

33. W or L

The abbreviation W or L is a shorthand expression used to denote a win or a loss in different situations. It serves as a quick way to classify an outcome as either positive or negative.

34. Woke

The term refers to being socially and politically aware, particularly regarding issues of inequality, injustice, and systemic biases. It signifies an individual or entity's recognition and understanding of social issues, often accompanied by a desire to challenge and address them.

35. Zoom fatigue

This refers to the feeling of exhaustion or burnout that arises from prolonged and excessive video conferencing. It is a phenomenon that has become prevalent in the modern digital work environment, where remote communication has become the norm.

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Topics: #Culture, #Future of Work, #HRTech, #HRCommunity

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