Recently, a zoomer (a person from Gen Z) said, “There goes that bougie showing off her designer bags,” and I was like, “Huh, what do you mean?”
According to the Urban Dictionary, bougie — derived from bourgeois — means someone from the middle class who aspires to be in the upper class by a conspicuous display of materialism. This is one example of the lingo of today’s youth.
I know that language evolves and words speak of the times, but somehow I find myself stuck in my generation’s dated expressions. At times, it’s hard to fully understand young people talking to me.
I do want to learn hip Millennial and Gen Z terms. Perhaps I can use the language to connect easier with the youngsters (Fifties term alert!). I could also get a better understanding of the current culture. Maybe I just want to feel cool. Don’t judge me.
A normal conversation with my friends has us throwing words around like bagets, kikay, kilig, tweetums, disco, DOM, TGIF, Hello! (“Do you know what you’re are saying?”) and the mutigenerational and versatile baduy.
To add a complication, we all studied in Assumption Convent, which in itself has a subculture of expressions, and a peculiar intonation that is popular for being funny.
No, we don’t say “kadiri to death” or “Let me make tusok tusok the fishball.” I never heard an Assumptionista say that, ever. We do, however, say things like, “The killer driver made sagasa the guy pabalik-balik.”
I used to chuckle when I heard our lolas and lolos say “sarsaparilla,” “karne norte,” “Frigidaire” and “pizza pie.”
My mom once pointed at hippies on a TV documentary and called them “beatniks”! You can imagine my confusion at this reference because it was a Sixties term for a group of long-haired teenagers in the Seventies — and I grew up in the Eighties. I think the beatniks of today are called hipsters.
Aside from the verbal, there are the text expressions in short form. So far, I am in the OMG, BTW, WTF and LOL phase. I know what they mean and it comes naturally to me. I dare not venture into the LMAO, IDK, SMH, ROFL territory. I am not ready. (Editor’s note: “Laugh my ass off,” “I don’t know,” “Shaking my head” and “Rolling on the floor laughing,” respectively.)
Not to be trying hard (or TH), but I do want to learn the hip Millennial and Gen Z terms. Perhaps I can use the language to connect easier with the youngsters (Fifties term alert!). I could also get a better understanding of the current culture. Maybe I just want to feel cool. Don’t judge me.
If you are lost like me, have no fear. Here is a mini-dictionary of slang words and expressions you can refer to, curated for those of us coming from the Gen X and Baby Boomers:
This is not someone afflicted with an illness. It is actually a compliment and is used to describe something or someone as excellent and cool. “Your wardrobe is sick!”
These are internet friends who actively engage with each other on social media. It is short for mutual followers and was started in Twitter in 2007. “I want to say hi to all my moots.”
Not referring to a hat or bottle cover, this actually means “no lie.” Cap, apparently, is another word for lie. As in, “I am going to work so hard today, no cap.”
I honestly first thought this was a Tagalog term in gay speak. Apparently, it means zoomers from Gen Z making fun of out-of-date Millennials. I couldn’t find a term where they make fun of Gen Xers or Baby Boomers. “Gigi is so cheugy with her IG posts.”
Derived from “swagger,” this slang word is a reference to stylish confidence. It is used in many rap songs. “G-Dragon has so much swag.”
If you have drip, you have swag. It is a cool sense of style and having expensive clothes and jewelry. People actually do drip checks on each other. “Kai has some serious drip.”
Ded, without the “a,” is the new LOL (laugh out loud). Something so funny was said that it can make someone die of laughter. The emoji used for ded is the skull. “Your comments were hilarious. I am ded.”
The origins of this term comes from Stan, a popular Eminem song in 2000, about an obsessive stalker fan. So it means being an overzealous fan of someone famous or some action. It can also mean liking something a lot. “I’ve been a stan of Kanye’s music for many years.”
This is close to impossible when you take this phrase literally. What it means nowadays is that one can’t stop thinking about something or someone. It’s really an insult. “I haven’t personally met you but I am living rent-free in your head.”
A simp is one who publicly shows admiration for another, sometimes shamelessly. It could also be a person who tries too much to impress someone they like. The word can also be used as a verb as in simping. “Brad is a simp for me.”
In the business world, the CEO or Chief Executive Officer is the highest executive in the company.
Zoomers have taken inspiration from its meaning. However, it now simply refers to the best at, even for unimportant or irrelevant acts. “You are CEO of TikTok dance videos.”
Tea is a tita ritual. Earl Grey? Jasmine? Genmaicha? Nope. Tea for the zoomers is chismis. You can either spill tea, which is to reveal a delicious piece of news, or sip tea and just watch as people gossip. “Last night, my friends spilled tea on the affair of Jack and Jill.”
Not food, not fattening, snacks are attractive girls or boys. Frankly, I would be upset being called a snack. I am not a potato chip! “Check out the snack across from you. She is gorgeous.”
A derogatory term for a person who is unoriginal, unexceptional, unexciting and — horrors! — mainstream. “Vivian’s taste is predictably basic.”
I hate this Gen Z term the most. It’s just making a point and concluding a discussion, but that “t” in the end kills me. “I will never like this word, periodt.”
These words and expressions give us a peek into youth culture right now. They will eventually change and be dated like the terms we used to have. We may not easily use them — but it’s always good to keep our vocabulary growing.
What do you mean by ‘bougie’?