What’s the good word now? When it comes to slang it’s might be time to admit that we mamas might be out of the loop… We’re here to help with 30 urban slang words trending in 2023!
Just like fashion, beauty or style has its seasons, language also has its trends. While we’re still in denial that skinny jeans and side parts are on the way out (according to the next generation), nothing hits closer to home than being unable to decipher what your kids are talking about. Plus, with the Oxford English Dictionary constantly adding words to the official English language, such as “cray” (crazy) and “YOLO” (you only live once), it’s only fitting that we keep on top of urban slang. We assume that you’re familiar with “bae”, “wtf” (or tf as it’s been further shortened to now, tf!) and “af”?
We asked our resident Sassy Hong Kong Gen Z team members for an update on what the cool kids are saying these days (and found out that no one says “cool kids” anymore!).
P.s. Apparently, we’re also using emojis wrong 🤷♀️. Too many 😂. My bad!
↓ Read on for 30 urban slang words you should know
When you can’t stop obsessively thinking about something, that means it lives in your mind rent-free. Could be a person, an object or a situation.
How To Use It: “I cannot stop talking about my crush, he lives in my head rent-free!”
2. “It’s Giving”
Used to describe the way something looks or the vibe that it’s giving off.
How To Use It: “Q: What do you think of this slip dress?” A: “It’s giving 90s pop-star.”
3. “Vibe Check”
A phrase said before checking someone’s vibe (a.k.a. how they’re feeling) in general or about a specific situation. You can also use this phrase to check if they match your vibe.
How To Use It: Q: “Vibe check on veggie burgers?” A: “Yum, I love veggie burgers!”
This is an adjective typically used to describe an outfit that is extremely fashionable and stylish. It’s often used on social media when people feel they are ‘dripping’ (metaphorically, of course) in designer items.
How To Use It: “Look at that drip! You look fab.”
When something is just so freaking good, usually used in reference to food.
How To Use It: “This pizza is bussin’, it’s so yummy!”
Short for suspicious. When a situation or person gives an impression that something they did is questionable.
How To Use It: “Why are you acting sus? I think you’re up to something.”
An acronym for In Case You Missed It. Often used in online conversations.
How To Use It: “ICYMI, here’s a link to his article from last week.”
It means to throw something with a lot of force. Also used as an exclamation of excitement, surprise or approval.
How To Use It: “I got an A+ on the test. Yeet!”
Yaassss (no definite number of As or Ss) is another way to say yes, but with added amounts of punch and enthusiasm. It originated from drag queen culture.
How To Use It: “Yaassss, we’re so having ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
10. “Periodt” (the “t” is silent)
Periodt is often used at the end of a statement or can also be used to express being done with the conversation. It’s basically a way to “drop the mic” after saying something important.
How To Use It: “These are the best chocolate chip cookies I ever had. Periodt.”
11. “Spill The Tea”
Want to catch up on all the juicy hot gossip? Asking for someone to spill the tea will do just that. It’s a gen Z slang way to say “So, tell us what happened…”.
How To Use It: “I heard that you went on a date last week. Spill the tea, sis!”
When someone is being over the top and overly dramatic, or they are just simply overdressed for the occasion.
How To Use It: “Stop being so extra. it‘s not that big of a deal.”
13. “Shook” or “Shooketh”
Slang that literally means, “I am in shock”.
How To Use It: “Ryan Reynolds just liked my picture on Instagram. I am shooketh.”
Created by Paris Hilton, this term means living your best life. In true Gen-Z fashion, it’s a blend of two slang words: “slay” and “living”.
How To Use It: “Watch me #sliving it up in college, that would be my peak.”
Greatest Of All Time. Especially for sportspersons.
How To Use It: “Did you see Simon Biles? She really is the GOAT!”
Someone who is high-class, and owns expensive things. It got famous after American Hip-hop group Migos released the song “bad and boujee”.
How To Use It: “Wow! She’s so boujee”
Celebrating something desirable, such as a relationship or a person’s success.
How To Use It: “Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck are such goals.”
Ahh, one that follows its literally meaning – “indisputably true”. But you can emphasise it by adding in an extra “a” or two.
How To Use It: “The Beatles have the highest-selling album of all time. Facts.”
It means totally. A slang way to abbreviate “totally”, could be used in a sentence or a standalone response.
How To Use It: “The final Harry Potter movie was totes the best one!”
According to Sophia Amoruso in her 2014 eponymous book, it means a woman “whose success is defined in opposition to the masculine business world in which she swims upstream.” It is widely used as a compliment for girls who kicks a**.
How To Use It: Team Sassy is led by an incredible girlboss!
It means when someone does way too much for a person they like.
How To Use It: “Look at him, he is totally simping over her.”
Ru Paul’s Drag Race fans would have heard this term many a time on the show. It’s a sassier way of saying okay in an agreeable manner or to finish a mic drop-worthy statement.
How To Use It: “I haven’t had a night out in forever so I’m letting my hair down tonight and there’s nothing you can do about it, okurrr!”
23. “Low key”
How To Use It: “I am low-key obsessed with eating fries with milkshake.”
Originating from Eminem’s iconic song of the same name, “stan” is the term used for the obsessive fans of a popular celebrity. It can also be used as a verb.
How To Use It: “I’m a Beyoncé stan.” or “I will stan Beyoncé forever!”
If you see someone commenting, “Slay, mama!” on your latest Instagram post, don’t freak out – it’s a compliment! The word’s additional meaning has been added to the Oxford dictionary and defined as “be extremely impressive, stylish, or successful“.
How To Use It: “Wow, you are really slaying in those shoes!”
Desperate, usually for attention.
How To Use It: “Be careful not to post too many selfies on the same day, or you’re gonna end up looking thirsty.”
Bitter or upset.
How To Use It: “Did my toddler really just roll her eyes at me? She must be salty that I ate the last doughnut.”
This word, like in traditional dictionaries, means to do something without mercy. In the cyber world though, it is used hyperbolically, especially when it comes to celebrity feuds or trolling.
How To Use It: “She took on all the cyberbullies singlehandedly. Her response was savage!”
29. “Thank you, next”
Slang term for when something was useful but has now passed. It was used by Ariana Grande in her song with the same title.
How To Use It (In Ariana Grande’s words): “I’ve loved and I’ve lost, But that’s not what I see. So, look what I got, Look what you taught me. And for that, I say, Thank U, Next.”
Meaning “well-informed” or used to describe someone who’s aware of the current social or political climate.
How To Use It: “It’s election year again next year. #StayWoke”
Now, let’s try use some of this urban slang in a sentence….
Yaaasssss, she’s a woke, savage girlboss who’s sliving it! We’re low-key obsessed and not even a little salty or extra. It’s time to spill the tea on the GOAT. Thank you, next.
Editor’s note: 30 Urban Slang Words Every Mama Should Know In 2023 was updated most recently by Najuka Redkar in January 2023.