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Vocabulary check!

By Kleona Amoyo Published Jan 01, 2021 5:00 am

If you’re clueless about what ‘ISTG’ and ‘NGL’ mean, then here’s a 2020 vocabulary crash course.

Istg, he’s so cute!” “I don’t like him. It’s the bangs for me.”

If your reactions to these phrases are a head scratch and a fake smile, then I guess I’m not the only one who frequents Urban Dictionary to decode Gen Z lingo. Born in 1997, I believe that I’m an “edger” (a generation that plays in between Millennial and Gen Z).

I have Twitter, Instagram, and even TikTok, so I’m up to date with the latest stories and trends. But why do I feel so old when someone chats me with a “ngl” or “goat”? When that happens, I merely ignore it. Until someone uses them again, then I have to search for them to keep up with the times.

The sarcasm of Gen Z seems to be the prevalent humor that surrounds us today. If you’ll notice, each generation has its brand of humor. Boomers have those tito/tita jokes that can either be cringe-y or offensive. Millennials have that adulting humor. With Gen Z, they joke about the relatability of stressful events and trauma. I saw a tweet about how discovering a COVID-19 vaccine was taking so long that Phineas and Ferb would’ve made one by now. It’s freaking hilarious.

Memes, GIFs and TikToks are easily digestible entertainment. What keeps me behind with the LOLs are some words, phrases and abbreviations that next-level internet-savvy users throw around in casual conversation.

If your reactions to these phrases are a head scratch and a fake smile, then I guess I’m not the only one who frequents Urban Dictionary to decode Gen Z lingo. Born in 1997, I believe that I’m an “edger” (a generation that plays in between Millennial and Gen Z).

For this reason, I’ve gathered some of the Gen Z jargon I’ve learned and encountered this year. This could be our final efforts to hold onto our youth and not turn into the boomers we’ve mocked for so long. 

  1. NGL -  Not Gonna Lie

You say “ngl” when you want to share your honest opinion, open up, or maybe insult someone.

(Ex: Ngl, I’ve been wearing the same shirt for a week now.)

  1.  Mentally, I’m here – I hate where I’m at right now, I’d rather be anywhere else.

With this, you usually share a photo of where you’d rather be – fictional or non-fictional places.

(Ex: I’m so sick of being home. Mentally, I’m here. [shares pic of Bikini Bottom].)

  1. Clown – Someone who just got fooled.

It usually refers to a person who falls for someone who doesn’t like them back. Most of the time, it’s you.

(Ex: One Direction is not coming back; you’re a clown if you believe they will.)

  1. It’s the ___ for me – Fill in the blank with something you don’t like, or you’re against.

In the beginning, the phrase was used to roast someone or yourself by pointing out something you don’t like. But recently, the expression can refer to something you do like.

(Ex: Staying up late is making me ugly. It’s the dark circles for me.)  

  1. Simp – Usually, a guy who does anything for the girl in the hopes of getting some action. It can also be used lightheartedly, such as generally liking someone or as a verb.

(Ex: Romeo compared Juliet’s eyes to the stars after 20 seconds of meeting her. He is the OG simp.) 

  1. e-girls/e-boys – An online persona of young emo people who, instead of rocking to Green Day and MCR, are into gaming and anime.

It’s a Gen Z aesthetic in which the girls have colored hair, winged liner, and mesh T-shirts. Meanwhile, the boys have middle-parted hair, chains, and high-waisted pants.

(Ex: If all her pictures consist of sticking out her tongue and wearing tons of blush, she’s definitely an e-girl.)  

  1. What’s poppin’ – What’s up?

It’s the cool way of saying hello, nowadays.

(Ex: “What’s poppin’! It’s your girl, MimiyuUuUh yeah.”)

  1. GOAT – Greatest Of All Time

A title that’s given to someone who has shown exemplary skills. You shouldn’t easily give it to someone.

(Ex: Don’t you dare compare your mediocre idol to Beyoncé! Queen Bey is the goat!!)

  1. ISTG – I Swear To God

It’s an expression of being honest or being annoyed at something.

(Ex: Istg Twitter can be so toxic.)

  1. Slaps – Something really good.

The term usually refers to some incredible music that has the potential to be a hit. This also applies to other things such as food or a TV show.

(Ex: I’m listening to the new Miley Cyrus album, and it slaps!)  

If all of these terms are nothing new to you, then congratulations, you’re a Zoomer! Or you have spent nine months of quarantine staring at your phone, ngl. Learning some of these Gen Z lingo is a fun way to keep you relevant and away from burnout. As the worst year of our lives come to an end, why don’t you bless someone with your hilarious newfound vocabulary?