Analyzing Gen Z Lingo

As a millennial, I find myself struggling to understand the new lingo used by Gen Z. It often becomes frustrating or confusing to try and have a conversation with them when they use these terms. Especially because I value thorough and in-depth conversations with well thought out responses, not one word responses. This post is an analysis of the terms I have encountered, don’t understand, or simply dislike. I have spoken to a few other millennials as well to see how they interpret these terms and included a few of their choices. 

Tings: This term is just the word “things” without the “h.” Why is the “h” removed? I couldn’t fucking tell you but it infuriates me. It is the shortening of a word that did not need shortening and it is used in peculiar phrases: “Rich girl tings,” and other phrases like that. It is often used in response to something that was just said and is somewhat in recognition of what was said. However, I’ve found that it doesn’t promote conversation and doesn’t really acknowledge what the person said. 

Period: The term “period” is often used as a singular response to statements. It is a form of agreement to what has been said, as well as a term of endearment. However, I’ve come to find that there is not really a way to respond to this term. The usage of the phrase does not allow for continuation of a conversation and does not continue the conversation itself. It is doing the opposite and not directly acknowledging what has been said. It is providing a generic response to something that can often make those who don’t understand the term feel as though what they have said is being ignored. In fact, the idea of a period is to end something, so it can be assumed that using the term “period” is ending a conversation. Personally, I have found it extremely difficult and taxing to attempt and respond to “period,” so instead I do not respond because there is no conversation to be had anymore. Here is an example:

“It’s been tough dealing with this quarantine and COVID situation. My mental health has gone up and down and I’ve had a difficult time focusing on things. I really hope this year it gets handled so we can go back to life as normal because I’m not sure how much longer I can survive like this!”

“Period.”

Here, I was sharing something personal and emotional. Instead of getting an appropriate response that acknowledged my feelings, shared their own personal experience, or continued the conversation, the response was borderline rude. While Gen Z may not feel this way about its usage, those of us who don’t use the term often find it difficult to respond to or rude. 

Sus: This term originates from the game Among Us and is the only term I comprehend and use on occasion. It is short for “suspicious,” and is used in a lightly accusatory sense. In the game it is used to accuse a person of being the imposter (the alien who is hiding amongst the crew trying to kill them all). In day-to-day life it is used to address something that is suspicious, such as a person’s behavior or the actions of a group. It is rarely used seriously, but in the game it is a heavy accusation. 

Repetition: This is not a term specifically, but rather a pattern I’ve seen when telling a story of some sort. After telling a story or sharing a piece of information about something that happened, the person will repeat back somewhat that was said with the phrase “She said…” in front of it, typically spoken with some sass. My issue with this phrase or pattern is that it doesn’t add anything to the conversation, just like responding with “period.” It is somewhat of an acknowledgment of what was said without adding anything to the conversation. Here is an example:

“It was really fun at first but after awhile it became too difficult to continue the friendship. They tried to convince me otherwise but I decided no more. Enough was enough.”

“She said no more.” 

Here, they picked out one moment of what was said and repeated it instead of asking for more details, checking to see if I was ok, or providing literally any other acknowledging response. The thing is, I already know what I said! It doesn’t need to be repeated back as if I don’t hear myself speaking. It makes no sense.                                                                       

While these are not all the phrases Gen Z uses, these are the ones I’ve encountered on a regular basis. Whenever we speak with someone who isn’t a close friend, how we speak to them needs to be adjusted. I wouldn’t speak to my family members the same way I speak to a friend. Regardless of who we speak to, until we’re comfortable with them and know we speak the same language we should make an effort to speak politely and clearly. We should also adjust our lingo accordingly. 

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This week’s post is sponsored by Podcasting Until Ragnarok, a podcast I created that was inspired by this blog. Be sure to go check it out wherever you listen to your podcasts and subscribe!

Published by Alexandria

Creative Writer with a passion for sharing my work and creativity.

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