Next Gen Speak: 10 Terms to Decode Your Next Convo with Gen Edge

Guest post by BridgeWorks summer intern + resident Gen Edger, Carly Spotts-Falzone

Last summer when I started my internship at BridgeWorks, I felt like I was getting a crash course in not only generational theory, but all things generations. Pop culture, history, statistics—it seemed like there was nothing this team of Gen Experts didn’t know. Millennials in the office were spouting off pop culture from the 1950s, and the Gen Xers could name every Pixar movie from my childhood...their breadth of knowledge was truly impressive (and no, they didn’t bribe me to write this).

One day I abruptly discovered a gap in these seemingly all-knowing generational gurus. In a meeting with some of my Recessionist Millennial colleagues, I said “RT” (which means Re-tweetable) only to be stared at like I’d just eaten a tide pod. One of them guessed RT meant “real talk,” another guessed, “right track,” and another just started talking about R.T. Rybak. The latest Gen Edge slang, it turned out, had not yet hit their radar. Oh, how the tables had turned! It was finally my turn to teach them the ways of next gen speak.

To be fair, trends in popular slang change as fast as Silly Bands and Fidget Spinners have gone out of style—but it’s our duty to make sure all you Gen Junkies are up to date with the latest and greatest Gen Edge terminology, lest you be cancelled.

To that end, I’ve compiled the top 10 terms used by us youngins today. Consider this a cheat-sheet to help you decode your next Gen Edge conversation. Take a look and chuckle at the youngest gen’s creativity, but DO NOT use these words if you wouldn’t already. It will age you by 30 years (or more) and send Gen Edgers running for the hills.

GOAT: “Greatest of All Time.” In any field, these are people you think are above the rest! Think Abe Lincoln, Oprah Winfrey, Leonardo DiCaprio, JK Rowling, and my psychology professor who bumped my 89.6% up to an “A”. These idols are all ?.

Ship: No, this is not in reference to a large boat (but if you use this term with a Gen Edger they might want to throw you off of one). Gen Edge teens use “ship” as a way to express support for a romantic partnership. For example, I ship Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley, but Edward and Bella are NOT meant to be.

DM: “Direct Message.” If you want to talk (or more often, flirt) with someone and don’t have their number, you just “slide into their DMs” – send them a message – on Twitter or Instagram. If they don’t reciprocate, you just slide right back out and frantically try to delete everything.

Snatched: My Gen X coworker thought this was part of the Taken movie series. Sadly, no, Liam Neeson will not be blessing us with his presence in a sequel series called “Snatched.” Instead, this term refers to anything that looks on point (bonus word for ya! On point = perfect).

Shook: A feeling of disbelief or surprise. Like when Brad and Angelina split, and love ceased to exist in the world, I was shook.

Extra: When someone does something over the top. For example, for homecoming week in high school, we had a “wacky day,” in which most students merely showed up in mismatched shoes. I, however, wore five different shirts, teased my hair, and sported various parts of my childhood Halloween costumes. Did I have school spirit? Yes. Was I also the most EXTRA person? Maybe.

Sus: An abbreviation for suspicious or suspect. Like when you look into buying a couch on your phone, and subsequently get advertisements for furniture on every other device you own…sus.

Snap Trap: When you get a text from someone and do not reply, but you open a snapchat from them. At this point, they know you are on your phone, have likely seen the text, yet are ignoring them. A tip from your local Gen Edger: If you are trying to stealthily avoid communication with someone, you must appear inactive on every form of social media. My generation is filled with little social media spies—we see everything.

Draking: Acting overly emotional, recalling a past heartbreak. The term got its name due to reactions from the rapper Drake’s songs, which inevitably make you miss past partners and hurl yourself into a bowl of Cheetos while binge-watching the Bachelorette…not speaking from personal experience.

Tea: No, I’m not referring to the quintessential English drink, instead, it’s the dirt you dish whilst drinking it. If you hear someone say, “Lemme give you the TEA,” chances are they aren’t asking you to enjoy an afternoon of biscuits and earl grey, but rather a gossip session filled with the latest drama.