In a new viral TikTok, Mr. Lindsay, a special education teacher, takes a hard yet humorous look at how keeping up with our students’ slang can be a difficult, if not impossible, task.

“Why would you even want to try?” a non-teacher might wonder.

Well, teachers are damn curious and completely interested in the subculture we teach. Plus, it helps with relationship building. And, as Mr. Lindsay points out, being able to understand whether or not our students are speaking appropriately is part of our lengthy job descriptions.

He tracked the slang for a week and heard about 24 Generation Z/Alpha terms. Now, I do have teens, so I did know some. But these kids are making new words up on the daily. The older we teachers get, the more bewildered we become.

I mean, yeah, I remember thinking things were rad or gnarly. What I don’t remember is having a whole urban dictionary of words that my teachers had to decipher in order to keep a semblance of order. 

Let’s break some of these terms that Mr. Lindsay uncovered down a little deeper, illustrating their meaning by having teachers use them in sentences.

If teachers used Gen Z positive slang terms:

  • Left no crumbs- execute flawlessly
    • ”I mean, I don’t want to brag or anything, but my standards on the board left no crumbs.”
  • It’s giving- something giving off a certain vibe 
    • Standardized testing is giving me “losing my shi@” vibes.
  • Gassing you up- ego boost
    • Teachers don’t get gassed up very much.
  • For real, for real- When one for real doesn’t cut it:
    • Teacher 1:  That meeting could have so been an email. Teacher 2: For real, for real.
  • Yeet- exclamation of excitement
    • Summer break- Yeet, Yeet, Yeet!!!
  • Cap- to lie
    • No cap, Tommy’s mom emails me fifty times daily.
  • Simpin (not to be confused with pimpin)-  giving too much affection in a romantic relationship 
    • Not touching this one.
  • Dead ass- For real, for real is a synonym.
    • The copier is dead ass completely jammed.
  • Drippy- pertaining to something with swag
    • Did you see how drippy Ms. Johnson looks in her footed Mickey Mouse PJs for Pajama Day?
  • Pick me energy- someone seeking attention.
    • Teacher 1: “Who on God’s green Earth has their hand up in the air when the admin was just about to end this meeting?” Teacher 2: “Of course, it’s Pick Me Polly with a question that only pertains to her.”
  • This goes dummy hard- praise for something
    • That’s dummy hard that they canceled the staff meeting. 
  • You’re not him/her/them- meaning you will never be a part of a certain group
    • Teachers with money; yeah, you’re not them.
  • Snatched- amazingly good, perfect
    • Wow! Your lesson plans are really snatched today. 
  • Bruh- synonym for dude
  • Ate that- pulled it off
    • Wow, Ms. Brown’s lesson on quadratic equations really ate that.
  • On God- ditto above ^^
  • GYAT
    • As Mr. Lindsay points out, it doesn’t stand for get your act together, but more like an expression of admiration for a person’s physique, and that’s all I am going to say.

Congratulations! Now you know this week’s slang and how to use the words in sentences. Time to go out and impress your teacher friends and let me know their reactions. Or, you can make up your own words and pretend like everyone should know what they mean. That could be fun.

Hilarious Viral TikTok explains Gen Z Adolescent Slang