What are the most iconic teen slangs of each generation?

There are several iconic slang that is used for the teenagers of every generation. One can see that slangs have evolved from one generation to another. New slang words have been added and even people nowadays use the slang of the previous generation. Slangs are not always some vulgar or offending words but also expressions that are used for describing a certain situation, person or feeling.

Most of the people use slang for explaining their anger, excitement, happiness and any other feelings. There are many slangs that are very normal and are not typical slang. This article has all the slangs that have been listed according to the year in which it was originated and used by the people of that generation.

We have five generations and in each of the generation new slang has been added and used by people. One word or phrases are being used as slang. All the slangs are reflecting the time period and most of them will make you go astonished by the time when it was actually originated.

Traditionalists or Silent Generation (1925-42)

The silent generation is used for referring to the people who were born between the years of 1925 to 1945. There are several theories that explain why the generation has been named as the Silent Generation. It was said that the children who were a part of this generation used to work very hard and they used to stay quiet. They believed in the fact that every child should work hard to be seen and not be heard.


  • Trick or treat: Trick or treat is a very distinctive phrase that must have a very unique inventor. This slang mainly indicates spending and spoiling of money on female like taking the female out for dinner, shopping or anything similar to that. This line originated from the Western side of the USA or Canada.


  • Gold Dig:This is one of the most famous terms that was used during 1926 which indicates gold digger. It is a term used for indicating a woman who is only interested in the man by looking into his financial status. Surprisingly, this term is still very popular and is used in several places for indicating greedy women who search for a romantic partner by looking into their money.


Baby Boomers (1943-60)

Baby boomers are those people who were born between 1943 to 1960. It is said that a substantial part of the world’s population still consists of baby boomers. This generation emerged during the end of world war 2. Baby boomers are now reaching the age of retirement and they are also facing some key challenges.


  • Groovy: Baby boomers used to who used the term groovy which is the slang colloquialism.this term is twice unanimous with words like fashionable, amazing, excellent school depending on the context. Many people use the term groovy in order to indicate that a person is intoxicated after taking alcohol or drugs.


  • Duh:Duh is a very off-handed remark that was made during the 40s. It is also used for commenting on a stupid or foolish action of any other person.


  • Tag-Along: Tag-Along is a term which was used in the military in order to refer to bombs. It was then improvised into slang and is used for describing a person who is joining you unexpectedly in your plans without your permission.


Generation X (1961-81)

Generation X is used for indicating people who were born between 1961 to 1981. This generation had children who faced some changing societal values and they lacked adult supervision. This term is used for describing Alienated youth.


  • Hacker: Generation X was not acquainted with the use of texting, internet or email. So during the 90s, this generation was impressed by the computer connection and started developing and which is where the term hacker had originated. Hacker is specifically not slang but it is used for indicating a person or a group of people who have a love-hate relationship with the machine. The term hacker is also used for defining any outsider. Slangs are basically used by humans as the tool of communication.


  • Geek and Nerd: This is a slang term that is used for indicating an unattractive and unimpressive guy from the 19th century. Even the terms are used in the universities in order to indicate someone who is very attached to their books. Nowadays it is also used for indicating someone who has an esoteric power, knowledge and wealth. Nerd is also a very negative term that was used by Generation X but with the involvement of the digital revolution, it has now changed to a powerful term. Geel is also used for indicating someone who is the nerd. It is basically used for someone who is dedicated to technology. It is better not to use it if you are not the one who is a dedicated techie.

See an overview of digital technology in this article.


  • Aw-Shucks:This term is used for describing a person who is faking their innocence. It is used for showing disgust on a person who is trying to be innocent but is not.


  • Guilt Trip: This is one of the most famous words that was used at that time and even nowadays. It is used for inducing some guilty feelings on the target in order to control the behavior of a person.


  • Chill pill: So here the word chill pill s indicating till a mythical concept. It is used to address someone and telling them to calm down or relax instead of overreacting or being hyper.


Millennials or Gen Y(1982-2004)

Millennials are those people who were born between 1982 to 2004. In the 21st century, Millennials will reach adulthood. Millennials people have access to the internet, social communication, and electronics. They are also known as Generation Y. This generation has received a lot of marketing attention and it is technically diverse and is tolerant of difference.


  • Stan: Stan is used for indicating someone who is a super fan of a celebrity, musician or any other famous personality. Any person who deserves a label of the obsessive fan can be identified as the stan. It is used for indicating the fatal obsession of a fan.


  • Flex: Flex is a slang that is used for indicating a person who believes in showing off their status, well being or material wealth. It is definitely not a positive term used for addressing people. It is also used for indicating people who have a habit of showing off in front of people by boasting about themselves.


  • Lit:This is one of the most famous slang used by this generation. It is an adjective which is used for describing a person who is intoxicated or is under the influence of a substance that is making them amazing, outstanding or exciting. It is basically an evolved way of indicating someone who is drunk.


  • AF: The social media of the millennials are filled with AF which is the short term of As Fuck. It is used for indicating or emphasizing on the action or feeling that can be both negative or positive. The internet and texting culture has shortened this word into AF.


Gen Z, iGen, or Centennials( After 2005)

Centennials are actually the generation that consists of minors along with Millennials as well. It is used for indicating the generation that emerged after 2005. This centennial is quite different from the Millennials. Centennials believed in self-education, financial security creativity, and loyalty and they are also known as the Gen Z.


  • Wait: There is no such slang that can be stated that is used by the post-millennials because they are too young and most of them are turning to 11 years old. So one thing that everyone will encounter that the young ones of this generation are using the word Wait for a lot of things. So basically it is not slang but it is a way of grabbing the attention of the people and which is why they are using it before starting any conversation.


  • Finstagram: This slang is quite complicated which is used for indicating fake Instagram but in a very authentic manner. So it is basically an authentic Instagram account, but it has been designed to portray itself as a fake one. This term is very popular among the youth who are using Instagram.


  • Adulting:  This is another famous term used by Gen Z. It is basically a term that is used for referring to the actions and moment which makes a person appear to be grown-up or mature.



It is true that the slang has evolved with every passing generation. In the above section, one can see how diverse the slang we’re and how it has evolved in every generation and most of the slang words are still used nowadays. The slangs are basically used for initiating an informal way of communication. Most of the slang words that are mentioned above are not offending or vulgar but is used for indicating a certain action, people or behavior.

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