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Attention Older Generation Fam! Brush Up on Your Millennial Lingo

Attention Older Generation Fam! Brush Up on Your Millennial Lingo

Photo by Julián Gentilezza on Unsplash

If you still think that “spilling the tea” means you’ll have to clean up spilled tea later, you’re either above the age of 35 or an old soul trapped in a 20-year-old’s body.

Multi-generational conversations can become muddled or turn into a UN summit brouhaha, thanks to millennials casually throwing in slang words that are odd, interesting, or plain confusing. It’s normal to hear the terms clap back, fam, or on fleek when you’re talking to gen Y and other younger generations.

I’m part of the millennial fam (family) and these slang words and phrases are part of my daily conversations.

I use them heavily when I’m talking to my friends or fangirling on my Twitter account. But when it comes to my parents or the titos and titas I regularly encounter, I steer clear of the gen Y-speak so as not to confuse them.

Still, I think it’s helpful to know a few slang words.

If you want to talk to millennials on their own terms — and to truly get what they’re trying to say — knowing a few key words is essential

Here are a few terms older generations need to know:

1. “Bruh”

Best spoken with an attitude GIF via Giphy

Another way of calling someone a “bro.” You’d use this slang to be dramatic during a casual conversation. You can also use it to yell in exasperation, when someone cuts you in line at your favorite bubble tea stall, for example.

Or: “Bruh, she had no feelings for you. Just let it go.”

2. “Netflix and Chill”

It’s code for doing the business GIF from Giphy

Nope, it’s not about turning on Netflix and just relaxing. It’s a polite way of saying, “Let’s turn on our so-called favorite series and pretend to watch it but actually, we’re going to fool around.”

Example: “So my roommate’s not home tonight. Do you want to Netflix and chill?”

3. “Salty.”

Salt, in literal and figurative form, is bad GIF from Giphy

A personal favorite, this term means pissed. Millennials use this term when someone seems sassy or upset around them.

Example: “He left you and all, but you’re still pretty and funny. Stop being salty about it!”

4. “Sorry Not Sorry.”

You’ll get no apologies from this one, bruh GIF from Giphy

You tell someone you’re sorry not sorry when you want to make it clear that you’re very un-remorseful about something. It’s a helpful phrase when you wish to express how confident you are that it’s definitely not your fault.

Example: “It’s not my fault she didn’t say ‘yes’ to him first. Sorry not sorry, sis.”


You’ve reached the echelon of “witty comebacks” when someone yells this while you’re having it out with someone GIF from Giphy

Another personal favorite, savage refers to when someone does something outrageously hilarious or cool. It’s a synonym of another millennial term, “burn.” Gen Y use savage to praise someone for their witty comeback.


“Sorry? I don’t speak bullshit.”

“Bruh, you savage.”

6. “Spill the tea.”

Time to tell everything you know about some juicy bit of drama GIF from Giphy

Time to tell everything you know about some juicy bit of drama GIF from Giphy

No, this does not mean wasting a good cup of tea. TEA in millennial speak is slang for a situation, gossip, or news. You “spill the tea” when you share the juicy stories about something or someone. Think of it this way: it’s a new way of saying “What is the drama today?”

Example: “Did you hear about the Jordyn Woods incident? TEA WAS SPILLED, FAM!”

7. “Shook.”

So shooked I can’t even hold on to my phone from Giphy

So shooked I’m frozen stiff amid texting GIF from Giphy

Use shook when you can’t believe what you’re seeing. Millennials use this term when they are so surprised they have no words for it.

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Example: “I watched BTS’ performance for Dionysus and man, I was shooked!”

8. “Thirsty.”

Mama needs a tall, buff drink of a man GIF from Giphy

You’re craving something, but it’s not a cold beverage. You want that cutie on Instagram, your gym crush, or one of the Hemsworth brothers. Thirsty can also be a self-deprecating manner; if you want something so much that you’re “too thirsty,” it’s time to chill, fam.

Example: “I’m too thirsty for that guy I met at a party last night.”

9. “LIT!”

That party was lit, bruh! (GIF from Giphy)

Lit is the word you can use when something is popping or turned up. Millennials use this term to describe an event like a concert or party.

Example: “This year’s Coachella was so lit!”

10.“Goals AF”


Even after all that flying and punching bad guys, girl still has hair goals AF-worthy tresses GIF from Giphy

It’s shorthand for anything you want to possess or achieve in life. It could be a relationship, to-die for technology, or a dream vacation.

Example: Kylie Jenner’s plump lips are goals AF!”

These are just some of our favorite millennial slang. What about you? Share us your collection of gen Y terms on our Facebook page.



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