‘It doesn’t mean what you think it means.’ Gen Z words that Millennials just... don’t get.

There are a lot of things I don't understand about the older generation. 

Why Millennials insisted on having floppy bangs in the 2000s is one. 

That generation wearing enough metal bangles on their wrists to sound for a large army is another thing that has also always perturbed me.

But what's really stuck with me isn't the questionable fashion choices they've made, but rather the things they've said.

And continue to say.

Watch: The secret to connecting with your millennial. Post continues after video. 

Video via Mamamia.

The most recent example was last week, when my millennial and Gen Z colleagues argued over what "out of pocket" means. 

To youngins, this obviously means that a situation is crazy, wild or that someone is out of line and behaving inappropriately.

But to the generation who were using it first, it means an amount of money you've lost in a transaction.

A fairly simple misunderstanding right?

You guys, it wasn't. It started an all-out war.

(To be fair, it originally came about in 1908, so I don't even know what generation that was?)


Anyway, to put a stop to any more intra-generational fighting, I wanted to provide some other buzzy Gen Z words that millennials just don't understand, because trust me... it doesn't mean what you think it means.

Drag her.

It means to roast someone or to tell them off. I know Urban Dictionary says it means to "execute or torture someone by dragging them with a rope on horseback" but IT'S REALLY NOT THAT LITERAL, OKAY?

For example: When you see two people brawling on the internet, you might assume one side is correct and want to support them by saying, "DRAG HER!!"


The title is not reserved specifically just for the person who birthed you, guys.

If someone calls you mother, it's the highest of compliments. Originating in the ballroom scene among queer men, women and non-binary people, the term 'Mother' literally means you look up to someone as the matriarch or as the head of something. 

For example, let's say you want a celebrity like Lana Del Ray or Adele or, hell, even Rebel Wilson, to know that you think highly of them, support their work and look up to them as influential figures, you might say, "She's mother" in reference to her. 

Don't overthink it, by the way. Sometimes colloquial language really is as simple as it seems.


Translated from gaming group chats, it means someone is a "non-playable character" and *literally*, means any character in a game that is not controlled by a player.

But bringing this into the real world, you might refer to someone as an NPC when you think they are boring – in the sense that they lack independent thought or blindly follow other people's opinions.


Someone you might've once called a sheep, you can now refer to as an NPC. Not that you would, becuase that would be unkind. But examples help us learn, so there you go.


If someone's called you a simp, it proooooobably means you're in a relationship and head over heels for your partner. Because in slang, a simp is someone who goes out of their way to impress the person they like.

It's meant to be an insult, but I personally think it is sweet (unless you do too much for your beloved, but honestly, how much is TOO much?!).


If you agree with plans your friendly neighbourhood Gen Z has made, say "bet". 

If someone tells you something that you agree with (or at least understand), say "bet".

If you're in an argument with your partner and they've told you that you're the worst person on the planet, say "bet".

You're welcome.

Pop off.

It basically means to go crazy. 

Every time I've used this word, it's been because my best friend has told me about an argument they've had. Instead of saying, "Wow buddy, you sure showed them!" I say, "POP. OFF." 

I know Urban Dictionary says it means to talk carelessly or irrationally... but it... doesn't. At least not in my books, or in any of my Gen Z friends' books.


Remember when your mother would call a neighbourhood boy charming, or smooth? It's kinda the same thing with riz. If I tell you that you have riz, it means you have embodied the meaning of being smooth and flirty and charming, all in one.


For example, I'd call a guy flirting at a bar a riz master (not to his face, because that's embarrassing! Side note: PLEASE don't tell people they have riz if you're over the age of 20. Let's leave this one for the young Gen Zers...).

No cap.

If I say "no cap", then you BETTER believe everything I'm telling you is true, because that translates to, "I'M NOT LYING. I SWEAR IT ON MY MOTHER'S LIFE."

Not literally, but you get what I mean.


This is an insult that was popularised around the release of the Barbie movie which starred Margot Robbie. 

People REALLY had the audacity to say she was mid (probably due to their own insecurities), and it means that someone is... not all that attractive. If there were a scale from one to 10 on how hot someone is, referring to someone as mid would mean they're about a 5/10. The mid-way point. Not hot. Not unattractive. Just... mid.

It's mean to say this, so I suggest DON'T. However, I will note that I heard my little cousin refer to her food as "mid" so clearly this term applies to ANYTHING that we deem average.

Read more: The internet just tried to call Margot Robbie a 'mid'. Here's what that actually means.

I hope I have been of some help to the millennials and Gen Xers who perhaps feel a bit lost navigating Gen Z language. Go forth and be bold my friends. You've got this – no cap.

Feature Image: Getty.

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