This is the newest TikTok slang and how to use it — so you won't be replaced by a Gen Zer at work (2024)

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Kieran Press-Reynolds

This is the newest TikTok slang and how to use it — so you won't be replaced by a Gen Zer at work (1)

  • There is new and weirder internet slang every day where it can become impossible to keep up with.
  • What the heck is "rizz?" Or "girl dinner?" And who's Grimace? Do these words mean anything?
  • Here is a guide to the latest internet terms made popular on TikTok (although they will probably be outdated by the time this is published).

This is the newest TikTok slang and how to use it — so you won't be replaced by a Gen Zer at work (2)

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This is the newest TikTok slang and how to use it — so you won't be replaced by a Gen Zer at work (3)

This is the newest TikTok slang and how to use it — so you won't be replaced by a Gen Zer at work (4)

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On the internet, language is exceptionally fluid and flexible. New words, phrases, and hashtags are created every week, and can change meaning quickly.

Slang can also become trendy for a day, or a month, and then disappear into the digital ether forever. Different forums and platforms — from Reddit pages to music fan sites to Twitch and Discord — each have their vocabularies. Even if you are terminally and fatally online (like myself) it is nearly impossible to keep up.

It can also create new anxieties to stay relevant — among your social circles but certainly at work. Will you be soon replaced by a Gen Z'er or someone who is more up with the times??

Fear not. We have you covered.

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If you want to become the most zoomer-brained employee at your workplace (and thereby guarantee some job security — at least for the next month or two until new slang emerges), here's a quick guide on what they are, what they mean, and how to use them.

Disclaimer: Insider cannot guarantee your job employment by knowing and using these words.

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Rizz

This is the newest TikTok slang and how to use it — so you won't be replaced by a Gen Zer at work (5)

Definition: Short for charisma, rizz is the ability to charm a potential romantic partner or flirt with confidence. It can be used as a noun or verb, both positively or negatively ("W Rizz," for a winning use, versus "L Rizz"). It can also be deployed to make jokes or puns, like "Rizzard of Oz" and "King Rizzard & the Rizzard Rizzard."

Origins: Rizz might be the internet's word of the year for 2023, but it first became popular in 2022. Popularized by streamers like Kai Cenat, Duke Dennis, and Silky, the word went viral last year and became an indelible fixture of Gen Z vocabulary. Its ubiquity hasn't waned.

Use: "Man, Baby Gronk just rizzed up Lizzy Dunne!"

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Lore (and side quests)

Definition: In short, "lore" means background information about a person. Typically these are very random or secret pieces of information, but everyone has lore (have you had any slightly strange experience in your life? That's probably lore). "Side quests" are any non-routine activity in someone's life or job, and the phrase is often used in tandem with lore because side quests can create interesting lore. Side quests can be adventurous and a break from the slug of everyday life.

Origins: Lore has existed as a term in books, video games, and roleplaying board games since the birth of the English language (I imagine), but Gen Z has adopted it into a catchall term for any somewhat intriguing, little-known information about a person. The word became popular on TikTok in late 2022 and, in April and May, turned into a full-fledged trend where people will share snatches of "personal lore." Internet users also started using the term "side quests" more often in 2023.

Uses: "My favorite PewDiePie lore is that he published a book. Did anyone read it?"

"I was supposed to run errands today but I ran into a friend and we ended up going on a side quest to drink boba in Brooklyn."

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Beige flags

This is the newest TikTok slang and how to use it — so you won't be replaced by a Gen Zer at work (7)

Definition: Unlike red flags (or signals of bad attributes in someone's character) and green flags (good attributes), the TikTok-trendy "beige flags" term is used to refer to someone's behavioral quirks that might be endearing. Anything that doesn't fall into a red flag or green flag territory.

Origins: The term was created by the TikTok user @itscaito in May 2022. Its original meaning was slightly different: signs on someone's dating app profile that they could be boring. In May 2023, the phrase went viral again, but people were using it to mean any odd behavioral idiosyncrasies.

Use: "My boyfriend's beige flag is that he refuses to use Google Maps because he thinks he memorized the whole city."

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Canon events

This is the newest TikTok slang and how to use it — so you won't be replaced by a Gen Zer at work (8)

Definition: A painful or cringeworthy event in someone's life that can't be interrupted because it will have a potentially dramatic influence on the rest of their lives or the way they carry themselves.

Origins: After the phrase was introduced in the recent "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" movie, internet users folded it into everyday language, and eventually it became a TikTok trend. Thousands of people made videos documenting canon events in their lives and made jokes about witnessing other people experience theirs.

Use: "I can't tell my little brother not to use our dad's credit card to buy $4000 in NFTs even though he will get in trouble and lose all his money; it's a canon event."

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Barbenheimer

This is the newest TikTok slang and how to use it — so you won't be replaced by a Gen Zer at work (9)

Definition: A portmanteau that speaks to the irony and humor of Greta Gerwig's "Barbie" and Christopher Nolan's "Oppenheimer" movies premiering on the same day, July 21.

Origins: The phrase "Barbenheimer"was coinedby the Twitter user @NextBestPicture in April,according to KnowYourMeme. The term began to spread widely in June and July as the release date approached, with a mass of people making memesabout how they planned to watch both films in a row on the same night. It also spawned a meme template involving asplit-screen photo of leading actors Margot Robbie and Cillian Murphy. Eachmovieis also connected to viral milkshake-drinking trends on TikTok.

Use: "Yo, I just scored tickets for theBarbenheimerfirst night premiere! Let's wear our pink dresses and black top hats."

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He is him/Himothy

This is the newest TikTok slang and how to use it — so you won't be replaced by a Gen Zer at work (10)

Definition: If someone says "he is him" they are complimenting someone (usually a man) as being the ultimate victor, or a person who impresses people (often women) by achieving something incredibly athletic. Like "rizz," the word has many different versions, like calling someone a "Himothy" (a riff on the name Timothy) and "Himmy Neutron" (a riff on the fictional character Jimmy Neutron).

Origins: The phrase has roots in sports media, according to the meme encyclopedia Know Your Meme, although it became popular across the internet in 2023. It's especially common to see in TikTok photo slideshows. There are also many TikToks mocking people who use the phrase to describe themselves.

Use: "Oh my god, he just set the world record for the longest badminton rally. He is him! He's him!!!"

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Millennialcore

This is the newest TikTok slang and how to use it — so you won't be replaced by a Gen Zer at work (11)

Definition: "Millennialcore" is a broad genre that people use to describe any humor, fashion, design, or behavior that is perceived to be associated with millennials.

@chloeisag Insomnia and it’s consequences. *****spoiler***** No one is safe from the spread of……. millennial grey-core. What are you doing to stop the spread⁉️ #houseflipping #mexicanrestaurant #livelaughlove #hobbylobbyfinds #the1975 ♬ Jarabe Tapatio - (Mexican Hat Dance) - Sr Ortegon

Origins: The tag "millennialcore" has been used on TikTok sporadically over the last few years, although it appears to be getting more popular as more individual TikToks go viral. There are also many other millennial-related phrases that people use to describe specific generational characteristics, like "millennial gray" (a gray color scheme) and "millennial pause" (the way some people pause at the start of a video they're filming).

Use: "That dreary millennial gray-colored bathroom is so millennial-core."

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Girl dinner

This is the newest TikTok slang and how to use it — so you won't be replaced by a Gen Zer at work (12)

Definition: A TikTok-famous phrase to describe the trend of picking a bunch of items from your refrigerator and arranging them in an aesthetically pleasing way on a plate.

Origins: The 28-year-old TikToker Olivia Maher coined the term in May, and it quickly went viral. As of July 2023, a hashtag for the trend has 79 million views. "The name 'girl dinner' came to me while on a 'hot girl walk' with a friend discussing our favorite low-maintenance way to eat when our boyfriends aren't around," Maher told Insider earlier this month.

While most women appreciate the trend and the new term to describe a pretty meal, it's also sparked some backlash and concern from people who thought it might involve eating too little food. Others seemed to simply mock the idea of of having another new term for something banal.

Use: "I have pickles, cream cheese, and yogurt in my fridge — you think that's enough for a girl dinner?"

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This is the newest TikTok slang and how to use it — so you won't be replaced by a Gen Zer at work (2024)

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