HOW IT ALL GOT STARTED...
Remember when you were growing up and heard an adult or teacher say
something you didn’t understand because they used a word you didn’t know? It was frustrating. You wanted to have a strong vocabulary like theirs.
Well, the tables have turned. As a mother, employer and university instructor of Gen Z-ers, I experience that feeling frequently. There are new words and expressions continually coming out of their mouths, and it’s impossible to keep up with the lingo.
Having our finger on the pulse of Gen Z—those born between 1997 and 2012—is an integral part of our job at 80/20 Agency. The millennials are now getting “old” and the “Z”s are the up-and-coming market every business wants (and needs) to engage with.
My young staff knew I was on a mission to learn their lingo, so we had a running list of Gen Z vocabulary on a simple spreadsheet. I wanted to be able to claim that,
“I speak Gen Z.”
Then it dawned on me. I needed a Gen Z Dictionary. And, I already had the ideal team
of people to write it. Our research was a great conversation starter as we polled friends and family. “What’s your latest slang word?” became one of my favorite questions to ask. From there the words started accumulating and the list grew quickly.
It has been almost a year-long process collecting words, defining them, clarifying their pronunciation, and then creating the most genuine sentence to capture the essence of each word.
This has been a very collaborative project with many laughs along the way. But, let me tell you, these Gen Z-ers take their vocabulary seriously and do not want their words used incorrectly. We made many edits to get the vibe of each word just right.
Many thanks to Françoise Gagnier, our Creative Director, for her attention to detail on the many revisions, and to the 80/20 team for their input on the vocabulary list and definitions. A special thank you goes to my daughter and son, Taylor and Phillip, who keep it 100 and teach me something new about Gen Z almost every day.
I hope you enjoy learning these words and have even more fun using them in the real world.
Founder & President
Founder & President
The Gen Z Dictionary Squad
Produced in collaboration with:
• Staff and Interns of 80/20 Agency •• Fraternity and Sorority Members at Indiana University •• Agency 7 Class at the IU Media School • Any Random Gen Z-er We Could Ask •
Comments, complaints, concerns? Professional inquiries or otherwise. Hit us up.