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Common Gen Z Abbreviations and Slang Used in Nigeria

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If you know what half of these words mean, you’re obviously hip and trendy. If you don’t, we have bad news. Where do you fall?

As a millennial, it can be hard to keep up with the ever-evolving landscape of slang, abbreviations, and acronyms used by Gen Z. What used to be common terms like “LOL” and “OMG” have been replaced by a whole new set of lingo that can leave even the savviest millennial scratching their head.

slangs-nigeria-genz
slangs-nigeria-genz

I was texting with my Gen Z co-worker yesterday about weird food combinations, and when I mentioned bread and egusi, she replied, “GFB“. It took me a while, but when I realised she meant “God forbid”, I let out the greatest scream ever scrome.

A few minutes later, I was going through Twitter when I saw a tweet:

After I realised I wasn’t the only one that struggled with new abbreviations, I decided to throw it open to the BCM team. See the number of responses:

After laughing my ass off, I was finally able to compile a comprehensive list of Gen Z abbreviations, slang terms, and their actual meanings.

Also check out:Ā Common Nigerian Slangs and Their Meanings: The Comprehensive List for 2024

Common Gen Z Abbreviations and Slang

Here are some of the most common Gen Z terms you need to know to avoid getting utterly confused and stressed:

Abbreviation/SlangMeaning
GFBGod forbid
DKM/DFKMDon’t kill me / Don’t fvcking kill me
IMOIn my opinion
KMTKiss my teeth
WTMGWa ti ma gbo
NGLNot gonna lie
WWin
DWDon’t worry
YKTVYou know the vibes
TYSMThank you so much
CTFUCracking the fuck up
LLoss
FTWFor the win
ILYSMI love you so much
JKJust kidding
XriSorry (!!!!!)
IPNTSI prefer not to speak
FMLFuck my life
YKBYou know ball
FGSFor God’s sake
FRFor real
FFSFor fucks sake
GGMUBGod go make you bigger
SlayKilling it; doing great
Menty BMinor mental breakdown
Cozzie livsCost of living crisis
Slaps/Hits differentReally good
Ate/left no crumbsDid an excellent job
Understood the assignmentCompleted a task perfectly
Say lessI’ve got it, you don’t have to explain more
Sent meMade me laugh hard
It’s givingEmitting a certain vibe
-coreSuffix used to describe an aesthetic (e.g. cottagecore, Barbiecore)
CheugySomething that’s uncool or untrendy

As you can see, there are a ton of new terms to learn. But don’t worry, we’ll break down some of the most important and commonly used ones.

Diving Deeper Into Gen Z Lingo

Let’s take a closer look at the origins, usage, and meanings behind some key Gen Z slang:

Slay

While “slay” isn’t exactly new (it’s been used in the black and LGBTQ+ communities for decades), Gen Z has brought it into mainstream usage, especially on TikTok. If you are slaying, you are absolutely killing it and doing an amazing job.

Cheugy

On the opposite end of slay is cheugy, which refers to anything that’s uncool, untrendy, or trying too hard. It’s used to describe outdated millennial trends like giant inflatable yard decorations and Minion memes. “Cheugy” was actually coined by Gen Zer Gaby Rasson and popularized on TikTok.

Cozzie Livs

“Cozzie livs” is UK slang referring to the cost of living crisis. With things like rent, food, and energy bills skyrocketing lately, zoomers have adopted this cheeky rhyming phrase to describe the current economic situation.

Understood the Assignment

If someone understood the assignment, it means they totally nailed a task and did it perfectly. This could apply to things like acing a job interview, putting together the ideal outfit for an occasion, or making an amazing meal.

It’s Giving

It’s giving” is used to describe the vibe that something or someone is giving off. It can be positive or negative. For example, “Her outfit is giving main character energy” or “The decor in this restaurant is giving 2010 Pinterest DIY.”

-core

The suffix “-core” is being used to categorize aesthetics based on common themes. Some popular cores are:

  • Cottagecore: Romanticizes country living, features lots of floral prints and flowy dresses
  • Normcore: Basic, nondescript “normal people” clothing like plain tees and jeans
  • Regencycore: Inspired by fashion from the Regency era, popularized by Bridgerton
  • Barbiecore: Inspired by the upcoming Barbie movie, incorporates lots of hot pink

Other Gen Z Communication Quirks

In addition to new slang terms, Gen Z also has some unique habits and preferences when it comes to digital communication:

  • Sending messages in multiple short bursts instead of one long text
  • Using tons of emojis and reaction memes
  • Preferring to communicate via Instagram DM, Snapchat, and TikTok over texting or email
  • Being extremely averse to using the šŸ˜‚ emoji, which is now seen as cringey
  • Responding to messages extremely quickly, since they are always connected
  • Having inside jokes and memes that are indecipherable to anyone outside their friend group

Closing Thoughts

While this list is far from exhaustive, I hope it gives my fellow millennials a helpful primer on Gen Z lingo. Language is always evolving, and each generation brings their own unique flavor to it. Though it can be tricky to keep up sometimes, making an effort to learn about new slang helps us relate to and connect with the youths.

At the end of the day, we’re all just out here trying to slay and avoid catching Ls, right? IKYK. Now you can go forth and use your newly acquired zoomer-speak – but you didn’t hear it from me. IPNTS. GGMUB!

Author Profile

John Aina has a Masters degree as an engineer and has over 3 years of teaching and research experience. John is happiest when he is on a bike and is also interested in Solar technology.
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    Common Gen Z Abbreviations and Slang Used in Nigeria

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