Did you know that the term “high key” means very obvious? Or what about that “I’m Dead” means that was amusing? Welcome to the vocabulary 101 of Generation Z. It’s crazy and in some ways feels like a completely new language. So much so that James Callahan, a high school sociology teacher, has come up with a list of these slang words along with their definitions to better understand what his students are actually saying in class!
His list was so impressive that when one student snuck a picture of it and posted it on twitter it went absolutely viral (over 168,000 retweets since Saturday). "I love learning the words that their generation comes up with — both the unique ones as well as the ones where they take an existing word and give it a completely different meaning," Callahan told BuzzFeed News.
After hundreds of users on twitter begged to see the full document, Callahan agreed, posting the four-page dictionary in a public Google document while saying: “Hello internet! Hope this comes in handy! Stay up, Mr. Callahan.” (A quick cross reference in the Gen Z dictionary reveals that “stay up” means “you will be okay.”)
While most of the twitter universe had a positive response, many users were quick to point out phrases that were not on Callahan’s list including “stan” and “littly boi”. Callahan told BuzzFeed that his underlying observations on his Gen Z students is that they are “creative and funny.”
Thank you Mr. Callahan. Hopefully this list will help all teachers understand their students a bit more!