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Unraveling the Generational Slang: From Gen X to Gen Z

Welcome to the ultimate crash course in generational slang! Whether you're a Gen Xer, a Millennial, or a Gen Z enthusiast, navigating the ever-evolving lexicon of slang can be both baffling and exhilarating. Fear not, for we're about to delve into the linguistic tapestry of three distinct generations. Brace yourself for a rollercoaster ride through linguistic time zones, from "rad" to "lit" and beyond!

First, we have to determine which generation you belong to.



Current Ages

Gen Z

1997 – 2012

12 – 27


1981 – 1996

28 – 43

Gen X

1965 – 1980

44 - 59

Generation X: The Rebels with Slang

Born between 1965 and 1980, Generation X came of age in an era of punk rock, MTV, and the Cold War. Their slang reflects a blend of rebelliousness, cynicism, and pop culture savvy.

Here are some iconic terms from the Gen X lexicon:

  • Rad: Short for radical, this term embodies the ethos of coolness and nonconformity. - Example: "Have you seen that mural Downtown Sudbury? It's totally rad!"

  • Bodacious: A fusion of bold and audacious, used to describe something remarkable or impressive. - Example: "The interior of McEwen Architecture is bodacious!"

  • Reality Check: A harsh or sobering reminder of the truth, often used to bring someone back down to earth. - Example: "He needs a reality check if he thinks there's no place to eat in Downtown Sudbury."

Millennials: The Irony and Self-Awareness Generation

Born between 1981 and 1996, Millennials came of age during the rise of the internet, social media, and reality TV. Their slang reflects a blend of irony, self-awareness, and digital fluency.

Here are some hallmark terms from the Millennial lexicon:

  • Slay: To excel or succeed exceptionally well at something. - Example: "Did you see her workout outfit at World Gym? She totally slayed!"

  • Lit: Used to describe something exciting, enjoyable, or highly impressive. - Example: "The Knox Hall event last night was lit – the artist was amazing!"

  • FOMO (Fear of Missing Out): The anxiety that one might miss out on an exciting or interesting event. - Example: "I saw the Alibi Room's event last night on social media – I had serious FOMO!"

Gen Z: The Memes and Authenticity Generation

Born roughly between the mid-1990s and early 2010s, Gen Z grew up in a world saturated with memes, viral challenges, and social media influencers. Their language is a fusion of authenticity, humour, and digital savvy.

Here are some iconic terms from the Gen Z dictionary:

  • Flex: To proudly show off or boast about one's accomplishments, possessions, or abilities. - Example: "Did you see her new outfit from Studio 35 Fashions? She's flexing on Instagram."

  • Sksksk: An expression of amusement, excitement, or awkwardness, often typed repeatedly to convey intense emotion. - Example: "Sksksk, I can't believe the Sudbury Wolves made the playoffs!"

  • Clout: Influence or status, especially within online communities, often gained through viral content or social media presence. - Example: "Samantha gained so much clout after Instagram reel went viral."

So, whether you're dropping Gen X gems, channelling your inner Millennial irony, or vibing with Gen Z authenticity, remember: each generation brings its linguistic flair to the table, enriching our cultural tapestry with every "rad," "lit," and "sksksk."

Speaking of "rad", "lit" and "sksksk", follow @downtownsudbury on all forms of social media and stay up to date on what's happening in the core!

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