Without getting too “punny,” generation clash is a tale as old as time. At any given point in history, the second youngest generation and their predecessors just can’t seem to fully get behind all of the youngest generation’s newfangled qualities and characteristics. Whether the disagreements are politically charged, concern music and art, or simply revolve around dialect and slang, we can’t agree on everything as we evolve.
But change isn’t bad, as new generations can shed light on long-standing atrocities or build off of foundations established by their forebearers to make the world more equitable. Every generation has its trials and tribulations, and more than ever, we have platforms that allow us to work together.
However, this article is not about joining forces to overcome the impending dooms we face today. But instead, it addresses the current state of affairs between millennials and Gen Z.
All Out War: Millennials vs Gen Z
Both born in an age of unfathomable access to information and technology, millennials and Gen Z have much in common regarding upbringing. Similarities have not stopped the two from clashing, though, and Gen Z is constantly and unabashedly dissing millennials.
Although not widely used, the word “cheugy” has recently become popular amongst some of Gen Z to describe millennials who are either off trend or just trying too hard to appear on-trend. Cheugy is meant to be derogatory but seems to have a playful undertone, as it is generally used to get under someone’s skin and get a rise out of them.
In Gen Z’s defense, millennials have reached their inevitable perdition and have become what they once loathed, like each generation before them — che sarà, sarà.
How can millennials save themselves from the wrath of Gen Z? Well, first of all, a change in vocabulary is a must, a tall order from an article whose opening line contains the word “punny.”
Millennial Slang That Needs the Chop
Like every generation, millennials have their fair share of slang that needs to be laid to rest. But what are those words, what is their meaning, and why should they stop being used? Let’s look at some dastardly offenders — spoiler alert: many of them are worse than “pawg.”
There is no faster way to reveal you’re a millennial than using the term “adulting.” This simple term is used to describe the woes and travesties that come with adult life, like having to cook dinner, do laundry, and brew your own coffee. Millennials use “adulting” in a tongue-in-cheek manner to complain about mundane day-to-day tasks. This term is undoubtedly a little cringy (cringy is fair game, by the way) and should stop being used immediately and forever.
All the Feels
While this is a phrase, “all the feels” describes something that makes you feel a plethora of emotions simultaneously. If someone says “all the feels,” they typically feel sentimental or have had a strong emotional reaction to an event or something they watched on a show. The phrase is another quick millennial identifier and should be off-limits from here forth.
Hashtag Insert Joke Here
Listen. We all know what a hashtag is at this point. “Hashtag (insert joke here)” is one of those phrases that started funny enough but quickly became overused and outdated. This is not to say not to use hashtags but rather not say the word “hashtag” aloud before whatever you want to say — #blessed.
Another way to age yourself is to use the term spirit animal to describe something or someone you relate to. The term is an outdated way of admiring something, but it also has potentially problematic undertones regarding appropriation. While many who use the term aren’t doing so to be outwardly malicious, animals and spirituality are significant roots in the culture of the indigenous Americans. So using “spirit animal” to relate to a character from a show on Netflix is less than savory.
I Did a Thing
It’s uncool to stop someone from having a good time, so don’t rain on someone’s parade if they’re excited. However, using the phrase “I did a thing” to showcase or precede the reveal is not ideal. Popular as a photo description on Instagram or Facebook, “I did a thing” is a millennial phrase the world could live without.
An acronym for “you only live once,” YOLO may as well have been a generational slogan for one too many spring breaks. YOLO took the world by storm. From being plastered on t-shirts, hats, corporate swag (“swag” another cheugy word), and memes, it was a brutal force. Using it now, however, is a quick way to date yourself. Millennials had their fun, and now it’s time to leave YOLO behind.
Live, Laugh, Love
A prime culprit, and potentially why Gen Z started calling millennials cheugy, to begin with, “live, laugh, love” is as bad as it gets. The positive affirmation has made its way as mediocre home decor above IKEA couches across the United States. Live, laugh, love is the butt of a ton of jokes and is an easy target that Gen Z hates, hates, hates.