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Gen Alpha’s Most Popular Slang Terms

Gen Alpha’s Most Popular Slang Terms
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Download our latest Gen Alpha report to learn more about the youngest generation’s media and entertainment habits.

That’s sus. 

If that sentence made you scratch your head, you’re not alone. Sus, another way to say something is suspicious or questionable, rose to recent popularity thanks to its use in the game “Among Us” and is a favorite slang term among Gen Z, but even more notably, their younger counterparts, Gen Alpha. 

The youngest Alphas are still mastering how to talk, but older Alphas have already developed their own slang, a true generational rite of passage. And while their most commonly used slang terms today do borrow a lot from Gen Z, that’s likely to change, and quickly as the generation ages and continues to create and consume content online.

Alphas speak differently than their parents

Looking to their parents is a great way for brands to begin to understand Gen Alpha’s attitudes and behaviors. But when it comes to how they talk, that approach might not be as insightful given many parents admit they don’t understand the language their kids are using. Roughly 3 in 10 (29%) of Gen Alpha parents say their youngest child uses words or slang they don’t understand.

This uncertainty will only grow as young Gen Alpha ages. Parents of children ages 8-10 are over twice as likely as parents of children under age 4 to say they don’t get the words or slang their kids are using (43% vs. 20%, respectively). And while this could be said for generations in the past, in fact part of the purpose of slang may very well be to make sure parents don’t understand what you’re saying, Gen Alphas are growing up with different influences than past generations and the language they use is likely to further emphasize that.

The most important of those influences is technology. While Gen Z claims the title of the first digital native generation, Gen Alphas take it a step further. There’s just no separating this young generation from technology. And it’s shaping everything from their device ownership, social media usage and even their language. Similar to parents of older children, parents with children who use the internet to socialize with friends are more likely to report they don’t understand the slang their kids are using than those who have children who don’t socialize online, (47% vs. 23%, respectively). 

“Bet,” “GOAT,” and “sus” are commonly used by Alphas

This makes sense given some of the specific slang terms most commonly used by Alphas were born on the internet, and made it into many Alphas vernacular thanks to TikTok virality. “Gyat,” “sigma” and “fanum tax” all fall into this category. According to the New York Times, Alphas became familiar with these words thanks to a catchy parody song making the rounds on TikTok.

But Alphas most commonly used slang, according to their parents, are words that are also quite popular with Gen Z.

“Bet,” which is used to express agreement or good news, was the no. 1 slang term parents reported hearing their young children say. It was closely followed by “GOAT,” greatest of all time, and “sus,” another way to say something is suspicious or questionable. 

While their top slang words today have a lot in common with Gen Z, this is likely to change as Alphas age. Similar to how Gen Zers mock millennials for everything from what they wear to using outdated references, Alphas will soon pick up the torch to poke fun at Gen Z and define for themselves what is cool. 

It’s critical for brands hoping to connect with Gen Alpha, now and in the future, to start immersing themselves in how the generation talks. This will ensure any messages they target at them are better received. But that’s no simple task, especially given how technologically savvy the generation is already proving to be. Gen Alpha will likely be similar to Gen Z in picking up quickly any inauthentic behavior from brands, and calling them out for it online, so it’s essential they speak their language – literally. 

Download our latest Gen Alpha report to learn more about the youngest generation’s media and entertainment habits.





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