• Li Juaneza

Millennials, Xennials, iGen Speak

Updated: Sep 3

According to a 2017 study made by World Bank, 42% of the world's population is 24 years old and under.¹ Similarly, about 47% of the Philippines' projected population for 2019 is under the same age group.²


They make up almost half of the world and are poised to be influencers, leaders, and history-makers. Unless you've been living in a cave somewhere, they are called the millennials.


This is the generation born into a world of high speed technology, biotechnology, environmental concerns, virtual reality, cryptocurrency, genderqueer, and social media.

I was surprised to discover that there are three groups that fall under millennials. First, the millennials - born between 1980 and 1994, then xennials, the older millennials - born between 1975 and 1985, finally the iGen or Gen Z - born between 1995 and 2012. Kids born between 2013 and 2025 are called Gen Alpha, ³ but that's another story altogether.


The plan for this month's blog is to write about the issues this generation is facing and what they consider important, but then I realized that I need to understand the language, or more precisely, the slang they use. Being a Gen Xer (born between 1965 and 1979), I sometimes find it confusing to understand some of the words I hear and see on TV, movies, social media, and the internet. So, I've dedicated this blog to listing down some of the words and phrases used by millennials.


Cracking the code


1. Sorry not sorry - This is a fake apology. When you say this to whomever or whatever situation, it implies that they don't deserve an apology.

2. Feels - having strong positive feelings about someone or something.

3. Shook - surprised, disturbed, confused, shaken up in a good or bad way.

4. Woke - being aware of something especially current affairs.

5. Phubbing - talking to (snubbing) someone while texting or working on a computer.

6. JOMO - joy of missing out; not worried or bothered about what other people are doing.

7. The struggle is real - used when facing hardship or a tough problem; can be used sarcastically.

8. Swerve - used to tell someone to leave.

9. Salty - in a bad mood.

10. Throw shade - subtle way of criticizing, talking behind someone's back, or putting someone down.

11. Ghost - disappearing after showing interest in someone.

12. I can't even - at a loss for words about a situation or someone; usually in a negative way.

13. Lit - something especially great, awesome, cool, exciting, etc.

14. Break the internet - something that created a great sensation online globally.

15. Bae - before anybody else; a term of endearment for your significant other.

16. Slay - to do an outstanding job.

17. FOMO - fear of missing out; anxiety people feel when they see what other people are doing on social media.

18. TBH -- to be honest.

19. Stan - stalker and fan.

20. Cray - crazy.


There are a lot more but I put here the ones I hear and see the most. For non-millennials reading this, I hope this helps you decipher millennial speak especially in social media. In the meantime, gotta bounce (leave, go)!


"For then I will purify the lips of the peoples, that they may all call on Yahweh’s name, to serve him shoulder to shoulder." Zephaniah 3:9 (WEB)

#millennials #xennials #iGen #woke



Next week: The Struggle is Real



¹Khokhar, T. (2017, April 17). Chart: How Is the World's Youth Population Changing? Retrieved March 6, 2019, from http://blogs.worldbank.org/opendata/chart-how-worlds-youth-population-changing

²A 142 Million Philippine Population by 2045? (2014, July 28). Retrieved March 6, 2019, from https://psa.gov.ph/content/142-million-philippine-population-2045

³Robinson, M. T. (n.d.). Which Generation Are You? Retrieved March 6, 2019, from https://www.careerplanner.com/Career-Articles/Generations.cfm

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