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LANGUAGE

Gen Zers use secret ‘friend dictionaries’ to make up their own language

Gen Z jargon is even harder to translate.

Couples, friends and siblings are revealing their secret languages ​​and quizzing each other in so-called “friend dictionaries” in a fun TikTok trend started by Zoomers who are already baffling viewers with their complex internet lingo.

From dealing with nosy people called “nosettas” to having the worst meal of my life, It tastes like “dog food” TikTok users have created their own quirky colloquialisms that have become integrated into everyday life like a code.


Lefkowitz has been making waves by posting a series of videos for Sister Dictionary on TikTok. Cherefko/TikTok

“I think this is a universal experience that most sisters, brothers, or best friend couples can relate to,” says submitter Chelsea Lefkowitz. A series of videos Indexing sister dictionaries online, NBC News.

“Especially for me and my sister, it’s kind of instinctual. We come from the same background, we can easily create inside jokes and references and have a unique way of communicating.”

They use phrases like: “Chocolate hurts so much” To describe the painful feeling of fullness after overeating, or “Fired bullets” When you make plans that you can’t go back on.

Nicole Holliday, an assistant professor of linguistics at Pomona College, told NBC News that people who interact regularly often “make brief statements or references to past events.”

“It’s about establishing familiarity and roles within the community,” she added. “I get the joke. You get the joke.”

Meanwhile, a group of friends “I’m crazy about the Simpsons” When you say “I love something so much” or “Depressica Simpson” when you’re feeling down. And instead of just saying they received a package, the couple Jedson Tavernier and Jade Smith say, I like to announce loudly that “your package has arrived.”

“Everybody has a common language that brings everyone together. [as] “It’s really human,” Smith told NBC News. “I love that about it. I think it’s really interesting to see everyone doing the same thing that we do.”


A TikTok video shared by @jedandjade shows a woman holding up her phone while communicating in an imaginary language
Smith and his partner Tavernier have created a two-part series exploring their unusual jargon. JedandJade/TicTok

Experts The hustle and bustle Evolving language is a sign of good friendship, and TikTok viewers are so engrossed in the close-knit relationships between creators that, in a way, they’re like “members of a secret club,” said neuropsychologist Dr Sanam Hafeez.

“A BFF dictionary naturally evolves over the years, born out of inside jokes, shared experiences, and a deep familiarity with one another,” Najama Davis, a licensed clinical social worker, tells Bustle.

“For example, if a group of friends go on a trip and encounter interesting events, they may develop a word or phrase that sums up the experience and integrate it into their shared language.”

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