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Pop Culture

Teacher's funny lesson explaining Gen Z terms turned into a brilliant history lesson

His teaching style totally slaps.

gen z slang, aave, teacher of tiktok
@larrylexicon/TikTok

This was a great moment. No cap.

What started out as a lighthearted class presentation quickly turned into a fabulous humanities lesson for all.

A teacher under the pseudonym Larry Lexicon has 1.8 million followers on TikTok, where they tune in to catch the funny-yet-inspirational interactions Lexicon has with his students.

Recently, Lexicon had his class rolling with his meticulously crafted PowerPoint explaining what certain Gen Z words mean.

"All year long I've been listening to you and making a list, which I've compiled here for you — the Gen Z Term Dictionary," he told the class, saying that they should speak up if anything was inaccurate.

Here’s what he came up with.


He took “bruh,” (aka the “staple of their generation”) to simply be the alternative for “bro,” except that “bruh!” can also be used as an exclamation. That was correct.

Although the word “Rizz,” was fairly new to him, he also correctly guessed that this was short for “charisma,” and thus refers to someone who has the ability to charm.

“You can use it in all kinds of ways. Like I’m the Rizzard of Oz!” he joked.

“Bussin” he took to mean that something was good, particularly food. Also correct. He even knew that “bussin’ bussin’” meant that something was really good. Clearly, Lexicon had done his homework.
@larrylexicon Let me know if there are more terms I need to add to my list! #larrylexicon #doyourbuckingvocab #genzterms #teacherlife #highschool #teachersoftiktok #school ♬ original sound - Larry Lexicon

However, a few people pointed out in the comments that many terms have roots in African-American Vernacular English (AAVE). So in his third TikTok, Lexicon chose to make some revisions, and explained to the class why those revisions were important.

"I know you think you came up with a lot of these words, but you didn't, and they've been around for a long time," Lexicon said, noting how parts of AAVE language are at first “looked down upon by society as uneducated or thuggish” yet nonetheless sneak into daily vocabulary through pop culture.

"What happens is it makes its way into like, white suburbia, and you get a middle-aged dorky white dude mislabeling it just for a whole generation as a term dictionary," he said. "And it ends up erasing the importance of it."

@larrylexicon Food smacks, music slaps. Got it. #larrylexicon #aave #genzterms #teacherlife #teachersoftiktok #school #revisions #slaps ♬ original sound - Larry Lexicon

Lexicon then admitted that it was a mistake made by his own ignorance, which was okay, because he was able to take feedback, learn and act on it to grow.

“Being ignorant’s OK, but being willfully ignorant and not doing anything about it — not so OK."

Viewers who have been following Lexicon’s series applauded him for taking the time to make even a silly little powerpoint into an important conversation for everyone involved.

“I love how you’re learning it and then teaching it! This is education!” one person wrote.

“The fact that you came back and showed HOW TO LEARN and that it’s OK NOT TO KNOW but not ok to be willfully ignorant,” added another.

“This is a hell of an example for your students,” read the top comment.

In case you’re curious, here are all the words gathered so far for the newly re-titled "AAVE-inspired Gen Z term dictionary."

  • “Delulu”— delusional.
  • “Eepy”— really sleepy.
  • “Be so for real”— “Are you serious?”
  • “Witerawy”— “Literally,” but with emphasis.
  • "Baddie" — "A pretty girl, typically very curvy and independent." But can also be a guy.
  • "Gyatt" — A substitute for “gosh darn!” typically used in response to seeing a baddie.
  • "Getting sturdy" — A dance usually used when winning, kind of like a touchdown dance.
  • "Bet" — Another way of saying "OK" or "alright." Likely a shortened version of “you bet.”
  • "Slaps" — a verb for when a song is really good. Or food. Maybe? Debate’s still out on that one
  • "Cap" — A lie.
  • "No cap" — The truth.
  • “On god”— undeniable truth.

Lexicon plans to add new words each week throughout the remaining weeks of school. If you’d like to follow along, he can be found on TikTok.


This article originally appeared on 5.19.23

True

Music’s biggest night took place Sunday, February 4 with the 66th Annual GRAMMY Awards. Now, fans have the opportunity to take home a piece of the famed event.

Longtime GRAMMY Awards partner Mastercard is using this year’s campaign to shine a light on the environment and the Priceless Planet Coalition (PPC), a forest restoration program with the goal of restoring 100 million trees. Music fans are 1.5 times more likely to take action to help the environment, making the GRAMMY Awards the perfect opportunity to raise awareness.

“Through our GRAMMY Awards campaign, we’ve created an opportunity for our brand, our partners and consumers to come together over shared values, to participate during a moment when we can celebrate our passion for music and our commitment to make meaningful investments to preserve the environment,” says Rustom Dastoor, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Communications, North America at Mastercard.

The campaign kicked off with an inspired self-guided multi-sensory tour at the GRAMMY House presented by Mastercard, where people journeyed through their passion of music and educational experience about Mastercard’s longstanding commitment to tree restoration. Then, this year’s most-nominated GRAMMY artist and a passionate voice for the environment, SZA, led the charge with the debut performance of her new song, Saturn.

Mastercard’s partners are also joining the mission by encouraging people all over the country to participate; Lyft and Sirius XM are both offering ways for consumers to get involved in the Priceless Planet Coalition. To learn more about how you can support these efforts, visit mastercard.com/forceofnature.

While fashion is always a highlight of any GRAMMY Awards event, SZA’s outfit worn during her performance of Saturn was designed to make a statement; made of tree seeds to help spread awareness. Fans can even comment ‘🌱’ and tag a friend on Mastercard’s designated post of SZA’s GRAMMY House performance for a chance to win a tree seed from the performance outfit*.

“SZA has a personal passion for sustainability – not just in forest restoration but in the clothes she wears and the platforms and partners she aligns herself with. It was important to us to partner with someone who is not only showing up big at the GRAMMY Awards – as the most GRAMMY-nominated artist this year – but also showing up big for the environment,” says Dastoor.

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One of the best parts of having kids is having a full-time, front row seat to the way they interpret and use language as they grow. There's the classic mispronunciations of "spaghetti," of course, but there are also one-of-a-kind terms they coin based on their limited vocabulary and the unique way they look at the world.

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People chicken. There are only so many ways to interpret that, all of which could land you on the FBI's radar.

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It's true. Once you see Colonel Sanders' bow tie as a stick figure, you can't unsee it.

Even KFC's official account responded to the video, writing, "You see it once, and you can't unsee it." HA.

White was not alone in his kid seeing the stick figure Col. Sanders.

"The SAME thing (conversation) happened to us 22 years ago!! My toddler was practically throwing himself trying to make us understand that he wanted 'Old Man Chicken'!!!!!! And yup, it was KFC he was asking for. We have referred to it as ‘Old Man Chicken’ all these years now 😂!!" shared on commenter.

"About halfway through we figured out what he was talking about but that’s only because my kids have been saying for years that the KFC man is a stick figure with a really big head. Tell Mason he’s not the only kid who thought that.Lol 😂😂😂" shared another.

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You can follow Dillon White on Instagram here and TikTok here.

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