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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

Identity

Celebrate International Women's Day with these stunning photos of female leaders changing the world

The portraits, taken by acclaimed photographer Nigel Barker, are part of CARE's "She Leads the World" campaign.

Images provided by CARE

Kadiatu (left), Zainab (right)

True

Women are breaking down barriers every day. They are transforming the world into a more equitable place with every scientific discovery, athletic feat, social justice reform, artistic endeavor, leadership role, and community outreach project.

And while these breakthroughs are happening all the time, International Women’s Day (Mar 8) is when we can all take time to acknowledge the collective progress, and celebrate how “She Leads the World.

This year, CARE, a leading global humanitarian organization dedicated to empowering women and girls, is celebrating International Women’s Day through the power of portraiture. CARE partnered with high-profile photographer Nigel Barker, best known for his work on “America’s Next Top Model,” to capture breathtaking images of seven remarkable women who have prevailed over countless obstacles to become leaders within their communities.

“Mabinty, Isatu, Adama, and Kadiatu represent so many women around the world overcoming incredible obstacles to lead their communities,” said Michelle Nunn, President and CEO of CARE USA.

Barker’s bold portraits, as part of CARE’s “She Leads The World” campaign, not only elevate each woman’s story, but also shine a spotlight on how CARE programs helped them get to where they are today.

About the women:

Mabinty

international womens day, care.org

Mabinty is a businesswoman and a member of a CARE savings circle along with a group of other women. She buys and sells groundnuts, rice, and fuel. She and her husband have created such a successful enterprise that Mabinty volunteers her time as a teacher in the local school. She was the first woman to teach there, prompting a second woman to do so. Her fellow teachers and students look up to Mabinty as the leader and educator she is.

Kadiatu

international womens day, care.org

Kadiatu supports herself through a small business selling food. She also volunteers at a health clinic in the neighboring village where she is a nursing student. She tests for malaria, works with infants, and joins her fellow staff in dancing and singing with the women who visit the clinic. She aspires to become a full-time nurse so she can treat and cure people. Today, she leads by example and with ambition.

Isatu

international womens day, care.org

When Isatu was three months pregnant, her husband left her, seeking his fortune in the gold mines. Now Isatu makes her own way, buying and selling food to support her four children. It is a struggle, but Isatu is determined to be a part of her community and a provider for her kids. A single mother of four is nothing if not a leader.

Zainab

international womens day, care.org

Zainab is the Nurse in Charge at the Maternal Child Health Outpost in her community. She is the only nurse in the surrounding area, and so she is responsible for the pre-natal health of the community’s mothers-to-be and for the safe delivery of their babies. In a country with one of the world’s worst maternal death rates, Zainab has not lost a single mother. The community rallies around Zainab and the work she does. She describes the women who visit the clinic as sisters. That feeling is clearly mutual.

Adama

international womens day, care.org

Adama is something few women are - a kehkeh driver. A kehkeh is a three-wheeled motorcycle taxi, known elsewhere as a tuktuk. Working in the Kissy neighborhood of Freetown, Adama is the primary breadwinner for her family, including her son. She keeps her riders safe in other ways, too, by selling condoms. With HIV threatening to increase its spread, this is a vital service to the community.

Ya Yaebo

international womens day, care.org

“Ya” is a term of respect for older, accomplished women. Ya Yaebo has earned that title as head of her local farmers group. But there is much more than that. She started as a Village Savings and Loan Association member and began putting money into her business. There is the groundnut farm, her team buys and sells rice, and own their own oil processing machine. They even supply seeds to the Ministry of Agriculture. She has used her success to the benefit of people in need in her community and is a vocal advocate for educating girls, not having gone beyond grade seven herself.

On Monday, March 4, CARE will host an exhibition of photography in New York City featuring these portraits, kicking off the multi-day “She Leads the World Campaign.

Learn more, view the portraits, and join CARE’s International Women's Day "She Leads the World" celebration at CARE.org/sheleads.


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