Home > Basics > Bye-Bye, ‘Bandwidth’ — Here Are 25 Phrases Gen Z Uses at Work

Bye-Bye, ‘Bandwidth’ — Here Are 25 Phrases Gen Z Uses at Work

gen z coworkers talking at work

Gen Z might not use “bandwidth” and “don’t boil the ocean” in their everyday work jargon, but they’re bringing phrases of their own to the office table. Here are some of the most popular sayings — and emojis — Gen Z is likely to use in the workplace.

>>MORE: Are you a Gen Z’er navigating new workplace phrases? Check out the corporate jargon you should know.



Mainstream or unoriginal.

Did you see X Company’s Instagram reel? It got a ton of likes, but it seemed kind of basic to me.

Big Yikes

Embarrassing; “ouch.”

I accidentally sent an email meant for you to my boss. Big yikes.



To stop supporting someone because of their unethical behavior.

I saw that the company fired employees who told people to go out and vote on their social media — it’s canceled.


Not literally the chief executive officer, but the best at. 

She’s the CEO of viral TikToks. I wish we had her on the marketing team.

>>MORE: Level up your marketing skills with a Forage marketing virtual experience program.



Often used as “I’m dead” to mean you find something hilarious.

Did you see they tried to promote the company with a TikTok trend from two years ago? I’m dead.



Over the top; dramatic.

He wants us to present the slides and do a separate recording of them? That’s so extra.

>>MORE: How to Improve Your Presentation Skills



Tweak or do something tactfully, skillfully, or cleverly.

I’ll send my cover letter draft to you by EOD — I just need to finesse it a bit first.


Great, amazing, exciting.

That graphic you made for Instagram was fire. Nice work!


For real; true, valid.

If I don’t get that job after the hiring manager spent the entire Zoom interview complimenting me, I’m going to be upset fr.


Show off.

Can’t wait to flex my presentation skills at the all-hands meeting on Tuesday; they won’t know what hit them.

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A woman who acts as her own boss, though the term has evolved since its inception to take on both positive and negative connotations. For Gen Zers, typically used ironically as a hard-working person who puts work before anything else. Both a noun and verb.

I’ve been putting in 12-hour days this week. I’m in my girlboss era.



Very, really, definitely; opposite of lowkey.

I highkey want that promotion but I’ve already made it clear to my boss, like, five times.

Hits different

Experiencing something that feels different or new compared to before.

My afternoon iced latte hits different after that networking event this morning.


It’s the ___ for me

Referring to something that stands out about a person, thing or situation; can be used as either an insult or a compliment.

Not X Company running an ad about climate change when they’re literally ruining the environment. It’s the hypocrisy for me.



On the downlow; secretly, understatedly.

I lowkey want to volunteer for the social committee, but I haven’t spoken to anyone on it.

Lives rent-free in my head

Something you can’t stop thinking about.

That new jingle from Company Z’s ad lives rent-free in my head.



To be a fan of; liking something a lot.

Did you see Y Company’s new plus-size fashion campaign? We stan.

Sending me

Finding something hilarious; see “dead.”

The gif she sent in #watercooler-chats is sending me.



Company X announced an influencer campaign last month, but today the influencers they were supposed to work with took down their sponsored posts. I wonder why — isn’t that a little sus?



Gossip, news, or juicy information. Frequently used in “spilling the tea,” when sharing loaded information.

Did you attend the strategic planning meeting on Monday? Spill the tea.



Feeling, atmosphere

If I want to do a vibe check on a company before applying, I’ll look at their ratings on Glassdoor.



A win.

I’m so glad sales got the W with that deal last week; things were looking bleak before then.

>>MORE: Experience a day in the life in sales with Forage’s sales virtual experience programs.



Gen Z’s enemy when it comes to emojis. Reserved for their millennial counterparts.




Hilarious; see “dead.”

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