TikTok Slang Words 2023: Be Fluent in TikTok Talk

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Carolyn Howell

Last Updated: Dec 22, 2023

TikTok 101

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IYKYK how it feels not to understand what kids these days are saying when they talk in slang. If you knew what that acronym in the beginning stands for, congratulations! You can still consider yourself “cool!” If you don’t have a clue, keep reading to learn more about the TikTok slang words 2023 has spawned.

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TikTok Slang 2023: What Did My Kid Just Say to Me?

Language has evolved at an accelerated pace with the internet. Thanks to TikTok, teenagers are developing a unique vocabulary that defines their generation and culture. Kids adopt TikTok slang in everyday life to fit in with their peers and stay relevant and current. Like other TikTok trends, TikTok phrases 2023 have given birth to reflecting the types of content they enjoy and identifying the voices of the creators they admire.

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TikTok Vernacular: The ABCs of TikTok Abbreviations

Let’s start with those head-scratching abbreviations!

  • BMS. Broke my scale. This refers to a scale rating, typically of someone’s attractiveness, with 1 being the lowest, 10 the highest, and BMS exceeding the scale.
  • FYP. For You Page. This is the main TikTok feed. Users often use #FYP in their video descriptions to optimize for a higher ranking on this feed. 
  • GRWM. Get ready with me. This refers to a type of TikTok content wherein creators document their routine as they get ready for the day. 
  • IYKYK. If you know, you know. This internet slang usually refers to an inside joke. 
  • MFW. My face when. Users typically say this to introduce their reaction to a specific scenario. 
  • NPC. Non-playable character. This is a video/computer game acronym that refers to a programmed background character that nobody controls. They usually display repetitive movements and have no storylines or dialogues. NPCs on TikTok are users who behave like NPCs in video games with scripted movements. 
  • NSFW. It’s not safe for work. This is an old internet slang that refers to a piece of content that’s not appropriate for viewing in the workplace. NSFW on TikTok may mean the content is not appropriate for teens and kids. 
  • OOMF. One of my followers. Creators use this acronym to refer to a follower anonymously. 
  • OOTD. Outfit of the day. You’ll often see this slang in TikTok beauty or fashion videos wherein creators show off what they’re wearing for the day. 
  • POV. Point of view. This describes a first-person perspective in a video. 
  • TFW. That feeling when. The acronym introduces a person’s emotional response to a certain situation.

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TikTok Speak: It’s Not Gibberish

It’s not gibberish; it’s just TikTok speak! Let’s decode some of the most popular ones. 

  • Ate that. When somebody says they “Ate that,” they mean they did something remarkably well. 
  • Bet. Creators usually say “Bet!” enthusiastically when they really like something. It means it’s something they would bet on. 
  • Bussin. This slang term is synonymous with “delicious.”
  • Caught in 4k. The “4k” here refers to a high-resolution image. So, “Caught in 4k” means a camera clearly captured someone or something. The slang usually describes a scenario that nobody can deny. 
  • Cheugy. The word describes somebody or something uncool, trying too hard but failing, or that is a total flop. 
  • Delulu. This slang is short for “delusional.” It usually describes a person with unrealistic expectations or a distorted view of reality. 
  • Granola girl. This describes an environmentally-friendly, outdoorsy girl. 
  • Gyat. This is an expression that’s very similar to saying “goddamn,” which a person may say as a reaction to a person’s physical attractiveness. 
  • It’s giving. The slang describes someone’s look or vibe that is dramatic, intense, or over-the-top. 
  • Main character. This is descriptive of a person who behaves like the spotlight, or everyone’s focus is always on them.
  • Mid. It’s short for “mediocre” and describes anything that’s average or nothing special. 
  • Ratio. This refers to a comment that receives more engagement than the original post. 
  • Rizz. The term refers to someone’s flirting skills or ability to entice other people. 
  • Simp. This describes a person who’s desperate for attention. 
  • Spill/Spilling the tea. This slang is synonymous with “gossip/gossiping.”
  • Sus. This is short for “suspicious.” It may also refer to the suspicious look on someone’s face, which resembles the sus emoji. 
  • Unalive. This is an alternative term for “dead” or “killed,” both of which TikTok may censor. 

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TikTok Slang Words 2023 and Beyond

Casual “made-up” vernacular has always had a place in the English language. Every generation develops popular slang terms that define their cultural influences and interests. These days, social media plays a significant role in how vocabularies evolve across generations. Creators and brands that wish to stay relevant in the face of changing trends need to stay current on popular slang phrases. 

Effective communication often means speaking the language of your target audience on TikTok. It can be as simple as using trending abbreviations and catchphrases. But it also involves understanding the context of their language in terms of their interests and values. For example, GRWM videos are not just about fashion and beauty. Viewers who enjoy this type of content also like the sense of everyday camaraderie they get from it. 

If you encounter users who use gaming lingo in their comments and you’re into gaming yourself, then you can further explore your shared interest. The vocabulary someone uses can give you a peek into a person’s likes and dislikes if you know how to interpret it. 

The TikTok slang words 2023 has produced may sum up the younger generation’s content preferences this year. The most popular slang terms may also shape what their future interests may look like. If you need expert help identifying suitable audiences for your TikTok content amidst these quickly evolving times, sign up for a High Social plan. High Social’s advanced, proprietary AI technology can help you keep up with the lightning-fast pace of social media and deliver your videos to more interested viewers. Start growing your TikTok today!

TikTok 101