No Cap, With This Guide You’ll Become the CEO of TikTok Slang
Every day, dozens of slang words sprout from TikTok and start to infiltrate our conversations — as anyone who spends time around Gen Z can confirm. Due to the platform’s one billion active users, it has a vibrant ecosystem of micro-communities, each of which has developed its own lingo to communicate with one another — reinventing slang as we know it today.
Sure, slang such as “bussin” can seem silly. But with an ever-growing population and ever-expanding demographics (and constantly shifting trends), it’s no secret that your target audience is on TikTok — and it’s essential to learn their language if you want to connect and engage with them.
This glossary will give you the run-down of the top TikTok slang words used in 2023 (and beyond). By the end, you’ll not only have the building blocks needed to navigate the dynamic and captivating world of TikTok, but it’ll allow you to develop an authentic relationship with your target audience.
No cap. 🧢
The Glossary of Slang
No, being an accountant on TikTok doesn’t mean you’re crunching numbers. An Accountant is what people call themselves when they want to dodge questions about their job and where they got their money.
The slang originated from a song written by Rocky Paterra when he wanted to avoid questions about his struggling acting career. He wrote the infamous line “nobody asks you questions when you’re an accountant” and today, the term is commonly used by sex workers on TikTok.
“This girl told me she was an accountant but it turns out that she actually runs an OnlyFans page.”
Altered My Brain Chemistry
With over 53.7M views and counting, the #alteredmybrainchemistry trend shows no sign of slowing down. On TikTok, saying that something “altered your brain chemistry” is to say that it was such a powerful moment or memory that it changed you as a person.
Of course, being TikTok, it’s not as serious as it sounds. Many of the examples from this trend are nonchalant or are to make others laugh.
“Moment with my dog that altered my brain chemistry: when he got stung by a bee.” 🐝
The slang “ATP” has a few meanings but the most common definition is that it’s an abbreviation for “answer the phone.”
“It’s an emergency, so I DMed her to ATP ASAP.”
If someone calls you a “beta,” you might be on the wrong side of TikTok. This is slang for a man who is insecure, subservient, passive, and weak and is often used as an insult. A derivative of the "alpha male" meme/concept, the beta is the man that is lesser than and subservient to the alpha male.
“She cheated on him three times and he keeps taking her back. He’s such a beta.”
BDE is an abbreviation for Big Dick Energy. This is slang to describe someone or something that is confident, aspirational, and powerful (and it isn’t necessarily reserved just for men). That’s because BDE is an emotional/psychological attribute - not a physical attribute.
Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL)
You’ll find lots of videos on TikTok showing the “before and after” of a cosmetic procedure and the Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) is no exception. The BBL is a popular surgery where a surgeon places fat from one area of the body to the 🍑 make it appear larger. Accounts often post their “BBL” results on TikTok.
“I traveled to Mexico to get a BBL and here are the results!”
Be F*cking For Real (BFFR)
Not to be confused with Best Friends Forever (BFF), BFFR stands for Be F*cking For Real. Popularized by TikToker liyahhh.38, it means to stop playing dumb and to get serious. You can say it when someone is being naive, dense, or denying the obvious.
“You think I want anything to do with your man? BFFR.”
“Body count” is slang for how many people you’ve slept with. This TikTok phrase dates back to 2020 but is still commonly used in videos today.
"Ever since I told him my body count he hasn't texted me back"
Bones Day or No Bones Day
The “Bones” or “No Bones” day saying came from Noodle, an elderly pug on TikTok, and his owner Jonathan Graziano. Graziano would help Noodle stand in his dog bed and if Noodle stayed up, it was a “bones day” — meaning a good day to go and be productive. But if Noodle sank back into his bed, it was a “no bones” day: a signal to go and take it easy.
“Noodle said it was a no bones day, so I’m not doing anything today.”
This is slang for something that is “great” or “awesome” and is typically used to describe food or beverages. It was first popularized by Janelle Rohner when she made “nature’s cereal” (berries, coconut water, and ice cubes) and called it “bussin.”
“I went to Chick-Fil-A to try their new chicken sandwich and it was bussin bussin.”
If someone says “cap” or uses the cap emoji (🧢) on TikTok they’re saying it’s a lie. Conversely, “no cap” means they’re telling the truth.
“No cap, I was able to get tickets to Taylor Swift’s tour.”
Caught in 4K
To be caught in 4K means you’ve been caught red-handed. Since 4K has a horizontal resolution of 4,000 pixels (which is considered high-definition) this means someone has crystal-clear evidence of you — often on camera — in the middle of the act.
“Did you see that video of Ned Fulmer kissing on that co-worker in the club? Dude was caught in 4K.”
CEO (of Something)
A CEO (Chief Executive Officer) is defined as the highest-ranking person in an organization and handles major decisions. But if you’re called a CEO on TikTok, it means you’re the leader or most talented at something — and usually it's a random and trivial field.
Used in another sense, referring to the CEO of something can be a play on the Karen meme. In this usage, someone is facetiously saying that want to speak to the CEO (i.e., whoever is in charge) of something - usually an abstract concept. This is a way of expressing that you have an issue with the concept/thing in question.
“You used blueberry goat cheese and prosciutto?! You’re the CEO of charcuterie boards.”
"I would like to speak to the CEO of ADHD, I cannot get anything done today!"
If someone calls you Cheugy, you might want to revisit your life choices. Kidding, but this is a word to describe someone (or something) that’s not quite uncool, but not exactly cool, either. It’s a middle ground of cringe — something that’s just slightly out of touch.
It can be a font, the “girl boss” energy, the Applebees in Times Square, Santacon in NYC, and Minions. But, one thing is certain: nothing is safe from being considered “cheugy.”
“She had one of those ‘Live Laugh Love’ signs in her bathroom and it was so cheugy.”
The “clean girl” on TikTok is a type of aesthetic marked by dewy, sun-kissed skin, feathered eyebrows, moisturized lips, and slicked back hair. Described as an “off-duty model,” the “clean girl” is a lifestyle to strive for, where TikToks titled “my clean girl makeup routine” reguarly fetches hundreds of thousands of views.
“I’ve only been drinking lemon water for the past week. I’m trying to have that clean girl aesthetic.”
Dead (or 💀 )
If you see someone saying “dead” on TikTok that doesn’t actually mean they’re dead. For Gen-Z, "dead" or the skull emoji, means that something was so funny that they died laughing. This slang has begun to replace the typical laughing face emoji (😂) with the skull emoji (💀) to signal laughter.
“Wait, did you see that funny video I sent you on TikTok? I’m dead.”
This term refers to “Don’t Trust Bitches,” and was first popularized by A Boogie Wit da Hoodie’s 2020 song “DTB 4 Life.” However, there’s debate on TikTok that the acronym is actually short for “Don’t Trust Boys.” Either way, it’s a cynical abbreviation.
“She cheated on me and now I’m DTB forever, on God.”
E-Girl (or Egirl)
With nearly 25 billion views, the e-girl (electronic girl) is a quintessential trope in the world of TikTok. According to Vox reporter Rebecca Jennings, an e-girl is a “category of hip young people whose defining qualities are that they are hot and online.”
But unlike the classic Kardashian influencers that you can find in the wild, the e-girl seldom leaves her room. She sports pigtails, crop tops, colorful hair clips, purple hair, knee-high stockings or schoolgirl skirts — it's a sort of neologism of an aesthetic, blending elements of early 2000s "scene," adolescent fashion, and it's own spin.
“I’m sick of partying. I’m going to get into gaming, stay in my room, and just become an e-girl instead.”
On TikTok, “fit” is slang for outfit and is used to describe one’s choice of clothing. However, British people will also say “fit” to describe someone as attractive (so just pay attention to the accent the word is said in 😉).
“So for the fit today we have a coach bag, dress from Princess Polly, and shoes from Doc Martens.”
Fire (🔥) or Lit
If something is awesome or cool, people will describe it as “lit” or “fire.” It’s not uncommon to see people just use the fire emoji (🔥) as well to communicate this. This slang can be used to describe almost anything, from clothes, to apartments, to celebrations, or food.
“We went to Nobu for his 45th birthday and it was so fire.”
On TikTok, “girly pop” is slang for someone who is queer.
“He posted a video with his girlfriend, but I don’t know, something is telling me he’s girly pop.”
GYAT or GYAAT
This is the abbreviation for “Get Your Act Together,” is used in the context of when you’re discreetly appreciating someone’s body shape - it is a way of admonishing oneself. First popularized by streamer YourRAGE to refer to whenever someone curvy popped up on his streams, consider it another alternative to “damnnnn.”
The slang word “Heather” was inspired by Conan Gray’s song, where he describes the familiar gut-wrenching scenario of your crush being in love with the popular and pretty “Heather” instead. Essentially, a “Heather” is the “it girl” — it’s who everyone wants to be and is in love with.
Having a “Heather” in your life is a universal feeling many TikTokers can relate to, with one “Heather” TikTok accumulating over 175K likes and hundreds of comments.
“My mom was such a heather in high school.”
Hot Girl Summer
A hot girl summer is to be living your best life unapologetically, looking and feeling your best — usually when you’re single. It’s all about confidence, having fun, and living up the summer to its highest potential.
“He dumped me right before graduation. I don’t even care. It’s time for my hot girl summer.”
“It’s giving” is used to describe the vibe that thing brings. TikTok’s fashion communities usually say it to describe the look of an outfit, but can also be used as a way to say someone or something is exceptional (i.e. “it’s serving”).
“So I put on this apron as a fashion statement, but it’s giving Denny’s waitress.”
ISTG is short for “I swear to God.” It can be used on TikTok to prove that you’re serious about something or are feeling exasperated.
“ISTG if you don’t ask her out already I’m going to lose it.”
Whether you’re on TikTok or not, the word “Karen” has dominated social media. It’s usually used to describe an entitled woman who has irritating demands and is likely to cause a scene in public if her requests aren’t met.
“Why are you getting upset if they don’t have Pepsi? Don’t be such a Karen.”
If you watch sports, you’ll be familiar with the concept of a “wins” (W) and “losses” (L) column. To say something is an L is an abbreviation for “loss” or “losing,” or that something was an embarrassment.
“I tried to ask her out and she said no. The biggest L.”
Main Character Energy
You know that movie scene where the person is walking down the street in slow motion and everyone is staring at them? That’s main character energy — when someone puts themselves first and the world revolves around them. Far from conceited, this is a powerful compliment people give one another on TikTok.
“Ever since she got over her breakup, she’s been giving main character energy.”
Mid is short for “mid-tier” or “mediocre” and is used for when something is subpar. It can be used as an adjective or a noun and cana be used to describe someone’s looks, a meal, or anything in between. But according to Urban Dictionary, it’s somewhat derogatory — the word is “used to insult or degrade an opposing opinion, labeling it as average or poor quality.”
“Yeah, I saw him on Hinge but he looked kind of mid to be honest.”
Nope, this isn’t the classic “omg” everyone is familiar with. “ONG” is shorthand for “On God,” which is another way of saying they swear to God that they’re telling the truth or strongly believe in a sentiment or statement.
“Dude I saw Trevor’s profile picture and ONG it’s totally photoshopped.”
Point of View (POV)
No need for you to be confused here — point of view means the same thing on TikTok as it does in real life. 😅 POV is used to signal when the viewer should be watching the video from a specific perspective.
However on TikTok, people often use “POV” for the “nostalgiacore” trend. This is when users try to evoke a specific memory or common occurrence, such as the POV of remembering what it was like to wake up early for school only for it to be a snow day (90’s babies will understand).
“#pov we have to come up with an alibi for our crime.”
Pick Me Girl
A “pick me girl” is someone who claims they're “not like most girls” in an attempt to get attention and validation from men. They might reject lipstick and heels, and would never order a salad on a date (but rather a burger) since they’re “one of the guys.”
“She asked me how I could wear heels at the prom and not Converse like her, and I told her she was such a ‘pick me girl.’”
Pushing P or 🅿️
If someone says you’re pushing p on TikTok, rejoice — that’s a good thing! Coined by Gunna and Future’s song “pushin P”, the “p” stands for player and this essentially means you’re staying true to yourself or being authentic.
Make it Make Sense
On TikTok, “make it make sense” is a phrase people use when they’re confused and don’t understand how something happened.
“Rachel got a 95 on her test and she didn’t even study. Make it make sense.”
If you play video games, chances are you might already be familiar with this term. NPC stands for “Non-Playable Character” and are characters you interact with but aren’t controlled by a real person. These characters are just following a per-determined script and they do not have any agency of their own.
On TikTok, NPC is a harsh slang word for someone who is “incapable of thinking for themselves” and regurgitates information. There’s also a TikTok trend where people pretend to be NPCs, where they have deadpan expressions, glassy eyes, and repeat the same empty phrases.
“Bro, don’t be such an NPC and actually think about what you’re saying. You’re literally just regurgitating the echo chamber of your Twitter feed.”
Everyone knows her. Everyone admires her. Everyone wants to be her. She’s “that girl.” But who is she, really?
“That girl” is a person who has her life together. She owns a nutri-bullet to make smoothies, takes a pilates class at 7 AM, gets straight As, and has a ten-step skincare routine. The “that girl” videos on TikTok are all about self-improvement, productivity, and wellness — although some critics say the trend is more sinister than it seems.
“Layla invited me to a workout class at 6 AM. But I’m not ‘that girl’ yet — I love to sleep way too much.”
A ratio has nothing to do with mathematics and instead everything to do with the comment section. On TikTok, saying “ratio” means the original post has more replies than it does likes — a signal that the original post is a bad take.
Consider saying “ratio” as an alternative to the “dislike” button.
When someone cannnot get something out of their head, it lives there “rent free.” This means it occupies your headspace because you’re too preoccupied with it.
This phrase can also be argumentative. Say a TikToker posts a video complaining about someone. A comment could say, “Damn, that person lives in your head rent free” — meaning their obsession with them is showing.
“My ex called me 46 times last night. I really live in his head rent free.”
Coined by YouTuber Kai Cenat, “rizz” is a male’s ability to impress a woman — also known as “game.”
The popular definition of a “simp” is someone (typically a male) who is desperate for the attention and validation of a woman — to the point where they’ll become submissive. It usually has negative connotations and you can use it as both a verb and a noun.
“Is it bad that I simp for her?”
The definition of “slay” is to kill something. On TikTok, it means the same thing (just not in a gruesome way). If you “slay” something, it means you did a killer job and knocked it out of the park.
It could be that you’ve aced a job interview, put together a stunning outfit, or just to compliment your overall attitude and confidence. It’s typically said by members of the LGTBQ + community.
“Did you see Rihanna’s outfit at The Grammy’s last night? Slay.”
Let’s say there’s someone you’re hooking up with but you don’t want anyone to know about it. That’s your sneaky link.
“Are you going to be home tonight? I might have my sneaky link come over.”
Nope, “spicy” isn’t slang for your taste buds. People on TikTok say “spicy” as slang for something that is either sexual, mildly aggressive (for example, a hissing stray kitten), or controversial. In this case, context is essential for this slang word.
“I just adopted a kitten but she’s spicy. She’s not a fan of people yet!”
Derived originally from the video game "Among Us," "sus” is short for “suspicious” or “suspect.” On TikTok, it’s used when something just doesn’t feel right or if someone doubts your intentions. If someone calls you “sus” it means you can’t be trusted.
“I’ve been trying to talk to you but you keep avoiding me. Why are you being sus?”
This slang isn’t exactly new, but it’s more prevalent than ever. “Tea” is slang for gossip, and if someone says it’ll be “served piping hot” that means it’s particularly juicy. But you can also say “tea” with the following emojis: 🫖and ☕.
“You were at the party last Saturday right? Omg, spill the tea please.”
“Unalive” is a substitute for kill. Oftedn used ironically, it’s a way to circumvent TikTok which will flag or remove content that explicitly mentions death-related incidences.
“I was supposed to be back three hours ago, my mom is absolutely going to unalive me.”
A “vibe check” is the Gen-Z version of asking “What’s going on?” or “How is everyone?” If someone “passes” the vibe check it’s a good thing — it means that person has a “vibe” and is pleasant to be around.
In short, “w” is an abbreviation for “win.” It's a way of saying that something was a good achievement, something someone should be proud of. You can use it to describe just about anything, from music, to outfits, to food, or someone’s lifestyle.
YT is the shortened version of “white” in reference to someone’s race or skin tone.
“She sure loves yt boys."
Here's where you get the stuff we don't put on the blog. Learn how to craft an entire TikTok marketing strategy from scratch, plus get access to our proprietary data on the top 100 creators and brands on TikTok by industry— and a lot more.