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"Do it for the plot": What on earth is Generation Z talking about here?

‘Do it for the plot’: What the f4 is Gen Z talking about?

Here are six key and cool phrases. Full disclosure: This list will probably be out of date the moment we publish it.

Published Oct 22, 2023  •  Last updated 2 days ago  •  2 minute read
A row of young people stand against a wall looking at their smartphones.
Your kid is smarter than the AI bots that monitor chats. Photo by DisobeyArt /Getty Images/iStockphoto

Gen Z and Gen Alpha have better slang than we do. It’s just fact.

We’re not going to give you a complete guide to decoding their text-speak because they’re savvy enough to keep changing it on us, but here are some of the cooler and more interesting phrases out there.

Do it for the plot. Gen Z might not have grown up on choose-your-own-adventure books, but they are hyperaware they are the protagonists in their stories. And sometimes they do a thing just to make the storyline better. If they need firin’ up for a challenge, their inner monologue or their peers’ encouragement might be: “Do it for the plot.”

F in the chat. “Thoughts and prayers” are left to the boomers and political crowd. When Gen Z wants to offer condolences, they do so with the singular F. The F’s origin story can be found in the video game Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. During a section of game where a player mourns the loss of a colleague, players are prompted to press the F key to pay respects. Dropping an F in the chat is the Gen Z way of showing support and saying: “I see you, that’s sad.” It’s like using the Care emoji on a Facebook post: to indicate someone in the chat needs support, you can say: “F in the chat for [name],” which will lead to a long chain of Fs.

F4. You think your kids can’t use curse words in wholesome games like Roblox? They might already be typing “bish” instead of the -itch word it sounds like, proving your kid is smarter than the AI bots that monitor chats. Now, anonymous sources inside my house tell me, they use the first letter of the swear word followed by the number 4. Don’t jump to conclusions if F4 or B4 pops up in your child’s chat, though: F4 can also mean quitting a game; B4 can stand in for “before.” Context is everything.

Massive L, massive W. This is shorthand for lose or win. A massive L is an impressive fail, either in a game or life.

Rizz. I love this one so much, and it’s popular enough it has made it into the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Becoming mainstream could mean it’s on its way out as teen slang. Rizz is short for “charisma.” It can be used in a romantic context or to describe how your life is going in general. If you’re nailing it, you can boast “mad rizz” or “w rizz.” If you’re having an off day, you might be suffering from “negative riz.”

SOZ. This is a throwaway word for “sorry.” It’s neither a full apology, nor the same as dropping an F in the chat. It’s more like “can’t talk soz.”

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