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High School Teacher Creates Funny Dictionary To Help Clueless Oldies Work Out Gen Z Speak

You might just be one of the oldies who find Gen Z speak weird.

  • It is one of nature’s ways that we often feel closer to distant generations than to the generation immediately preceding us – Igor Stravinsky
  • It is perhaps the same feelings that led a high school teacher in Massachusetts to find a way to bridge gaps with the new generations
  • As funny as it seems, however, the thought of a teacher-created Gen Z dictionary posted by a student has gone viral, immediately gaining 500,000 likes on Twitter as soon as it was posted
  • James Callahan, the teacher, shared the spreadsheet of the colloquial terms his students use and asked for a donation to upgrade his school’s laptops
  • Words and phrases including “periodt”, “wig snatched” and “clapped” feature in the document, which he called the Callahan’s Generation Z Dictionary

James Callahan, 43, a sociology teacher at Lowell High School in Massachusetts, USA, has become a viral sensation when one of his students shared a spreadsheet he has made on Twitter.

The controversial spreadsheet was posted by Twitter user @Mewtailv2 as a photo. It features a four-page document that Callahan created, and called it the ‘Callahan’s Generation Z Dictionary.’

Callahan said:

I often overhear students in the hallways or my classrooms using words (or) slang terms in their personal conversations. In order to understand them better, (and) make a connection with them on a personal level, I started asking them what certain words meant.

He believed that despite the rigidity of the typical teacher-student dynamic students can be better performers if teachers are able to reach out to them. As such, he decided that learning the students’ words is the way to go and have set upon doing so. This year, however, he decided on a list.

This list which is now tagged as a ‘dictionary’ includes all slang words Callahan had heard from his Generation Z students. The words are listed in alphabetical order and notations about their meanings were also included.

The said ‘dictionary’ became so popular it crashed the school’s server. Because of this, Mr Callahan decided to make it public so his new fans can all read it for free. However, he is also now urging anyone amused by his project to make a donation to the school.

See Callahan’s Gen Z dictionary entries below:


“I love learning the words that their generation comes up with — both the unique ones as well as the ones where they take an existing word and give it a completely different meaning,”

Callahan said his list is long, but there are many more Gen Z terms that exist but are not included because they aren’t being used anymore.


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