What is Gen Alpha slang? The meaning behind words like ‘skibidi,’ ‘sigma’

If a swarm of middle schoolers call you an "Alpha Sigma" or a "Looksmax Mogger," take it as a compliment. If they snicker and whisper "Beta" or "Skibidi Ohio Rizz," quickly walk away before they can insult you further. 

If none of these terms make sense to you, it’s probably because you’re unfamiliar with Generation Alpha slang.

What is Gen Alpha?

Gen Alpha refers to those born between 2010 and 2024. To put it into perspective, the oldest members of this generation are only 14 years old and are in the years when puberty hits full stride.

Three teenage boys looks at their smartphone screens.

As Gen Alpha reached an age where slang and trends became ever so important, they quickly developed their own from popular memes and videos across the internet. 

Googling the definition of the word isn’t cutting it anymore.

With easy access to YouTube Shorts and apps such as TikTok that provide algorithms specific to one’s interests, much of the emerging slang cannot be decoded without the context of trending videos. 

FILE - In this photo illustration, a Tik Tok logo seen displayed on a smartphone. (Thiago Prudêncio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Deciphering the new language of Gen Alpha often requires one to make calculated clicks and searches to reach a feed — created by an algorithm — that is similar to one of Gen Alpha. There, after viewing a series of videos where the slang originated, one can finally catch on to the meaning behind these words. 

What are Gen Alpha slang terms?

Terms like "Alpha Sigma" and "Skibidi Ohio Rizz" are just the tip of the iceberg to the endless list of new lingo by the up-and-coming generation. 

As their predecessors, let’s break some of it down before we inevitably lose what's left of our relevancy: 


"Sigma" is commonly known as the eighteenth letter of the Greek alphabet. But in Gen Alpha terms, it also has various meanings like dominant leader, lone wolf, cool and popular, according to a video of middle schoolers explaining "Sigma" to their teacher, user @mr_lindsay_sped, on TikTok. This can be paired with "Alpha," which has a similar interpretation.

Mog and Looksmaxxing

To "Mog" is to compare physical attractiveness with someone else. This goes hand in hand with the TikTok trend of "Looksmaxxing," which means maximizing or enhancing one’s looks through methods such as diet, skincare and even plastic surgery. In this case, a "Looksmax Mogger" would describe someone who has reached their full potential in physical appearance, being the most attractive.

Tween influencer Evelyn Unruh on her phone at her home in Olathe, Kansas on November 30, 2023.(Arin Yoon for The Washington Post via Getty Images)


"Skibidi" originally comes from a trending Arabic song. However, it started gaining more recognition from the viral "Skibidi Toilet'' Youtube Shorts series by Alexey Gerasimov with a storyline around human-headed toilets, according to Forbes. Although it has no set meaning and can be used interchangeably, the Skibidi Toilet plot portrays it as something evil, giving the word a negative connotation.


The name "Ohio" — to Gen Alpha — is not just the name of a state but a synonym for all things weird and cringey, according to @mr_lindsay_sped, who breaks down slang on TikTok. In the last few years, "Ohio" became known as the state where crazy posts originate from, beginning the "Only in Ohio" trend, insinuating that strange things only occur in Ohio.


Finally, "Rizz" is a term largely used by Gen Z and Gen Alpha and is a shortened version of the word "charisma." It describes the ability to charm someone. Putting the puzzle pieces together, "Skibidi Ohio Rizz" is an insult to someone weird, who lacks the ability to flirt, according to TikTok users.

Understanding Gen Alpha

These brief breakdowns of a few Gen Alpha slang terms provide a general definition, but understanding the full joke and references around these words requires extensive and prior knowledge of trending videos. 

 "My generation is screwed," 10-year-old fifth-grader Anthony Biello told FOX 5 NY. "I just think there’s so many things that is bad about it ... there’s just so much brainrot."

"Brainrot," the word so casually used by Anthony, is yet another internet slang from TikTok. It is the over-encompassing word and phenomenon that describes the usage of mindless and meaningless internet words, according to a TikTok post by Weber Shandwick. 

A preteen boy concentrating on smartphone with ear buds and bowls of snacks. (Photo by: Kurt Wittman/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Anthony and his friend group are a self-proclaimed "brainrot" group and integrate these online words into daily conversations. Most of these new terms come from inside jokes on the web that spread around via video, he said. 

As Gen Apha bring these "brainrot terms" into real-life situations, Millennials and even Gen Z struggle to understand them. Countless videos on TikTok depict Gen Z receiving help from younger siblings or students to identify the definitions.

Haley Jo Klein is one of the Gen Z TikTok influencers that went viral from videos of her decoding the new words that Gen Alpha has introduced. Her confusion towards the slang is validated through the comment section agreeing with her sentiment. 

With the rapid evolution of internet slang, Gen Z can be seen coming to terms with the fact that they are not the newest and freshest generation, as Gen Alpha has officially entered the era of trendsetting. 

"After going through all of this Gen Alpha slang, I don’t think my brain knows how to speak English anymore," said Klein in her videos. "I’m gonna go bury myself because apparently I am no longer with the times." 

Shorthand guide to Gen Alpha terms

  • Sigma: good/cool
  • Beta: weak
  • Skibidi: bad
  • Mewing: looking good
  • Fanum tax: stealing food
  • Sus: weird/suspicious
  • Negative aura: not cool
  • Mad lit: stylish