Are You “Cheugy”?


By Eunho Jung, Assistant Junior Editor

Do you have a side part? Do you enjoy wearing skinny jeans? Do you shop for Rae Dunn products at HomeGoods religiously? Do you drink your coffee out of a sparkly tumbler? Well if you’ve said. … I hate to say this, but you are what Gen-Z calls “cheugy,” or you’re just a millennial. 

The New York Times defines cheugy as an adjective “to describe someone who is out of date or trying too hard.” While this isn’t completely directed at millennials, Gen-Z is not holding back. 

Remember when Gen-Z attacked the Baby Boomer Generation and called them “Boomers?” Well, it looks like millennials aren’t safe from the wrath of Gen-Z either. 

The word, which blew up on TikTok, has over 29.5 million views under the hashtag. TikTok user Addison Surber uploaded a video where she shares her opinions on what she considers cheugy. “Buzzfeed, anything made by Buzzfeed. Cheugy. Frosé? Very cheugy,” Surber shares. 

The word was coined by Gaby Rassan during high school. She wanted to find a term for people who were trying way too hard. “There was a missing word that was on the edge of my tongue and nothing to describe it and ‘cheugy’ came to me. How it sounded fit the meaning,” Rassan shared with The New York Times.

However, with all trends, there are some individuals who are speaking out against the use of this word calling it misogynistic and classist. Another TikTok user Kiera Breaugh shared her opinions on the word. “I need you to understand the idea that thinking you’re better than other women for any reason, especially if it’s paired with consumerism is misogyny,” Breaugh explained. The comments under the video agree with her take on the matter. One user commented, “[Generation Z] is so concerned about the environment, but then literally feeds fast fashion. trends are passing at the speed of light whyyy.” Another comment reads “On today’s episode of JUST LET WOMEN LIKE THINGS DAMN.”

While Breaugh and the commentators are certainly not wrong, it doesn’t hurt to poke fun at millennials here and then… Right?

But for those who wish to fit in with the younger generation, here’s a guide to avoid being called a “cheug.”

First, you must avoid Buzzfeed surveys at all costs. Actually, just avoid Buzzfeed completely. Don’t unironically buy “Girlboss” stickers and stick them on your laptop or your custom-made planner. And don’t you dare buy “Live, Love, Laugh” signs and stick them all over your house. Stick to a middle part only. Start wearing baggy jeans, and burn all your skinny ones. Anything from Lilly Pulitzer is not allowed.  Next time you go on vacation, do not wear a floppy sun hat with cheesy phrases. 

Meena Harris, the niece of Vice-President Kamala Harris and a millennial herself, took to her Instagram story to express her disdain for the word. Posting a screenshot from an NYT article that read “‘One of my friends said lasagna is cheugy,’ said Ms. Cain,” Harris captioned the post “I would like to report a hate crime,” tagging Samin Nosrat, a contributor to the New York Times Cooking.

Juliana Lee, the junior editor of the Patriot Press shared her opinions on this new trend. “I personally think it’s hilarious and doesn’t do any harm towards millennials. It just showcases generational differences and mocks them for outdated trends and styles. But in reality, one day we, the gen zers, will be outdated and irrelevant too so this will probably bite us back in the future.”

Lee is not wrong. Millie Loka, a junior at Wayne Hills High School, agreed. “I think it depends on how it’s used. Everything I’ve seen is just poking fun, but I can see how it can get a little mean,” she shared.

I wonder who Generation Z will attack next?