News flash! Your friendly neighborhood mom is back to inform you on some breaking teen slang to prove that we parents are not living in the Stone Age! Folks, let’s get our teen interpretation hats on.
Let me preface this by saying, this is a long explanation for one small phrase of jargon. There was a lot to unpack here. To start, let’s witness these teen sounds as expressed in their natural habitat.
One recent day, as I was mom ubering (without pay, I might add) my teens and friends around (shall we refer to this as mubering?), they were laughing uproariously about something. As I eavesdropped, it became clear that another boy had posted a TikTok of himself lifting a heavy weight at the gym, surrounded by girls. “Gymbro got W rizz!”, one of the kids shouted. There was more uproarious laughter. I chuckled myself, because I just knew this would be a funny one, from the sounds of it.
I had to form a complete interrogation to get to the bottom of this because in fact, we have three areas of slang within four words. Let’s begin with “gymbro.” Not unexpectedly, “gymbro” implies a male who frequents the gym often and cares very much about his muscular appearance. This term would be similar to “musclehead”. If you’re from certain areas of the northeast or have seen the show “Jersey Shore”, the term “guido” might also apply. Just picture a buff guy who lives in a white ribbed tank top, even in cold temps, in order to show off his toned physique. Would the female version of this be “gymbra”? Anyone?
Next up is “rizz”, to which I was genuinely clueless. I had never heard this phrase before. I believe it originates from charisma, although I can’t be certain because I was told it is “how good you are at pulling girls”. Apparently, this muscletoned gymbro had “rizz” because he was surrounded by girls admiring his strength.
Finally, we have “W”, which is not too hard to interpret. “W” stands for winner. Alternatively, “L” stands for loser. (How excited I feel when something is straightforward!) Incidentally, in my day, making an L symbol with your fingers on your forehead was a quiet way to call someone a loser without actually saying it out loud. (Not nice, I know). You could even get your point made from across the room. Anyhow, this gymbro’s rizz was assigned a “W” because of the success he had lifting the heavy weight. Had he dropped it or struggled, this probably would have been an “L” situation.
I wondered whether “L” and W” could be used in front of any old description. As my kids were exasperated by me at this point, I turned to my friend whose daughter speaks this same language. She confirmed that “W” and “L” can only be used on their own, or in front of the word “rizz”. So folks, if after reading this you were going to go into the office and casually mention your “W” golf game over the weekend…..just don’t.
Later on, I was testing out this catchy phrase myself, thinking I would coin it. I wandered into the kitchen declaring, “I’ve got the W rizz!”. A light bulb went off in my head. This rizz biz was reminding me of some lyrics from a song by Jay-Z. “For shizzle my nizzle!”, I shouted out triumphantly. This was totally the same vibe, I thought.
Grinning to myself for putting it all together, I looked around and noticed my husband staring at me quizzically. The older teen was actually glaring at me, arms crossed. The younger one was giving me side eye, from behind his device. It all felt a little unsatisfactory at this point.
“Guess I’ll take my W rizz back to my cave now”, I muttered. “Make that an L”, said my older son, freshly. “Wouldn’t call it rizz”, whispered the younger, under his breath.
Rude. No one gets me, for shizzle.