In the continuing generational wars between the Baby Boomers and younger generations, the newest shot fired was by the Millennials and Gen Z with the phrase “OK boomer” as a flippant response to the laments of their older foes.
Gen Z has been known to throw an “OK boomer” out in response, but Gen Z doesn’t discriminate. One need not actually be a baby boomer to be met with “OK boomer.”
So what is this new brand of insult? Think of it as an exasperated response from a generation that Baby Boomers have accused of ruining everything from the housing market to their favorite restaurants. Millennials, tired of the way the older generation has painted them for years, finally just started responding to these rants and accusations with a simple, “OK Boomer.”
But the phrase doesn’t just apply to baby boomers. It applies to anyone of any generation who is resistant to change.
Baby Boomers have been pretty quick to call the new phrase a slur, while Millennials and Gen Z see it as fighting back after decades of being panned and wronged by baby boomers.
Fun Fact: Though “OK boomer” gained popularity in 2019, its first recorded use was on Reddit in 2009.
A Deeper Dive: Let’s talk about the word “OK” for a second. There is actually a generational difference when it comes to this common expression.
Older Americans read “OK” as either positive or as an acknowledgment of seeing something. They do not view it as negative or sarcastic.
Younger Americans tend to view “OK” as negative and sarcastic. So, when you’re texting with someone from a different generation, you may want to be aware that there are different attitudes toward a common and simple word.