The Brief: The terms "boomer" and "ok boomer" have become popular insults that millennials and Gen Zers use to call someone uncool.

Bluesquiggle
DEEP DIVE

Intergenerational rivalry is not a new phenomenon, and in 2019 it’s clearly alive and well. Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials, Gen Zers, and everyone beyond and between can often be found blaming each other for various wrongs in the world. The most recent form this has taken is young people using the terms “boomer” as a generic insult for someone who is ignorant, out of touch, or otherwise uncool. The term can have a variety of connotations, depending on the amount of irony with which it is used and the feelings the person using it has about Boomers.

Animosity between generations often relates to how political leanings often fall along generational lines. In many ways, “boomer” as an insult is the antithesis of snowflake, a term often used by boomers to insult younger and left-leaning people for being overly sensitive.

What Does ‘Ok Boomer’ Mean?

In addition to just “boomer,” the phrase “ok boomer” can be used to dismiss something that someone says. It can be spoken to an actual boomer, or a younger person to draw the comparison. It’s a ubiquitous response to someone who is expressing an outdated or close-minded worldview. This meme has become so popular that you can buy merch with the phrase printed on it.

TikTok #OkBoomer

On TikTok, the hashtag #OkBoomer has received over 10.3 million views. It features memes making fun of boomers for being behind the times, closed-minded, rude to baristas, and more. Many of these videos include a song called “ok boomer” by peter kuli & jedwill, which has lyrics that savagelyΒ dunk on Baby Boomers.