Where does zoomer come from?
While there are earlier, unrelated slang meanings of zoomer, the word zoomer, for a member of Generation Z, blends that Z with boomer. A boomer is a member of the Baby Boom Generation, referring to the post-World War II boom in births especially between 1946–64.
Just as zoomer is modeled on boomer, Generation Z is modeled on the terms Generation X (roughly between 1966—80) and Generation Y, who are better known as millennials (born in the 1980–90s). It’s been recorded since at least 2016.
People might have come up with zoomer because of the more tongue- and keyboard-twisting likes of Gen Z-er? Gen-Zee-er? Gen-zer? Gen-zed-er? Zoomer may just be easier to pronounce. It also cleverly plays on the verb zoom.
Zoomers make up a large and diverse young population, about 27% of the US by some estimates. Popularly, zoomers are associated with use of digital technology and social media, having progressive and inclusive viewpoints, and being concerned about the future, especially climate change.
Examples of zoomer
Who uses zoomer?
Zoomer can be used neutrally to refer to a member of Generation Z, especially when referring to large social trends.
Gen Xer if the US has been at war for over half your life
Millenial if the US has been at for over 2/3rds of your life
Zoomer if the US has been at war for your entire life https://t.co/omrpvCi0wZ
— dustytoast (@dustytoast) January 9, 2020
But, zoomer is also very often used with an ironic, humorous, or even mocking tone, a lot of the times in reference to (or as pitted against) members of other generations. That’s because, on social media, referring to generations is frequently less about specific age groups and more about characteristics and attitudes of associated with social groups. Some people like to claim zoomers are addicted to social media and are too sensitive—along with other complaints that often target youth.
boomer boss: “we think of our business as like a family”
millennial boss: “we think of our business as like a giant polycule”
zoomer boss: “we think of our business as like an anime death cult”
— t says: keep on truckin’ (@tgracchus1848) January 10, 2020
There are two notable zoomer memes. One is OK zoomer, which riffs on the viral OK boomer and is often used to call out or dismiss a young person in some way, often ironically.
— Vyrel (@kyle_vyrel) January 12, 2020
The other zoomer originates as a young male character stereotyped for his online activity, music and gaming tastes, and dancing styles. It involves an edit of a so-called Wojak character with pointy, side-shaven hair and round glasses, often looking highly distressed. This zoomer is often portrayed as being upset by the things around him that don’t fit his tastes or perceptions.
Occasionally, zoomer has referred to a really zippy and energetic (zoom-y) boomer. This use appears to be fading, but it still exists in some older media from the 2000s, so be aware. Also be mindful that zoomer may be used in other contexts, too, from the name of a media company … to British slang for breasts.
This is not meant to be a formal definition of zoomer like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of zoomer that will help our users expand their word mastery.