What does 'cheugy' mean? And more importantly, are you a cheug?

There's a new word catching on with Gen-Z, and it's taking a swipe at millennials everywhere

There are now even dedicated Instagram pages, like @Cheuglife, to guide people on what is and isn't cheugy. Cheuglife/Instagram
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Gen-Z loves to drag millennials on social media. First, they came for skinny jeans and the side parting, and now, they have a new insult for them.

Do you like the Obamas and lasagna? Then you, my friend, are cheugy. Never heard the word before? Of course you haven’t, because you’re cheugy.

Let us talk you through it…

What does cheugy mean?

Cheugy (pronounced chew-gee, emphasis on the "g") is a roundabout way of saying you try too hard. It's a term coined by Gen-Z to describe someone, usually a millennial woman, who in their eyes is a little lame and out-of-touch. Something you might say to your mum when she still uses LOL to mean "lots of love" – that sort of thing. But cheugy is now coming for the things that many millennials still believe are cool.

EJ Dickson defines it in Rolling Stone as "an aesthetic that is somewhere between basicness and cheesiness, or anything that seems hopelessly out-of-touch or trying too hard".

Where did cheugy come from?

The term was coined by TikTok user Gaby Rasson, 23. According to The New York Times, the origin of cheugy has been traced to Beverly Hills High School, circa 2013, when Rasson attended. She claims she was searching for the perfect word to describe those who actively pursued outdated trends.

“It was a category that didn’t exist,” Rasson said. “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.”

What makes you cheugy?

Well, strap in, because according to Gen-Z, a lot. Order Starbucks or watch Friends? You're cheugy. Own clothing with labels on display or read Rupi Kaur poetry books? Cheugy. And if you caption your Instagram photos with Ariana Grande lyrics or watch Disney films as an adult, then, we're sorry to tell you, but you are officially cheugy.

There are now even dedicated Instagram pages to guide people on what is and isn’t cheugy. Cheuglife, for example, has 36,000 followers, and labels itself as an educational resource for all things cheugy.

“Lasagna is cheugy. Don’t come for us. It just is. Definitely still making it for dinner though,” one of its recent posts reads.

Among other things the page comes for are Ugg slippers, the Twilight films, Tiffany & Co necklaces and fedora hats. Feeling attacked yet?

“Having this quote on any form of wall decor, pillow, pencil case, etc. makes you a cheug,” the page posted alongside a “Live, laugh, love” quote.

Another post states, “Getting proposed to at Disney World is cheugy. Even worse? Having your honeymoon there.”

A cheugy move

Now, Rasson is attempting to cash in on the cheugy momentum by selling the word as an NFT. "I created the word in 2013. At first, it was just me and my high school friends using it. Fast-forward to 2021 and cheugy has gone viral," Rasson said. "I thought it would be very cheugy to create The Cheugy NFT."

The NFT was initially listed for the price of one Ethereum (ETH), however after receiving no bids, it was reduced by 90 per cent to 0.10 ETH.