The kids are saying ‘GYAT’: What does it mean?

And is it a good or a bad thing? Well, that depends....


What’s GYAT, how do you pronounce it ... and should you be saying it in the first place?

Take note: It's not a G-rated word.

GYAT (which rhymes with “squat” or “bought,” or “Fiat” depending on your pronunciation of the “g”), can be an acronym for “Girl Your A** Thicc” or an abbreviation for “goddamn,” according to Bark, an online monitoring company that tracks teenage slang.

Believe it not, it's a compliment.

Urban Dictionary explains that “GYAT" is used when complimenting someone with a curvaceous body, while “GYATT" (spelled with two Ts), describes a man or woman with a large butt. has a more general definition: “Gyatt or gyat is a slang term that is used to express strong excitement, surprise, or admiration.” 

Where does GYAT come from?

"Dayum is a stylized way of saying damn, usually used to indicate surprise, with humorous intent, rather than in response to injury,” John H McWhorter, an associate linguistics professor at Columbia University, tells “It was originally a southern Black pronunciation, exaggerated for effect.”

"Gyat" emerges from similar origins.

“GYAT evolved from ‘goddamn,’” explains McWhorter. “Specifically, a heightened way of saying it has always been ‘GOT-damn!’ which GYAT is based on.”

Kelly Elizabeth Wright, a postdoctoral research fellow in language sciences at Virginia Tech, tells "It appears there are several competing theories for the provenance of this term, and because of this, there are also conflicting opinions on what type of term it is. Some consider this to be Black Southern, others Jamaican, and still others more generally Black ... there are many places where those traditions overlap."

She adds, "If you were to ask me what community seems to be using it the most currently, I’d place it with younger, online gamers."

According to Wright, "GYAT is one of hundreds of nominees for 2023 Word of The Year, an annual vote held by the American Dialect Society."

How kids these days are using ‘GYAT'

We can thank Gen Alpha — those born after 2012 — for putting “GYAT/TT” on our radar.

“Kids start using this type of slang as they embark on independence from their parents and gravitate toward their peer groups and form their own identities,” David Burke, aka “Slangman“ and co-host of the podcast “Slingin’ The Slang!” tells

Teens use GYAT verbally and on social media and messaging platforms like TikTok, Twitch, Discord and YouTube. Slang like GYAT can start a conversation or be shorthand to get around electronic character limits.

Burke says GYAT is not an insult.

“If someone says, “Wow you have a GYAT” it doesn’t mean, “You have a big butt,” he explains. “It means you have a big beautiful butt.” 

Can parents say ‘GYAT?’

Sorry, but no.

Burke says it’s important for parents to be able to interpret teen code to make sure they engage in safe behavior, but the lingo is “age-stamped.”

“If parents start using GYAT, teens will stop,” he says.

Dropping “GYAT” in any conversation — especially in a group of kids — will embarrass most teens, says Titania Jordan, CMO of She adds, “There’s a fine line between being a cool or 'cringe' parent."

It's better to bring up the topic in private.

“Inquire in a joking manner or type it in a text message to your teen and see how they respond,” suggests Jordan. “Parents can also make it a game by asking their teen to quiz them about slang.”

In most cases, your curiosity will be hilarious to your kid.

“Either way, you’re bonding,” says Jordan. “However that happens with teens is a win.”