Ok Boomer Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How To Use It

Your writing, at its best

Compose bold, clear, mistake-free, writing with Grammarly's AI-powered writing assistant

Since emerging on social media in 2019, the phrase “OK boomer” has been used to dismiss or mock attitudes stereotypically attributed to older members of the baby boom generation and to highlight generational differences. It is also now being used by members of older generations to criticize younger people. 

Here’s everything you need to know about this viral catchphrase, including what it means and how it has been used.

What Does the Ok Boomer Meme Mean? 

The “ok boomer” phrase is a viral, dismissive retort that young people use to denounce the views of people who are part of the baby boom generation. It’s often used to challenge stereotypes of more youthful generations. For example, when someone says, “Millennials just want handouts,” a millennial might respond with something like, “Ok boomer.”

The term was popularized in discussions about the 2016 U.S presidential election and its aftermath, where people often used it to criticize older voters (i.e., those born between 1946 and 1964) for voting for Donald Trump despite his historically low approval ratings.

The quote also has a second use to call out or dismiss out-of-touch or close-minded opinions associated with the baby boomer generation, particularly on social and political issues such as immigration reform, gun control, LGBTQ rights, healthcare reform, and climate change.

What Is a Baby Boomer? 

A baby boomer is a person born between 1946 and 1964, after the Second World War. Baby boomers are the first generation of Americans to grow up with television and mass media, and they were the first generation to experience the mass entry of women into the workforce. They were also the first generation to experience widespread consumerism.

Baby boomers grew up during a time of rapid social change. They were born during economic prosperity and took advantage of their newfound wealth by pursuing higher education and starting families earlier than previous generations had. They also experienced significant cultural changes, including civil rights, counterculture, and sexual liberation movements.

Baby boomers have seen many changes and are now entering their retirement years. These older people are beginning to experience new needs as they age — including health care needs, lifestyle changes, and financial concerns — that require different services from those offered by traditional retirement communities.

What Is Generation Z? 

Generation Z is a term used to describe people born in the early 2000s. It’s used because the generation that preceded them (millennials) were defined by their use of technology and desire to change the world. Gen Z is characterized by its use of technology and wishes to be self-reliant and independent.

Gen Zers are defined as being born between 1995 and 2012. This means that members of this generation are currently 17 to 24-year-olds. In demographics, Generation Z includes many people born in or around 2000. However, some people born later than 2000 may also be considered part of this group because they have grown up with many of the same experiences as their older peers.

The term “Generation Z” was first coined by marketing expert David Stillman in 1994; however, it did not gain widespread popularity until around 2007, when marketers began to realize that this group had unique characteristics that set them apart from other generations before them.

Is the Phrase “Ok Boomer” Insulting? 

Many have tried to determine if “OK boomer” is technically an insult. The answer is technically no; you can use this term in many different ways, and it’s really up to you. However, the way “Ok boomer” is recieved does depend on a speaker’s intentions and the context of the situation. 

Using this term would be appropriate if you’re trying to call out or dismiss out-of-touch or close-minded opinions associated with the baby boomer generation, particularly on social and political issues. On the other hand, if you’re just calling someone an old person who’s disagreeable towards something, then using this term may not be appropriate. 

Its usage has grown recently as older generations seem more likely to hold fast to their beliefs and close off from contrary views. In 2016, a news story reported that one in three Americans say they don’t trust other people. Another survey revealed that nearly half of millennials think it’s “important” to share their political views with friends and family members — an increase of 10 percentage points since 2012.

Depending on the recipient’s perspective of the word, it can be seen as a slur from young hecklers bent on ageism and the end of friendly generational relations. It’s essential to make sure that language is used in positivity, even if it’s just a hashtag in a remix of a TikTok video. 

While there are some cases when people older or younger than you might inspire an eye roll or disappointment in how something is handled, be careful about your words. New companies like The New York Times and The Guardian have all begun to realize that comments like these can be highly damaging, so make sure you’re using your own words positively. 


What was once a joke has now become an internet phenomenon that has sparked a conversation about the generational differences between Baby Boomers and Generation Z. While some people may take offense at the phrase, other baby boomers have embraced it and even used it as a way to make fun of their generational shortcomings. 

The phrase has also been used by members of older generations, including Gen X-ers and even Silent Generation elders, to criticize younger generations. With its viral spread across social media platforms like Twitter and TikTok, there is no doubt that “OK boomer” will continue to spark debate for years.

The Word Counter provides the best tools to improve your vocabulary and offer advice on how you can start having a more extensive vocabulary from today. 

We want you to see the power better communication brings into your life, and we will do just about anything to help you see that! Check out our latest blog articles to learn more about language for yourself! 


Boomer Definition & Meaning | Dictionary.com

Boomer definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary

MILLENNIAL | Cambridge English Dictionary