Is “Ok Boomer” a Slur?


“Ok Boomer.” A phrase sweeping the internet, and showing us just how quickly old people get angry. It has been used to demean those of the “baby boomer” generation, which describes born from 1946 to 1964, the years directly following WWII. The phrase has become common on many social media platforms as a response to people acting as if the younger generations are worse than the older generations. That is a broad strokes definition, but the phrase’s explosive popularity brings to mind the question of whether or not it is a slur. Many people that have had the insult thrown at them seem to think so, while those using the insult seem to think the opposite. To answer this question we have to find the proper definition of a slur. Google defines a slur as “an insinuation or allegation about someone that is likely to insult them or damage their reputation.” Let’s pull this definition apart. An insinuation or allegation doesn’t really seem to apply in this situation, other than insinuating that the person the phrase is referring to is a boomer, but this is an insinuation so let’s say it counts. Now for the next part of the definition, “likely to insult them or damage their reputation.” The phrase doesn’t have enough depth (if taken in a literal sense) to damage someone’s reputation, or even insult them. It’s only the connotation of being a “boomer” that seems to bring about the insulting nature of the phrase. I’m inclined to say that the phrase itself isn’t a slur because of this clause. It lacks the literal insulting nature that a slur would have, you’re really only referring to someone by their generation. My literal conclusion is that the phrase is not a slur, but there is always more to a discussion than the pure literal answer, so let’s see what some twitter users have to say about the phrase. Twitter user Bob Lonsberry (@BobLonsberry) says ““Boomer” is the n-word of ageism. Being hip and flip does not make bigotry ok, nor is a derisive epithet acceptable because it is new.” To start off with I would like to respond to Bob’s tweet personally. Ok boomer. Now that I have responded let’s get into the discussion of the tweet. Bob equates the phrase to the “n-word” which is a term that has been used for hundreds of years to racially discriminate against people of African descent. Upon knowing this, I think that we can decisively decide that Bob has gotten confused and mixed up “a phrase used to annoy old people” and one of the worst, if not the worst word in the entire english language, based on hundreds of years of use to discriminate against an entire race that has been historically downtrodden by the majority. So to summarize, Ok boomer isn’t a slur, and anyone who thinks it is, should probably rethink their definition of the word “slur.”