Boomers, zoomers, and other generation names

Generation names

It's a challenge to keep track of all the generation names, let alone know the generation to which you belong. But fear not. Our guide will help you navigate the slang terms for each generation from the 20th century ... and into the 21st.

GI generation - 1901 to 1927

The name comes from World War II (GI stands for "government issue" or "ground infantry"), which largely defined people born during this period. People also reverently refer to the GI Generation as "The Greatest Generation" since they persevered through many hardships, including two world wars and the Great Depression.

The Silent Generation - 1928 to 1945

This generation is known for silently conforming to traditionalism and not "speaking out." Generally, they are hard-working, financially prudent, and resilient. People in this generation are also known as radio babies due to the advent and prevalence of radios during this period.

The Baby Boomer Generation - 1946 to 1964

After emerging victorious in World War II, America and other Western nations experienced a significant surge of babies born, thus, the "baby boom" name. Additionally, boomers in the later half of this generation (1954 to 1964) may also be called, Jonesers, which comes from the "keeping up with the Joneses" phrase, and in this case, refers to late-boomers' undying quest to obtain what others have.

Generation X - 1965 to 1980

There are various explanations for this name's meaning, but the most prominent is that "X" represents an unknown variable, which reflects the generation's desire to be undefined. Members of this generation are often referred to as Gen Xers. However, if they were born in the late 1970s or early 1980s, they may also identify as an Oregon Trail'r. This name comes from the collective experience many Gen Xers had playing the Oregon Trail computer game during their elementary school years.

FUN FACT: People born around the intersection of two generations that relate to both are cuspers and may be categorized as a portmanteau of the two generations. For example, if a Gen Xer was born in 1979 and can relate well to millennials, too, they can label themself a xennial.

Generation Y - 1981 to 1996

The name simply comes from the following letter in the alphabet that the previous generation was termed. However, this generation is now more commonly known as millennials due to their adolescence during the end of the second millennium. Boomers often like to blame the world's problems on millennials, to which millennials infamously retort, "OK boomer." As millennials mature into adults and become parents, they bloom into parennials. Also, cusper millennials born around 1996, might identify as zillennials, or zennials, for short.

Generation Z - 1997 to 2012

Again, the name continues the alphabetical sequence as "Z" follows "Y," and it's the last generation with members born in the 20th century. People often refer to Gen Z members as Gen Zers and zoomers (a play on boomers).

Generation Alpha - 2013 to 2025

The last stop on our tour is "Generation Alpha." This generation is the first to be born entirely in the 21st century, hence the "Alpha" label, which is the first letter of the Greek alphabet. It remains to be seen which generation will follow alphas, but you can bet there will be more slang for it.