Zesty slang term.

Zesty (Slang)

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Updated Nov 30, 2022 at 11:34AM EST by Zach.

Added Aug 03, 2022 at 12:27PM EDT by Phillip Hamilton.

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Zesty is an internet slang term most often used to call someone flamboyantly gay in a derogatory manner. It is also used to call someone or something lively and energetic. The term became popularized on TikTok in 2022 as a way of jokingly calling someone out for doing something that can be perceived as stereotypically gay or effeminate.


Merriam-Webster[1] dictionary defines the adjective "zesty" as, "having or characterized by zest, appealingly piquant or lively." The term has been defined on Urban Dictionary[2] in several ways, with the two most popular definitions defining zesty as "gay." For example, on May 11th, 2009, a user defined zesty as, "The way my advisor describes someone who looks and dresses like they could be gay or homosexual." In March 2022, a user defined "zesty" as, "meaning you look snazzy and gay," becoming the most popular definition with over 400 thumbs-ups.


The term "zesty" was popularized on TikTok throughout 2022, with videos under the hashtag "#zesty" boasting over 70 million total views. Some of the most popular videos to use the hashtag show people acting effeminately. One of the most popular uploads under the hashtag, posted by TikToker[3] @david_is_lamee on January 29th, 2022, shows several young Black men posing effeminately around the house and gained over 1.9 million views in seven months (shown below).


On May 4th, and May 15th, TikTokers[4][5] @allanbarth and @iiamkylenn posted videos captioned, "was finna get zesty but my dad walked in" where they dance in a specific way then scramble to grab the camera as a door behind them opens, gaining over 3.1 million and 1.7 million views respectively in three months (shown below, left and right).


On July 27th, Distractify[6] published an article looking to define "zesty," claiming it "refers to a trend or video that is fun and exciting." HITC[7] similarly defined it on August 2nd. The definitions do not mention how it is used to refer to people as gay.

Various Examples

zesty ass 2 MFAOOO aye who this dork ass n---- hiesty ass named josh twitter n---- talking Codysaurus is LIVE! @codysaurus_ ... So apparently 'zesty' is a common response on Tiktok to call someone gay? But according to Google, it also means someone has a passive aggressive sexual vibe that makes common situations unnecessarily, awkwardly sexual... and I'm into both options. 1:31 AM - Jul 26, 2022. Twitter for iPhone Zesty ass chicken tender

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External References

[1] Merriam-Webster – zesty

[2] Urban Dictionary – zesty

[3] TikTok – david_is_lamee

[4] TikTok – allanbarth

[5] TikTok – iiamkylenn

[6] Distractify – Zesty Has Become a Popular Phrase on TikTok, but Many Wonder What It Means


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