If you’re part of the slightly older generation (think, millennials or older) you probably think of “sheesh” just like any other expression.
In fact, it’s been used since the 1900s to express someone’s annoyance, disappointment, or even surprise – at least, that’s according to the dictionary definition on Merriam Webster.
However, for Gen Z, the word seems to have taken a brand new meaning.
You can see this on TikTok. “Sheesh” is now used to express a whole new slew of emotions. Some use it to express their cringe, others use it to show excitement, while others say “sheesh” in order to brag about something.
The way it’s said on TikTok is a bit different too. Nowadays, it’s said in a loud voice and with a high pitch: “SHEEEEESH.”
Sheesh Sound Effect Meme - TIKTOK COMPILATION
In February of last year, a video showing frogs had the “sheesh” audio on it. Fast forward to 2022, and there are now hundreds of thousands of videos that use the “sheesh” audio. Many TikTokers have also now begun using the expression even in real life – but with the new meaning, and not the old meaning as indicated on Merriam Webster.
Most of the people who use “sheesh” in real life tend to be the younger demographic. For instance, middle schoolers or even high schoolers who often use TikTok. The situations where the expression is used include humblebragging about their video game skills or subtly flirting with girls using humor.
If it’s an older Gen Z, however, you can bet that it’s used in a less serious, more humorous type of way.
Regardless of how it’s used, this just shows that language evolves over time, even if it’s just a small expression that people have been using for over a hundred years.