In recent weeks, the phrase “OK, boomer” has been trending on social media as a clap-back at those expressing opinions deemed outdated or out of touch. “Boomer” references the baby boom generation, usually defined as those born between 1946 and 1964. As now used, however, the phrase “OK, boomer” is not always directed exclusively at baby boomers, and even a teenager could find herself on the receiving end of a snarky OK, boomer.”

As the phrase rises in popularity, some boomers have complained that it is ageist, akin to a slur against those in their mid-50s through mid-70s. Meanwhile, users of the phrase may not consider it to be ageist at all or, if they do, see little harm in “punching up” against a generation perceived as unduly advantaged.

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