You Don't Want People to Call You "Unc" on TikTok

"Unc" is an AAVE slang term being used online to call another user old — even if they're not actually that old.

Sara Belcher - Author

May 1 2024, Published 7:04 p.m. ET

There's a lot of different slang that gets thrown around the internet, and if you're not chronically online, you'll probably miss the context of at least a handful of different terms.

Lately, one of the common slang terms going around in the comments section of TikTok videos is "unc." No, this isn't just the abbreviation for the University of North Carolina — it's actually a slang term gaining popularity, even with the app's younger users.

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So what does "unc" mean? Let's break it down for those of us who don't want to parse through TikTok comments to get the answer.

What does "unc" mean on TikTok?

The term "unc" is an AAVE word that's short for "uncle," and in the context of TikTok, it's often used by people trying to call out either older users or users who are acting older. As described by various Black TikTok users, there are different reasons you could be called "unc" in your comments — but for the most part it's because someone, for one reason or another, is trying to call you old.

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"There's two ways to know that you're finally reaching the unc stages," TikTok user @yoohendo explained in a video. "Tier one unc stage is when you finally lose that young [person] stamina... I ain't gonna lie the other day I was walking up these steep a-s stairs and my body almost folded on me."

Finding your body no longer young and spry is one reason you may find yourself being called "unc."

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"Tier two unc stage, aka the premium unc stage, is when the young [people] start making fun of your age." Hendo continued. "I'm going to be honest with you, nobody can avoid it. Everybody's going to have to deal with it at some point in time. But when it's your turn, that s--t low key be hurting."

This is where the qualifications for the "unc stage" get a bit blurry. As explained by fellow TikTok user @j0talk, part of it is about the context.

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"There's this [guy] I used to go to school with... he's not even that old, he's like 24, 25 — but it's the s--t he do that make me call him unc," J0 explained. The user explained that this friend of his continued to attend college parties, go after girls at the school who were getting their degree, and refuse to move on from his university years.

"That's why I call him unc, because bro you're too old to do what you're doing, so now I gotta call you unc to make you feel bad, make you feel like you too old to be doing this s--t," he said.

In some instances, "unc" isn't used to describe someone's actual age, but to call out inappropriate behavior. Other things that make TikTok user J0 people call someone "unc"?

"If you take sports too serious still and you're not doing nothing," J0 said.

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