Teen Slanguage

So XUP Jr. is free from school for a couple of months and will be heading into her final year of high school in September. Oh my.

Another couple of years and she won’t even be a teenager anymore. As much as I was dreading the teen years, and despite some of the high drama, it’s actually been a lot of fun so far.

It’s fun because it makes me feel old and young at the same time. I’m so often reminded of my own teen years because there is so much that never seems to change from one generation of teenagers to another.

We oldies like to shake our fists and curse-out “kids today,” but essentially they’re not all that much different than we were at their age. The drama, the hormones, the parties, the hair and clothes, the music, the frustrations with school and parents – they may have a different hue and tone, but it’s all the same basic stuff.

As is the language. Teenagers have always developed a language of their own to define their culture. A lot of it comes from the music of their generation. A lot of it is just new ways of defining old words.

Some teen slang has staying power and survives forever. The word “cool,” for example. It was first used to mean “hip” or “fashionable” way back in the 1930s and was introduced by the Black jazz culture. Beatniks adopted it decades later and it’s still very current with teenagers and other “agers” today.

Some, teen slang (thankfully) fades away with the generation that brought it into the language. You don’t hear “groovy” much anymore.

Anyway, these days there are all the new text and chat acronyms which make their way into vocal conversations:

“O.M.G. mother! I am so N.G.T.!!”

“What? What? Why are you talking in letters that don’t spell anything? I was asking you something important! In English!”

Her response meant she was a little embarrassed by the conversation and was not really interested in discussing it further (so Not Going There).

So from this and many other discussions between us and overheard discussions between her and her friends, I’ve been compiling a little Dictionary of  Teen Slanguage. It needs to be updated almost weekly because many of the terms and expressions lose their cool pretty fast.

Emo, for instance is seldom heard anymore in the little teen society we inhabit. It’s old. It’s passé – both the word and the lifestyle.

Almost everything was once “random,” (So then he just assigned us this totally random homework thing) , but it’s becoming a lot less so these days. I guess as teens get older they realize life is a lot more deliberate than originally thought.

Although we oldies have just recently caught on to “epic” and “uber” and “wicked” and “sweet” as hip new adjectives,  I’m afraid they are also well on their way back to wherever they came from.

To express the coolness of something,  “sick” is still in use, but “ill” is much hipper and “dope” and “stupid” or “duke” are pretty cool, too. (Note: “Hip” has not actually been in current teen usage since the 1960s)

The other day, the kids were talking about bowling the night before and one of the guys said, “Oh ya, she totally raped me.”

“What? What?” said I, once again dumbfounded. “Someone raped you while you were bowling?”

They all laughed because apparently, “getting raped” now just means getting severely beaten in a game or sport of some sort.

I couldn’t help myself from pointing out that I thought this was a highly inappropriate use of the term because it diminishes a word that really means something quite horrible.

They all nodded and pretended to listen to what I was saying. One of them said, “Just because we use the word like that doesn’t mean we don’t know that rape is bad.” To which I asked them how they thought someone who actually had been raped would feel when they heard that word being used to mean a fun and friendly competition.

Anyway, I’m hoping that phrase doesn’t have too much of a lifespan.

I’ve also noticed that most of our beloved four-letter words, which we reserve to make really important points, are part of every day lingo , (though in really bizarre contexts), when teens are talking amongst themselves. It makes me wince to hear my sweet, innocent child asking a friend, “What? Is my dick too long for your liking?”

I have no idea what that was supposed to mean and I was too tired to ask.

However, here are some other words in this week’s Teen Slanguage Dictionary for which I have figured out the meaning and which you may or may not already know:

A holla back girl – is a doormat, a girl who lets herself get used by guys

Baked – high on some illicit substance

Beast – someone who’s really good at something

Booking it – This has absolutely nothing to do with reading. It means to take off or run away or even hurrying

Boom – great or amazing

Cap – to insult

Creeper – a wierdo

Crunk – if a party was “crunk” it means it was a good ‘crazy drunk”

Don’t jock my swag/swagger/swagga – don’t copy my style (also: don’t steal my swag/swagger/swagga)

Jacked – stole

Kickin’ – being cool or relaxing

Trippin’ – to over-react (something I apparently do ALL the time)

User – a friend who only hangs with you to get something

The V Card – which you may want to hold, fold or play (virginity)

Whack – crazy

Wangsta – (one of my faves) a person who tries to act cool, but ain’t

Weak – something “lame”; something that sucks.

*****  It should be noted that this dictionary is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Under no circumstances should anyone over the age of 21 (unless you’re a rap singer or SYTYCD judge) make use of these words, terms or expressions in normal conversation.