Teens in this day and age have their own set of slang words that make understanding their conversations challenging. As parents, hearing or seeing their exchanges with peers and not understanding a thing can be baffling, or even worrying. But to lessen your worries and keep you up-to-date with the terms they use when communicating with peers, we are here to help.
With our quick guide, we will help you navigate and understand the complex world of teen slang terms. Get the chance to explore and look into 200+ decoded terms that the younger generation uses in this day and age.
Here you will gain valuable insights and understanding into teen language, allowing you to strengthen your bond with them. Let’s get started!
Unraveling the Mystery of Teen Slang
Understanding the language and terms used by your teens is important for effective communication between each other. It’s also a way to effectively build a strong parent-child relationship which everyone wants.
In this digital age, teen slang has grown more distinct and dynamic in communication. With the help of our article, parents like you can better understand and comprehend the world of teen slang and terms.
Why Teen Slang Matters
Slang plays an important role in today’s teen communication. It not only relates to younger individuals, but it also helps bridge the generation gap with ease.
Generally, using common slang and terms builds a sense of togetherness and connection for the youth, allowing a sense of independence from their parents and other adults.
So as parents, becoming familiar with their slang words can help you start positive conversations with them on tough topics. In turn, it can establish stronger connections while decreasing the risk of misunderstandings and miscommunications.
The Evolution of Teen Slang – A Historical Context & Modern Influences
Pop and youth culture usually come up with new slang and trends, and that’s why terms pop out regularly. So generally and historically, TV shows, music, video games, and music popular with kids, teens, and young adults are the primary influences of current slang.
Today, the form of media we mentioned still shapes and creates new slang words. But with how much the younger generation spends their time online, the shift to the internet and social media drives most of the slang in 2023.
Interestingly, even if some slang becomes part of standard language, these terms still usually go out of style after several years. Social media greatly contributes to these changes and development.
Why? Because social media and texting expose people, especially teens, to more slang. It also allows them to create new terms via abbreviations etc.
To give you a better idea, here are the various effects that texting and social media had on today’s teen slang:
- It introduced shortened words and various abbreviations to lessen your time typing out words.
- There are several social media platforms that influence the use of text speaking or abbreviations, so these restrict characters.
- Specific groups employ slang, such as communities that use distinct terms within the group. Using these helps them identify outsiders since they are unable to understand the group’s jargon.
- Generally, social media forums expose more teens to slang, and the information in these spaces is more accessible.
Alphabetical Guide to Teen Slang
As we mentioned earlier, slang is easy to access and more of these appear as time passes. So as a parent, keeping up with all these new terms can be baffling, but worry not because we are here to help.
Here is a quick and handy guide to the most common slang terms you need to know:
A Mood – A lot of teens use this since the term means a relatable situation/feeling and is usually shortened to just one word, “mood”. You can liken this slang to the terms “same!”, “that’s so me!”, or “That’s so relatable!”.
Technically, the younger generation uses slang when someone says something or does an action that they can relate to.
AF – This is an abbreviation for the term “as f**k”. It is often used on social media and text to emphasize something like, “He’s sometimes a dumb AF”, or “She can buy anything she wants because she’s rich AF”.
AFK – “AFK,” an acronym standing for “Away From Keyboard,” is commonly used in online gaming and messaging platforms. It’s a way for users to inform others that they will be temporarily unavailable, typically because they need to step away from their computer or device. For example, a gamer might say, “I’ll be AFK for a few minutes” to let their teammates know they won’t be actively participating in the game. AFK is just one of many abbreviated expressions that have become an integral part of online communication, especially among teens and the gaming community.
And I Oop – This slang is used by teens when they find something extremely surprising or provocative. It’s also used when there is something/someone that catches them off guard or their attention. And I oop is also used for expressing embarrassment or shock.
And That’s on [something] – It is a term to say that you just shared some facts that do not need further discussions and explanations. The slang “and that’s on [something]” means the context is based on something specific such as the following: “I’m bleeding, and that’s on being a human”, or “I’m a girl and that’s on my hormones”.
ASL – ASL is a written shortcut for age, sex, and location. It is often used when talking to someone in a chat room and you want to know these details about them. This slang is commonly used by teens on Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, or Instagram. It is a quick way to acquire another person’s personal details through chat.
Bae – This is probably a term you often hear or see your teens use. Bae is slang for a crush or significant other. It’s a term of endearment that’s usually short for babe, baby, or, it can be used as an acronym for the term, “before anyone else”.
Basic – Basic is a term used to describe someone who is considered boring or conforming. It’s an American pop culture slang for people who prefer mainstream trends, products, music, shows, and the like.
The term “basic bitch” came from hip-hop culture and became extremely popular through rap music, blogs, videos, and songs from 2011 to 2014.
Beige Flag – This is one way to describe the characteristic of one’s significant other that is quite off-putting or weird. However, it isn’t bad enough to reject them.
Bestie – This term is quite obvious since it is a short way to address a best friend. Bestie can also be used as a casual way to address a stranger.
Bet – No, the term does not literally mean to make a bet. Instead, it is a term mostly used by teens to indicate that they agree with something. An example would be this, “Wanna go to the cafe?” “Bet”.
Bih – This is a short term for the word bitch.
Body Count – This term is something you need to watch out for, especially when your teens use it. It means the number of people someone has already slept with.
Boujee – “Boujee,” derived from “bourgeois,” is a slang term often used to describe something or someone as fancy, extravagant, or displaying a sense of wealth and luxury. It’s commonly used to highlight opulence and a high-end lifestyle. Teenagers and young adults may use “boujee” to comment on anything from stylish fashion and lavish experiences to posh places and luxurious items.
Bop – Bop is not an alarming slang since it only means catchy songs.
Booty Call – A casual, typically late-night sexual encounter.
Bruh – Bruh can also mean “bro”, and teens often use it to address people.
BTS – Originally, BTS means “behind the scenes”, but today, BTS is the name of a Korean boy group popular among teens and tweens around the globe.
BTW – “BTW,” shorthand for “By The Way,” is a common acronym in text and online messaging used to introduce or add information to a conversation.
Bussin’ – Bussin is an interesting slang because it means awesome. Teens use it for expressions like this: “Oh man, this fried chicken is bussin’, I swear”.
Cake – When you hear someone say something like, “She/he has some big cake there”, it does not mean the dessert. It is a term used to describe a huge bottom.
Canon Event – A moment in development that can help shape your life and personality
Cappin’ – The term is a modern slang that means lying.
Curve – Rejecting someone’s romantic advances.
CEO of [something] – It is a term that describes someone as a representative of a certain activity or something. Here’s an example: “Carol knows all the good restaurants around. She’s literally the CEO of the best restaurants”.
Cheugy – It is a term used to describe someone or something that is basic, out of date, or trying too hard.
Clap Back – When someone “claps back” at someone, it means they are responding to an insult/criticism.
Cray – Short for “crazy” and is used to describe something wild or extreme.
Cringe – It means causing feelings of embarrassment or awkwardness. It is also a way to show how disgusted or grossed out they are.
Cuffing Season – The colder months when people seek a partner to “cuff” or be in a relationship with.
Cursed – Used to describe something, specifically an online image, that is unsettling, creepy, gross, or questionable.
Daddy – Usually slang to describe an attractive man who is older and conveys a sense of power and dominance.
Deadass – The term is usually a way for teens to show that they are being serious with their words or in a situation.
Ded – Used when something is really funny or embarrassing. Teens sometimes use the term this way, “OMG that meme has me ded”.
Dope – A way to describe something considered cool or awesome.
Drip – It is a term to describe style, great fashion sense, or someone wearing flashy accessories
DTF – This is slang that you should watch out for since DTF or down to f**k indicates a person’s willingness for sexual encounters.
DTR – This is an acronym for “define the relationship,” which is often used in conversations to clarify the status of a relationship between people.
Egirl / Eboy – A young person with an emo-inspired or punk-rock style.
Extra – It is slang that describes something or someone that is over-the-top, excessive, or dramatic.
FBOI – FBOI or f**k boy is a male looking for sex
Finesse – To skillfully maneuver or achieve something
Finsta – It means a fake Instagram account which is sometimes hidden from parents
Fire – Something that’s on fire means that it is amazing or exciting.
Flex – This is slang that means to show off something or someone. An example is when he is trying to flex the new sneakers he bought, or when she is trying to flex her handsome boyfriend.
FML – “FML,” an acronym for “F*** My Life,” is a slang expression used to express frustration, disappointment, or exasperation when facing challenging or unfavorable situations.
FOMO – This is an acronym for “fear of missing out”. It is the anxiety that one may have when there are rewarding experiences they are not part of.
FWB – This is another slang that is commonly used among the younger generation. It means “friends with benefits”, which means their friendship includes occasional, casual sexual activities.
Gas – Gas means marijuana, or it could also describe something that’s great
Ghosting – This is a term used for someone who ignores you for no apparent reason
Ghostwriter – Someone who writes for another person, especially in music.
Glow up – A significant positive transformation, often in terms of appearance or self-confidence.
Goals – Something desirable that you want or aspire to
GOAT – The greatest of all time
GTG – Got to go. an internet slang initialism indicating that the sender needs to go offline.
Gucci – If you refer to someone or something as Gucci, it means they’re fashionable or cool
Guilty pleasure – Something one enjoys despite feeling guilty about it.
Hater – Someone who consistently expresses negativity or disapproval
Hentai – The slang is a Japanese word that means graphic anime pornography. It is basically Japanese cartoon characters having sex.
Hickey – A mark on the skin caused by kissing or sucking, It is usually placed or found on the neck.
High Key – Intense and out in the open (the opposite of low key).
Hits Different – The term is used when something is better than usual because of different situations/circumstances.
Hundo P – This slang is short for “a hundred percent,” meaning completely sure or certain about
I’m Dead – Something that’s so funny you could die laughing
ILY – I love you
In my Feels – Strong emotional reaction to something.
IRL – In real life
ISO – In search of
ISTG – “ISTG,” short for “I Swear To God,” is a slang term used to emphasize the sincerity or truthfulness of a statement or promise in online conversations.
IYKYK – If you know you know. The term implies there’s an inside joke.
Jelly – Jelly is simply short for Jealous.
JK – JK is the acronym for Just Kidding. It’s used at the end of a post or message to indicate that the preceding statement is not to be taken seriously.
Juul – Vape device or a type of e-cigarette that’s small and discreet.
Karen – Not only teens use this slang but it’s a name to call demanding or entitled women
KMS – Kill me
KYS – Kill yourself
Left on Read – When someone has read your message but has not replied to it.
Lit – Exciting or excellent. The term can also mean being drunk.
Lit AF – Extremely exciting or fun.
Lituation – A situation that is incredibly fun or exciting
LMAO – Laughing my ass off
LMP – LMP means like my picture, like my post, or like my profile.
LOL – Laugh out loud.
Low Key – It means having a low profile or keeping something secret.
Meal – A slang to describe someone who looks attractive and appealing.
Mood – A relatable feeling or situation. For example, “That guy always has the right reaction at the right time, he’s in such a mood”.
Mood AF – Used to express a strong agreement with something
Mutuals – Mutuals can also be referred to as moots which means people who you follow and engage with on social media.
Netflix and Chill – It is a slang term describing a euphemism for sexual activity.
NGL – Not gonna lie.
No Cap – Saying that someone isn’t lying.
No Cap, No Printer – It means to speak the truth without exaggeration.
NP – No problem
NSA – No strings attached.
OC – “OC,” an abbreviation for “Original Content,” is often used online to highlight or credit a piece of content, such as a photo or artwork, as being created by the poster rather than being a repost or share.
OFC – Of course. Sometimes, it can also mean “Of f**king course”.
OG – “OG,” or “Original Gangster,” is a slang term used to refer to someone with a long-established and respected status in a particular group or community, often related to street culture.
Ok, Boomer – This is a common slang nowadays that calls out an idea that’s out of touch, like a parent who doesn’t know TikTok slang.
Okurrr – Ok but with more sassiness.
OMFG – It is a short way to say oh my f**king god!
On Fleek – On point or looking perfect.
Peep – To observe or notice.
Periodt – Conversation over, there’s no more to discuss. Period, with a T.
Plug – Someone who can access hard-to-find items such as drugs
PMOYS – Put me on your story or put me on your Snapchat.
Poggers – An expression of excitement or amazement, popular in online gaming communities.
POS – “POS” signifies “Parent Over Shoulder,” a warning among teens to be cautious when parents are nearby.
PPL – “PPL” stands for “People,” a casual abbreviation for individuals or a group of people.
Ratchet – Acting in a loud, obnoxious, or trashy manner
Rizz – “Rizz” is an informal term used to mean “Respect” or “Respectfully.”
ROTFLMAO – This is often used in chats or text which means rolling on the floor laughing my ass off.
Salty – To be bitter or irritated about something.
Same – I feel the same.
Savage – The term is slang for someone who is Fearless and unapologetic.
SH – S**t happens in our lives.
Shade – Expression of contempt for or disgust with someone.
Shelfie – A selfie taken in front of a bookshelf.
Ship – Short for a romantic relationship.
Ship it – To support or approve of a romantic relationship.
Shook – To be in shock.
Ships – A slang often used as a verb, which means showing support for a developing romantic relationship between two fictional characters and people.
Simp – It can be used to refer to someone who is overly submissive to their crush or significant other. Some use it as a verb to describe the act of a person being submissive over someone they admire.
Sip Tea – To mind one’s own business or to stay away from drama
Sis – Short for sister but can also be used to address close friends
Skeet – The slang is a way to call the act of ejaculating.
Slay – To do something exceptionally well or to look fabulous.
Smash – To have casual sex. Also a metaphor for “devour.
SMDH / SMH – Shaking my damn head or shaking my head – meaning you don’t approve of something.
Snacc – A more playful way to say “snack,” which refers to someone attractive
Snapstreak – When friends message each other via Snapchat on consecutive days, creating a streak
Snatched – Amazing, attractive, or well-styled
Spam – Fake social media accounts; or unwanted messages.
Squad – The slang is a term that means a close group of friends.
Sneaky Link – “Sneaky Link” is slang for a secretive or discreet meet-up, often in the context of romantic or casual encounters.
SSDD – “SSDD” translates to “Same Stuff, Different Day,” highlighting repetitive or monotonous situations.
Stan – Excessively devoted fan.
Stan Twitter – A subcommunity of Twitter where fans of a specific celebrity or character interact.
STFU – It means shut the f**k up.
Sus – Short term for suspicious.
Swoop – Getting a ride from someone.
TBH – To be honest
TBT – TBT is an acronym for “Throwback Thursday”. It is a moment of sharing old photos or memories on social media on Thursdays
TDTM – The slang means talk dirty to me, which is something you need to watch out for if your teen often uses it.
Tea / Spill the Tea and Tea Spilling – Tea and spill the tea means gossip or sharing juicy, interesting information.
TF – The f**k is a term used to express disgust or disbelief
TFW -Acronym for “That Feeling When”, and is used to express a relatable emotion.
Thank You, Next – When something useful has passed.
Thirst Trap – A provocative photo posted online to get attention often of a sexual nature.
Thirsty – Need for approval or attention
Thot – That ho over there is a slang often used instead of slut or whore.
Throw Shade – To criticize someone
Throwback – Nostalgic reference to something from the past
TMI – It means “Too Much Information” and is used when someone shares inappropriate details excessively.
Totes – Totes is just another word for totally.
Trash – Something that is bad or unacceptable.
Thicc -A way to describe someone with an attractive, curvy body.
TT2T – Too tired to talk.
Turnt / Turnt Up – The slang term means to be excited, wild, and crazy, often with the help of drugs or alcohol
UwU – This is often used in chats, and it is supposedly an emoticon representing a cute face with closed eyes and a smiling mouth. It is often used to convey affection or happiness.
V – Very
Vibe Check – A check on someone’s mood or emotional state.
Vibes – The overall emotional atmosphere of a situation or place.
Vibing – Chilling and hanging out alone or with others, or at times, just listening to music.
VSCO Girl – The slang is for referring to a particular style characterized by scrunchies, crop tops, and white Vans. It is also a term that addresses people who love using VSCO, a photo editing app.
WBU – “WBU” is an abbreviation for “What About You,” a common way to ask for a response or opinion from others.
We Stan – We stan is a way to say that you support or admire something or someone.
Wig – A phrase used when something is so shocking or impressive that it makes you lose your “wig”.
Woke – Woke is a slang to describe someone who is politically or socially conscious.
WTF – What the f**k?
WTH – “WTH” is short for “What The Heck” or a stronger expletive, used to express surprise or confusion.
WYD – What (are) you doing?
WAP – Wet a*s p*ssy
WAY – Where are you at?
WYD – What you doing?
YAAS – A very emphatic yes.
YEET – This is a slang that is considered a strong word for yes. If not, it could also mean to throw something.
Yeet-skeet – An enthusiastic exclamation or action.
YK – You’re kidding?
YW – “YW” is a simple abbreviation for “You’re Welcome,” used in response to expressions of gratitude.
Zaddy – A well-dressed, attractive man of any age
1337 or leet – The term is derived from the elite used to signify excellence or coolness.
86 – To get rid of or eliminate something. The slang is often used in the context of removing or stopping something.
86’d – Removed or kicked out, derived from the restaurant industry which means to remove an item from the menu.
143 – “I love you.” The numbers represent the number of letters in each word.
187 – A slang term for murder, often used in a metaphorical sense.
411 – Information or details about something.
420 – The term is pronounced “four-twenty, and it is a cannabis slang referring to hashish or marijuana consumption. It is also a specific term that means smoking around 16:20 or 4:20P. It could also refer to the cannabis-related celebrations that occur annually on the 20th of April – 4/20 in the Canada and United States date form.
911 – It means urgent or emergency.
10-4 – A signal of acknowledgment or understanding, often used in radio communication.
2FAB – It means too fabulous, describing someone or something excessively stylish or impressive.
2MI – Like TMI, it also means “2 Much Information”.
8 orate – It’s used to describe a boastful person and it means exaggerate or inflate. I inflate or exaggerate, often used to describe someone who is boasting.
9 or 10 – 9 or 10 equates to perfect and is often used to rate attractiveness on a scale of 1 to 10.
10Q – It means Thank You and is read as “ten-q”.
10X – Ten times, often used to express that something is excellent or extraordinary. It can also mean “Thanks” and is read as “tenx”.
Communicating with Your Teen
Although it can bridge the gap between you and your children, your teens do not really want you to use their slang. Why so? Because these slang and terms are for them.
Generally, it is right to know what these are, but it is best to avoid using them when communicating with teens.
Communicating with your teens is great for your knowledge and understanding. However, you may be wondering how to start conversing with them. Initiating prompts in daily conversations, like asking the highlight of their day, will encourage communicating with teens. At a certain point, your teens will be comfortable in your conversations.
Learning teen slang is one proactive step towards communicating properly with your teenagers. Staying informed and engaged is one way to bridge your generation with the young ones to foster a strong relationship with them.Related Posts:
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- SUS Meaning: The Stealthy Teen Slang That’s Keeping Parents Guessing!
- What Makes an Emo Kid: Understanding the Emo Culture Among Teens
- Unlocking the ‘Cap’ Slang Mystery: What Every Parent Should Know!