The Teen Slang Dictionary for Parents

Acronyms and Teenage Buzz Words

Teen slang can sound like a language of its own.
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Teens in each generation develop a language of their own based on what is going on in teen culture. Teen slang is constantly changing, especially in fast-paced communication via text and social media. 

It can be hard for parents to keep up with the latest buzz words and teen acronyms. What's popular one day may be old news the next.

The website Urban Dictionary is dedicated to keeping up with today's slang and is a resource that parents can use (be warned that it is user submitted content and may be crude).

There are even phone apps that can help you translate teen slang.

Here are some of the basic teen slang words every parent should know:

Teen Slang Dictionary

  • Awks - Awkward
  • Bae - Boyfriend, girlfriend or someone you love. It's code for "before anyone else."
  • BF/GF - Boyfriend or girlfriend
  • BFF - Best friends forever
  • Bruh - Same as "bro"
  • Bye Felicia  - To dismiss someone who is unimportant. It is not meant to be nice but instead is a sign of disrespect because the person's real name is not used.
  • Cancel - A rejection of a person, place or thing.
  • Cheddar - Money
  • Chillin' - Just relaxing
  • Creeper - Someone who is socially awkward or tends to have stalker tendencies
  • Curve - Romantic rejection
  • Dope - Cool or awesome
  • Emo - Emotional or a drama queen
  • Fam - Short for 'family' and also refers to a tight group of friends
  • Fly - Boys tend to refer to girls they think are good looking as 'fly'
  • GOAT - Greatest of all time
  • Gucci - Good or cool
  • Hater or h8er - This is in reference to someone who just hates everything, even their friends. It is someone who is so pessimistic that your teen is tired of hearing from them.
  • Hardcore - Means that something is intense. Generally said about something that is a good experience, but also used when something bad is happening to a friend.
  • Hundo P - 100 percent certain
  • I'm Weak - That's funny
  • Lit - Something that is amazing. Also, "It's Lit."
  • Low Key - Keep this confidential
  • n00b - A person who doesn't want to learn
  • OMG - An abbreviation for "Oh My Gosh' or 'Oh My God!'
  • POS - Also MOS or DOS. Abbreviation for "Parents Over Shoulder" (or Mother/Dad). Used often when texting or messaging, this is how your teen may tell their friends that you're reading their messages.
  • Rides - Sneakers or shoes
  • Salty - Bitter
  • Ship - Short for 'relationship.'
  • Sic - Something that is cool
  • Sis - Sis is the new bro, short for sister or sistah
  • Skurt - Go away
  • Snatched - Looks good
  • Squad - A group of girls that hang out together regularly
  • Straight Fire - Hot or trendy
  • Sus - Suspect, not to be trusted
  • TBH - To be honest
  • Thirsty - Trying to get attention
  • Throw Shade - Give someone a dirty look
  • Tight - In a close relationship
  • Tool - Refers to someone who is stupid or a geek
  • V - Short for very
  • Wanksta - Refers to a person trying to act tough, but who isn't really pulling it off.
  • YOLO - Abbreviation for 'You Only Live Once.'

Compound Teen Slang

Today's teen slang often combines several words together. Here are some examples of compound teen slang:

  • Chillaxin - A cross between chillin' and relaxing.
  • Crashy - Crazy and trashy. Not considered to be good.
  • Crunk - A cross between crazy and drunk. Some teens use this term to mean cool.
  • Hangry - A mix of hungry and angry. Used to describe that point where you are irritable because you have not eaten.

  • Requestion - A cross between a request and a question.
  • Tope - A cross between tight and dope.

Slang Parents Should Watch For

Teen slang can also be used to disguise bad behavior. These words should be warning signs to parents because they may indicate your teen is involved with or interested in drugs, alcohol or sexual behavior.​

  • CU46 - See you for sex
  • GNOC - Get naked on camera
  • Molly - MDMA, a dangerous party drug
  • NIFOC - Naked in front of the computer
  • Pron - Porn
  • Smash - Casual sex
  • Turnt Up - To be high or drunk
  • Zip Ghost - Someone who is very high on marijuana to the point that they have a hard time functioning.

Be on the Lookout for Text and Social Media Shortcuts

It's important to note that many of the slang words teen use are meant to help them keep information secret from their parents. And many of these conversations occur over text message or social media.

So it's important to educate yourself about the latest social media acronyms. Educating yourself about the latest shorthand teens are using can help you monitor the conversations your teen is having. 

Sources

Ophir Y, Asterhan CS, Schwarz BB. Unfolding the notes from the walls: Adolescents’ depression manifestations on Facebook. Computers in Human Behavior. 2017;72:96-107.

Symons K, Ponnet K, Walrave M, Heirman W. A qualitative study into parental mediation of adolescents internet use. Computers in Human Behavior. 2017;73:423-432.

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