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Often, parents don’t know how important it is for them to become “bilingual” when they talk to their tweens and teens about things. “Teen Slang,” a group of acronyms, innuendos, and code words, is used freely by teenagers and their friends. Then, what happens if parents don’t know what their child just said. Many slang words aren’t dangerous on their own, but some words should raise red flags for parents right away.
Learn how our teens talk so you can not only build a stronger relationship with them but also know when they’re in danger. Because some slang is meant to keep parents from knowing what their kids are talking about, this is not a good thing! During an interview with the popular morning news show, “Today,” some teens gave important insider’s tips about what they were really saying.
There is an infographic below that shows which are the most popular. You can also see the whole list by scrolling down.
Teen slang lets our kids talk to each other in a fun and interesting way. It makes them feel like they are free and unique. Some teens don’t even notice that their conversations are different from how they used to be. Some of the more harmless and fun words are:
- Bruh–A casual nickname for “bro”
- Fam–Their closest friends
- GOAT–Acronym for “Greatest of all time!”
- TBH–Acronym for “To be honest”
- It’s lit–Short for “It’s cool or awesome!”
- I’m weak–Short for “That was funny!”
- Hundo P–Short for 100% sure or certain
- Gucci–Something is good or cool
- FOMO–“Fear of missing out.”
- Squad–Term for their friend group
- Boots: This is a way to say “very” or “a lot.” It’s added after the verb or adjective.
- Woke: Highly aware of social issues.
- Savage: The cool way to say “cool.”
As parents, we should pay attention to these words and phrases that teenagers use. Many of them are harmless and even funny, but some should be on our radar as parents. It doesn’t mean they’re right, but it shows that your teen might be doing things that need more maturity and advice from you as their parent. Many warning expressions are about dating or wanting to start a new relationship. Some of these words also show that your teen is going through some kind of emotional turmoil or stress in their friendships or lifestyle. While you may not need to do anything, it’s always a good idea to know what your teen is going through.
- Bae–Short for “baby.” It’s used as a term of endearment for a significant other such as a girlfriend or boyfriend. As an acronym, it stands for “Before Anyone Else.
- Curve–To reject someone romantically
- Low-Key–A warning that what they’re saying isn’t something they want everyone to know
- Hi-Key–The opposite of Low-Key. It highlights something that one hopes not be known.
- Salty–To be bitter about something or someone
- Skurt–To go away or leave
- Throw shade–To give someone a nasty look or say something unpleasant about them.
- Straight fire–Something is hot or trendy
- Sip tea–To mind your own business
- Ship –Short for “relationship.”
- Ghost–To ignore someone on purpose.
- Avocado–Used to describe a person, who is socially construed as straight by those around him/her, but in actuality is gay.
As a parent, you are right to be concerned or suspicious when your teen starts to keep things from you. They may talk a lot, but they don’t say anything that is very important. In dangerous or high-risk situations, slang can be a good place for your teen to hide out. You should look out for words like this in whispered conversations with friends or on their phone. This could be a sign that something bad could happen to your child soon.
- Thirsty–Being desperate for something
- Down in the DM–Short for plans in their social media or texts for an oncoming sexual hook-up
- Smash–To have casual sex
- Netflix ‘n Chill–To meet under the pretense of watching Netflix/TV together when actually planning to meet for “making out” or sex
- NIFOC–Acronym for “Naked in front of their computer”
- CU46–Acronym for “See you for sex”
- POS–Parents Over Shoulder – usually done by teens in a text so be aware if you find them using.
- 9–Short for “A parent is watching!”
- GNOC–Acronym for “Get naked on camera!”
As parents, one of the best ways to keep our kids safe is to talk to them every day. There have been a lot of bad things happen in families where parents didn’t talk to their kids. Even though you may not understand everything your teen says right away, take the time to be honest with them. Show that you want to learn and talk. If everything else doesn’t work, look up trusted sources or even slang dictionaries like Urban Dictionary, where many modern slang terms show up, if you need help.
If there’s a reason, parents might want to limit or stop their kids from texting or calling. If you want to block both, Apple doesn’t have a way to do that.
Almost every day, things change on the internet and in the world of social media that are part of it. Trends come and go before some parents even know about them. For example, the Blue Whale Challenge, which killed many people, was a trend that parents need to be aware of because it can be risky or even dangerous.
If you’re an adult, you’re more likely to use Facebook than Snapchat or Instagram. Teenagers are more likely to use them, too.
Unique to Snapchat, photos are shared and then disappear after a set amount of time. This can make it hard for parents to keep track of what their kids are sharing. The recipients only need to take a screenshot of the picture to keep it and share it with other people. This can help teenagers feel more confident about posting photos they might not have otherwise.
Here are some other social apps that you should keep an eye on:
Kik: This is a free app that can be used to send messages to your friends. Even so, “…Kik has also become well-known for being used for sexting, mostly by people who want to meet someone new.”
People can post secrets and confessions anonymously on confession sites like Whisper, Whisper, and PostSecret. These may or may not be true, but it’s still fun to see what other people have to say! There could be a problem here: Most of the time, PostSecrets are weird or sexual in nature. It may be possible to talk about important things in life with the help of some secrets. However, most secrets are too complicated for minors to read and understand.
Badoo: Common Sense Media says that this adult-only dating app doesn’t keep an eye on the content, so there is a lot of sexual material.
In the same way that teenagers can lie about their birthdays to get around parental permission or join an adult-only community, they can do the same with other dating and hook-up apps. Take a look at this list of popular apps that are all about having casual sex. Wild, Feeld, and Casualx are three of them.
“It is primarily used by Gen Z as a way to hang out with friends digitally,” Entrepreneur writes about the growing popularity of digital hangouts via Tik Tok. The platform has been so successful that Facebook is reportedly looking into creating a similar feature within its own platform.”
Watch for more live streaming and augmented reality, as well as a continuation of influencer marketing, according to the article. This is important to note because your teens may follow certain social media celebrities who promote a variety of products as a result of their relationships with the companies that make those products. Keep track of who your teens are following because they’re called “influencers” for a reason.
What Phrases Do Teens Use? Tiktok slang, Social media slang
Teens speak a different language online (some of which may spill over into the real world), and knowing what teen slang terms and emojis mean can help you understand what your child is doing online. In 2022, keep an eye out for the following new slang terms:
Thicc— Feeling good in your own skin, regardless of size or shape.
I’m dead— You appear to be “dying” of laughter because you’re laughing so hard about something.
Heard— Having a thorough understanding of the topic under discussion.
Finna— Means “I’m going to” or “I’m planning to” do something.
Something is “really good” or “cool” when it catches fire.
Flex— A person who is “showing off” or a “show off.” “He is Flexing on Snapchat with his new car,” for example.
It’s the same as yikes, but bigger. That is being used by children to draw attention to something particularly important.
Low-key is another way of saying “sort of.”
LMIRL stands for “Let’s Meet In Real Life.” If you hear this, be cautious because it can be used by younger children to communicate with strangers.
Boujee — Is he rich or is he pretending to be rich?
Shook–Teens may express how news or an event has shook them.
CD9— Breaker, breaker, like a trucker on a walkie-talkie radio. CD9 stands for “I can’t talk because my parents are here,” which translates to “I can’t talk because my parents are here.”
AF— A term abbreviated for “as f#@#” that is used in a sentence.
OG— A shorthand for “original” or “original gangster” these days.
Extra — Describes dramatic or out-of-the-ordinary behavior.
No Cap–the It’s same as saying “for real.”
Basic— A derogatory term for someone who is only interested in what is trendy or popular.
The word “period” emphasizes the word’s finality. “Period.” I’m done with her.
Simp— A man who will go to any length for a beautiful woman.
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes
Snack is a term used to describe a handsome man or woman.
Snatched— A term used by teenagers to describe someone or something that has been taken from them. He is snatched while saying, “I love Sam.”
Something “really good,” according to Dank.
Suspicious is a word used to describe someone who is suspicious. It could be linked to drama at school or among friends.
Spilling or Spiling is a term used to describe the act of spilling The Tea—Let the cat out of the bag; tell me everything.
Swole is a term for someone who is extremely buff or physically fit.
Workout is great.
Being amazing at something is known as slaying. “You slayed that shot, man.”
Turned Up— The act of becoming extremely inebriated and high.
When someone opens your Snapchat snap and doesn’t snap back, I’m left on read.
OC stands for “Open Crib,” which means that no parents will be present at home or at a gathering or party.
Block Dangerous Websites: At Avosmart, we provide dependable parental controls that you can rely on to block questionable content such as hook-up apps, pornographic websites, and any new social media apps that you don’t want your child to use.
Limit Your Internet Access: The more time a child spends online, the more opportunities he has to try new things. Using parental controls to block internet access at certain times of the day allows (or forces) your child to spend quality time with his family, do homework, or sleep. It also means less time online with which to become curious and begin searching the internet.
Maintain an open line of communication with your child to encourage her to speak up about any questionable material she encounters or encounters online. It also allows you to ask, “What’s that?” and receive an honest response when you hear about a new app or behavior.