Welcome to the world of teen slang. Lost? Confused? Unable to understand your teens? Don’t worry; you’re in good company. Keeping up with teen slang is nearly impossible. New words are constantly being introduced, thanks to the influence of music, the Internet, apps, and especially TikTok (psst! Check this out for a full list of TikTok slang words and emojis explained). You may feel overwhelmed and lost when listening to teens, and it’ll only get worse when reading social media posts and hashtags. Use this list as a reference for what’s widely popular right now in order to translate what teens are saying.
Fun, harmless, silly
|Bet||A response word synonymous with “ok, for sure,” or "you wanna bet?" Examples: “Let's go out tonight,” “Bet”; "There's no way you can do that," "Bet."|
|Bop||A really good song. Example: "Have you heard Billie Eilish's new song? It's a bop."|
|Check (TikTok)||The word "check" is a term used exclusively on TikTok. Users create videos with the phrase "____ check," for example: "famous relative check," "sibling check," "my boyfriend does my nails check," etc. A "check" can focus on pretty much anything. So for a sibling check, the user will often show a funny video that describes the life of living with their sibling.|
It can either describe a person who’s really laid back, or the act of hanging out. “She’s really chill,” or “Let’s chill tonight.”
|Drip||Refers to a really cool outfit or item of clothing.|
A way to show the utmost respect for someone after something bad has happened (e.g. “My girlfriend just dumped me,” “F.” Or "Just failed my test, someone drop an f in the chat").
|Facts||Being in agreement with something.|
|It's the __ for me||
This phrase started as a trend on TikTok where two people would talk back and forth about something they can’t stand. For example, if two people were talking about quarantine, they could say: “It’s the never going outside for me,” then the other person would respond, “It’s the canceled concerts for me,” and so on. Now, the phrase can be used in a singular context to either describe themselves or comment on someone else’s video. For example, if someone posted a funny video where they’re wearing extremely high heels and falls down, someone might comment “it’s the heels for me,” or “it’s the falling down for me.”
If you know what I mean.
If you know you know.
|Like my recent||
Using one social media platform to tell one’s followers to like his/her most recent post on another social media platform. Often seen as desperate. Synonyms: LB (like back), FB (follow back).
|Periodt||Another word for “facts” or “tea,” usually used to end a sentence. For example, “He’s a simp periodt.”|
What you say when you don’t really know what to say in response to someone.
|Slaps||Something that’s really great. “That new song slaps.”|
Another slang term for looking good. E.g. “Your outfit is snatched.” Older synonyms not used anymore: On fleek, on point.
It’s the new “basic girl.” The term “VSCO Girl” began as a way to describe someone who uses the photo editing app, VSCO (pronounced “vis-co”). VSCO girls wear scrunchies, puka shell necklaces, oversized t-shirts, mom jeans, and love drinking water out of hydroflasks. (Note: this term is much less frequently used now, but it's still good to know.)
Be aware of
|AF||As f***. Used to emphasize something: “It’s hot af in here.”|
|BDE||Big D*** Energy. A compliment because it’s a metaphor to signify that someone has the confidence of a well-endowed man. It’s the opposite of being cocky or having toxic masculinity. It is often applied to both men and women.|
|Bomboclatt||This is a curse word of Jamaican origin, equivalent to the f-bomb. However, culturally in the U.S. it’s used as a way to say “add caption” or “explain this picture.” For example, someone might tweet a funny video and caption it “bomboclatt,” inviting others to add their own funny explanation of the video.|
|Cancel||To delete someone or something out of your life. “I canceled that guy from Tinder. It wasn’t working out.”|
|Clapback||Responding to an insult with an equal or greater comeback. The new word for “comeback.”|
|Curve||To reject someone romantically or sexually.|
|GD||God D***. “It’s so gd annoying when…”|
|Go off||Giving someone permission to rant about something or someone they’re mad about. “She was so rude. Go off!”|
|Hop off||Mind your own business.|
Proof of something (like text screenshots).
Mind one’s own business. Usually means you don’t want to get involved in the drama, but you have no problem watching it from the sidelines while comfortably sipping tea.
This is the “ideal” body type in today’s culture. It’s a girl with an hourglass figure: tiny waist and flat tummy, but bigger boobs, butt, and thighs.
|Tea||Gossip. “Spilling the tea” is telling someone the gossip.|
|Addy||Short for Adderall, a medication for treating ADHD that’s also used recreationally. (Note: This can also be used as a short term for "address.")|
|D||Short for d***. “She just wants the D.”|
|DTF||Down To F***. Used casually: "You dtf?"|
|Simp||Used to describe someone who’s soft, weak, or sucks up to girls. For example, when talking about his friend who wimped out on something, a guy might say “he’s such a simp.” Though not the most popular use of the word, simp an also mean a man who prides himself with "chivalry" in hopes of getting sexual gratification from women. He’s over the top without the girl giving much in return.|
|Xan/Xans||Short for Xanax, a sedative used to treat anxiety that’s often used recreationally, especially in hip hop culture. Other terms are Xanny, bars, and footballs.|
This list draws from a variety of sources including Urban Dictionary (language) and StayHipp.
- This is not a comprehensive list of terms. Check out our 2020 updated Parent's Guide to Teen Slang with more than 130 words and definitions!
- The Ultimate Guide to TikTok Slang 2020