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Teen Slang | 2020 Glossary

Posted by Axis on March 12, 2020

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 celebrities (not to mention regional vernacular!). You may feel overwhelmed and lost when listening to your students speaking, 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

BB Synonym for “babe” or “baby,” but usually used for friends. Pronounced “bee bee.”
Big mad Being extremely mad about something.
Drip Refers to a really cool outfit or item of clothing.
Finesse To perfect or smooth things out (either physically or emotionally). “I need to finesse my shoe collection.” Can also be used to refer to a person’s style.
Fit In America, “fit” is short for outfit. (“Girl I love your fit!”) In England, this word means someone who’s really attractive (“That guy is fit”).
Flex To show off. Also denoted by the flexed bicep emoji.
Lewk Another way of describing someone’s “look.” It’s their signature physical trait, something that adds character to someone and makes them unique.
Quar Short for quarantine, popularized during the quarantines of COVID-19.
Sksksksk Simulates smashing a keyboard in a sort of "OMG" moment. (Usually associated with VSCO Girls.)
Snack An attractive person. "Girl lookin' like a snack!"
Stan A hardcore fan of someone. The term comes from the song Stan by eminem. For example, instead of saying “I love Billie Eilish,” you’d say “I stan Billie Eilish.”
Trill A blending of the words “true” and “real” used in hip-hop culture to describe someone who is considered to be well respected.
Wig Basically a shorter version of “wig snatched,” mostly used in appraisal of something or someone, especially of celebrities. It’s as if you’re so blown away by something that your wig literally falls off.
You’ll have that on them big jobs This is a response to something sucky that’s happened. Basically, a nice way of saying “man, that’s rough.” (e.g. “Dude I just got dumped,” “You’ll have that on them big jobs.”)

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 cancelled 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.”
Fak “Safe” version of the f-bomb.
Finsta Fake Instagram. Usually it’s someone’s second, less-public Instagram account only open to a smaller circle of friends, often used to be more real and raw than on one’s primary account. Can also be used to lurk on someone in a more low-key way.
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.
Sus Short for suspicious.  “My credit card got declined. That’s sus.”
Thirsty When someone is desperate for another person. Often refers to one’s sexual appetite or desire to gain attention on social media.
Thirst trap A sexy photograph or flirty message posted on social media that incites others to comment/DM with their interest/attraction.
Tweakin Saying or doing something off/doesn’t make sense, thus causing an overreaction. “My mom was tweakin on me when I missed curfew last night.”

Red flags

Addy Short for “Adderall,” a medication for treating ADHD that’s also used recreationally.
D Short for d***. “She just wants the D.”
DTF Down To F***. Used casually: "You dtf?"
KMS Kill myself.
KYS Kill yourself.
Smash To have casual sex.
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.

 

(Important note: This is not a comprehensive list of terms. Check out our Parent's Guide to Teen Slang for more than 120 words and definitions!)

This list draws from a variety of sources including Urban Dictionary (language) and StayHipp.

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