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
|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."|
|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.|
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).
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.
|Quar||Short for quarantine, popularized during the quarantines of COVID-19.|
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.
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.|
|D||Short for d***. “She just wants the D.”|
|DTF||Down To F***. Used casually: "You dtf?"|
|Simp||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.|
(Important note: This is not a comprehensive list of terms. Check out our 2020 updated Parent's Guide to Teen Slang for more than 130 words and definitions!)
This list draws from a variety of sources including Urban Dictionary (language) and StayHipp.