by Claudine Gallacher, MA

12 Popular Slang Words Every Parent Should KnowConnecting with kids through slang?

Do you feel out of touch with the rising generation? Parents often feel their kids speak a different language, and kids often complain that their parents don’t understand them.  One great way to connect with your kids is to talk to them about their slang, the new words created or reinvented by their age group.

(And although I am talking about teens here, even younger kids often know slang terms you may want to understand.)

How many of these words (common in IM, texting, and Instagram) do you know? I sat down with my daughter and got a few surprises! (See below!) More importantly, it was a great way to show that I want to stay in touch with her world.

Try it! You might enjoy a fun conversation as your kids teach you how to use “on fleak” correctly. Just don’t embarrass them by trying to use the new terms in front of their friends!

mom son didn't know that

12 Popular slang terms my daughter taught me

I’m sure there are more than these 12 that are relevant to kids. And they may differ between geographical locations. For me, learning slang terms is important because they make up a part of my kids’ language and give me glimpses into their world.

  • bae(s): The person or people who you put Before Anyone Else. Can be used to post, “miss you bae!” or “with the baes” (beside a group picture).
  • OOTD:  Outfit of the Day. Can be used alongside a picture of yourself.
  • BB:  Baby. Put it at the end of a message.  “Love the shoes, bb.”
  • MCM: Man Crush Monday Can be used on any Monday with a hashtag to announce which guy (celebrity or otherwise) you are dreaming about.  “RPattz is still my bae #MCM”
  • WCW: Woman Crush Wednesday. The guy version of MCM.  “My #WCW Emma Watson.”
  • TBT : Throwback Thursday. Can be used anytime to reminisce (like when posting old pictures).
  • dat [fill in the blank] doe:  dat means that and doe means though.  “dat hair doe” could be posted next to a picture of anyone having a bad hair day or anyone whose hair is annoying
  • turn up: To get ready to party/let loose/go wild. “My house. Tonight. We gonna turn up!”
  • ship: To approve of a romantic relationship. “I ship Zac and Sara!  Perfect together!”
  • YAASSS: Yes (with excitement)! For example: Seahawks to the Superbowl! YAAAAASSSS!” (Sorry Pats fans! I’m a native Washingtonian!)
  • can’t even – can’t stand it “That person is so annoying. I CAN’T EVEN!”
  • on fleak:  on point/just right/in the zone  “My hair is on fleak today.”

Portrait of a surprised Asian woman pointing at her touch screen tablet.Warning: One common word that has been sexualized by teens

Most parents use the word “thirsty” when they need a drink of water.  However, among the younger generation, “thirsty” has shifted to mean someone who is desperate/eager for sex. My teenage daughter tells me that boys in her class snicker when their naive (to slang) teacher makes a comment about needing to fill up her water bottle because she is thirsty.

Keeping up with slang

If you want to stay current on modern slang, you can always look up words in on online slang dictionary. Or, better yet, you can talk to young people. Language is always in a constant state of reinvention and if we want to continue to understand our youth, we must not only be their teachers, but be willing to learn from them as well.

What slang terms have you learned from your kids? How important is it to keep current with their language?

Claudine Gallacher
Claudine Gallacher, MA, is the Social Media Guru at Protect Young Minds and was the writing coach for Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today’s Young Kids. Claudine is enthusiastic about teaching parents how to empower kids with the skills they need to reject pornography. To reach parents, she writes, researches, edits, speaks, and markets. Claudine is married and has three great kids who support her work. Contact Claudine on Twitter @ProtectYM or email claudine@protectyoungminds.org.
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