Friday, February 27, 2009

Teen Slang...Anyone?

I'm needing teen slang for my latest book, but I can’t seem to find anything that’s “suitable.” I’m from the “groovy” generation, so you can imagine the depth of my problem.

Please help, if you can. I need acceptably clean words for:





Awesome/Great - I did find that the teen slang word for this is “Sick.” Right? Although there seems to be some disagreement on this one. With most teens, awesome seems to be, well, still awesome! So, maybe I'm not so out of touch.

Want to find out your slang I.Q? Here's a fun test on, of all sites, Good Housekeeping! But, it's an easy way to find out if you’re “Groovy” or simply "Awesome."

Happy to hear some other suggestions, too, so my next book, "The Magician's Castle" can be simply "awesome!"

You can also check out the Urban Dictionary of Slang

Mary Cunningham

Mary Cunningham Books

Cynthia's Attic Blog

Quake Books


L. Diane Wolfe said...

BGF is best girlfriend I believe... Someone who is not cool can be a poser. Awesome is still used.

Best idea - track down some teenagers! I've often used the teens at our church for assistance...

L. Diane Wolfe

Mary Cunningham said...

Gotta remember BGF, Diane. Thanks! Never heard of poser, but will add that one, too.

Thanks for the help!

©DGreer said...

In a recent poll, it turns out that "cool" is still the coolest slang across all generations. Now how cool is that? LOL.


Pam Ripling said...

You'd think I could add something, I have a 13 y/o daughter now, but she doesn't seem to have any particular jargon.

She says "cool", too...


Pam Ripling said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Iris said...

Hey! When you use the term "sic" to mean awesome, you leave off the "k". And only skateboard/screamo rockstar punks use it. ;)

However, "awesome" still applies as does "cool" and "absolutely amazing". This last is used a bit more sarcastically though. =)

As to the safe version of dork, the more modern one is "geek". This is considered deragatory when used by someone outside or unsympathetic to the group. However, it is usually used in a friendly sense or just as a tag:
"band geeks" are people (usually marchers) who practically live in the band room.
"drama geeks/nerds" are people who are into all the drama programs and who LOVE the auditorium.
"computer geeks" are the people that you always ask for help on the web.
And the "geek" list continues.

BFF= Best Friends Forever
BFLF= Best Friends for Live
TTYL= Talk to You Later (can be used in everyday conversation or texts)
ILYLAS= I Love You Like A Sister
Pose= a group of friends (usually masculine and usually referring to themselves)

Iris said...

Also, activities:
"Crash"- to go over and hang out at a friend's house without any structured plan
"Zip by"- to run by a person's house, locker, or other location quickly.
"Book it"- to hurry quickly to a place (usually a class because you are running late)
"Parentals"- Parents (usually used when parental units are censoring or monitoring material)

And right now, that's all I can think of. I will keep posting here as I think of more things to add.

Good luck Mary!

Kathi said...

My eleven year old calls people a NUB when he thinks they are annoying/dorky.



Sue said...

The problem with slang is that it can go out of date within months, if not weeks. :) Outside of hard core self-professed geeky gamers, Nub or Nube is already on its way out, according to my 15 and 17 year old experts. (Never say "pwned" [pronounced "pohn'd"] when you're in your 40's. Your offspring will never forgive you.)

Having said that, "Peeps" is still acceptable for friends in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way, as in, "chillin' with my peeps." The 'rents can still be shorthand for parents. Cool is still cool, although awesome is still cool too.

celeb-obsessed said...

Take it from an actual teen.
Older generations will never fully know our slang and it's downright scary when they try.

But if you must know:

(Slang that is rarely used)

Hardcore, H-core: something really cool

Nub/Nube: dork, geek, loser

BFF: best firend forever

whatevs/whatev: whatever

deac (dee-se): short for decent

(Slang that is used)

Poser: someone trying to fit in where they don't belong

Loser: Loser

Whatever: whatever

awesome/cool: something really good/nice

druggie: someone into drugs

trippin: someone having a difficult time/upset; someone currently using LSD

dope: cool

tight: cool

(Never under any circumstances use)

411, coolio, jive-turkey, groovy, Home skillet

here are some more used:
Emo (abbr., emotional. Originally a category of rock music, it now describes a dramatic person who listens to those songs.) "You're usually called it if you seem like the depressed type."

Chillaxin (v., chillin' combined with relaxin') "My friends say it if I call them after sports practice to see what they're doing." also Chillin'

My bad (n., my mistake) "If I make a bad pass at ball practice, I'll say ‘My bad' to a teammate."

OMG (abbr., oh my God!)
"It started on instant messenger, but now we'll actually say it out loud. Like if you see someone acting weird, you might turn to a friend and say ‘OM-G!'"

These are only some. Again, it depends on the age/personality/region/social upbringing of the teen.

These are some used in speech. Typed on MSN/Aim is a whole new story. You've got thigs like: wtf, rotfl, lol, lmao, ttyl, jk, t2ul. Most of these sound stupid if said outloud.