Gone are the days when our parents just didn’t understand. We’re the parents now and when our kids come home from school and tell us about their day, we may be having some trouble keeping up. Here’s the latest in teen slang so we can remain hip (and not have to ask “what?!” every other sentence).
Full disclosure: My 15-year-old daughter and her friends helped me write this one!
In Ancient Rome a “plebeian” was a low-class commoner. Today’s teens have shortened it to “pleb,” meaning a person is dull, boring and has no interest in anything cultural.
“Erica is a total pleb. I mean, she doesn’t even know who Hozier is.”
2. BRUH MOMENT
You may have figured out that “bruh” is basically “bro” for guys to toss around, but a “bruh moment” is actually when the word is used as a reactionary exclamation to something said. It can be used by any gender.
Teen 1: “Joey just broke up with me by text!”
Teen 2: “Bruh!”
As low-key mainly means modest or something of little emphasis, the teens have taken it one step further to mean “kind of.” They don’t really want anyone to know they like something, so they keep it low-key.
“I low-key Taylor Swift.”
Just as a room comes alive when the lights are turned on, for something to be “lit” means it was turned on and exciting.
Teen 1: “Did you see the football game on Friday?”
Teen 2: Yeah, it was lit.
When ladies of England or the Deep South gather for afternoon tea, it’s a chance to catch up, and by “catch up” we mean “gossip.” And that’s exactly what “tea” means in teen slang. By spilling the tea, one is gossiping.
“Did you hear the tea about Jack and Diane?”
6. I’M DEAD
Just when you finally have LOL or LMAO down pat, the kids have gone and changed it to “I’m dead.” This is something so funny you have died laughing.
Teen 1: ”The new Kevin Hart movie is so funny.”
Teen 2: “I know, I’m dead!”
7. NO CAP
If your child says “no cap” or even sends you an emoji with 🚫🧢, it means they are not lying. (On the flipside, if someone is “cappin’,” they are lying.)
Teen 1: “That test was hard!”
Teen 2: “No cap!”
Just as one would flex a muscle to show it off, to “flex” is to flaunt something, or, sometimes used as a noun as the thing that is being flaunted.
Verb: “Did you see Brian driving his dad’s car? He’s trying to flex.”
Noun: “His dad’s car is a flex.”
While one is showing off when flexing, one who is thirsty is trying too hard to get attention, approval and compliments.
“She keeps walking by his table at lunch; she’s sooo thirsty.”
To be salty means to be upset and/or freak out about something trivial. “I accidentally knocked his book off the desk and he got salty.”
Lissa Poirot is an award-winning lifestyle writer who covers health, wellness and travel. Her work has appeared on websites such as WebMD, FamilyVacationCritic and the New York Times, as well as print in magazines including Vegetarian Times and Arthritis Today.