Say What? A Glossary of Teen Slang
by Patricia Greco
For confused parents, a guide to what your kids are really saying. But
hurry...they'll be on to something new before you know it.
BF, GF (abbrs., boyfriend, girlfriend) "My friends and I use it
online when we're talking about who's going out with who. It's faster-I
wouldn't even think of typing the full word anymore."
-Michelle, 15, Stillwater, MN
BF4L (abbr., best friends for life) "It's how we sign off instant
messenger. And we'll say it to clear things up if we've had a fight."
-Josie, 14, Carmel, CA
Busted (adj., ugly) "Sometimes I'll be walking down the hall and
I'll hear someone say ‘Ew,
that girl's busted.' It's pretty mean, and people shouldn't say it."
-Danielle, 14, Louisville, KY
Cheddar (n., cash) "I've heard it said like, ‘I need some cheddar
to buy this new video game.'"
-Kody, 12, Louisville, KY
Chillaxin (v., chillin' combined with relaxin') "My friends say
it if I call them after sports practice to see what they're doing."
-Arielle, 16, Wrentham, MA
Crunk (adj., awesome) "My friends say it like, ‘Dude, you should
have been there last night-it was crunk.' It may have started as a combination
of crazy and drunk, but now we use it to describe any awesome time."
-Billy, 15, Westlake, OH
MOS, DOS, POS (abbrs., mom over shoulder, dad over shoulder, parent
over shoulder) "Guys will type it if they're talking to a girlfriend
online. Maybe they're embarrassed and don't want their parents to
-Will, 15, Charleston, SC
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."
-Justine, 13, Colonia, NJ
G (n., friend) "It can be a funny way to say goodbye, like, ‘See
ya later, G.' It's short for ‘homey G.'"
-Sydney, 13, Lawrence, KS
Home skillet (n., friend) "I've heard it said like, ‘Yo, what's
up, home skillet?'" -Will
Money (adj., cool) "If someone shows you a new jacket and you
like it, you can just say ‘Money.'"
-Sylvia, 15, Boston, MA
My bad (n., my mistake) "If I make a bad pass at ball practice,
I'll say ‘My bad' to a teammate." -Scott, 16, Columbus, OH
Off the chain (adj., cool) "If there was a really fun party,
people might say ‘Oh man, that party was off the chain.'"
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
-Delane, 15, Salem, OR
Rides (n., sneakers) "People say ‘Don't step on my rides' or
‘Check out my new rides.'"
-John, 13, Charleston, SC
Tope (adj., cool) "It's a mixture of the words tight and dope,
which both mean ‘cool.'" -Sylvia
Wanksta (n., a person who tries to act tough) "It was in a rap
song-that's how people caught on to it. You can say it to call a person out for
trying to be cool."
-Chris, 12, Arlington, TX
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