Teen Slang Words Explained For Parents

If you have a teenager at home you’ve either heard these terms or had them texted to you.

Now we have some explanations as to what some of the new slang means.

Here are a few to help moms and dads keep up with the “lingo”:

SAVAGE: To perform a savage act is to do so unapologetically. This word is used as internet slang when describing a shocking event or a careless attitude. Used in a sentence: “Did you see how Ashley Graham shut down trolls? Savage.” Unfortunately, it was initially introduced as a derogatory way of describing Native Americans.

THIRSTY: To be “thirsty” is to desperately want approval. Its been linked to the 1936 work of a scientist, but uh, it’s more frequently used on the internet, with variations appearing since 2010. Missy Elliott’s “Chinga-A-Ling” and other hip-hop songs helped popularize it. Used in a sentence: “Don’t like all of their Instagram posts. It’ll make you look thirsty.”

AF: AF simply stands for “as f*ck” and comes in handy as a way of emphasizing something. A professor at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill is believed to have documented its use by students as early as 2014, though it’s been thrown around for much longer. Used in a sentence: “My slice of pecan pie is delicious AF.”

YAS: To express praise for something or someone, a simple “yas,” will do. Often, people mistakenly think “yass” comes from Broad City, in which Ilana Glazer’s character regularly uses “yass queen,” or this viral 2013 video in which a Lady Gaga fan repeatedly says, “yass Gaga, you look so good.” But it generally derives from ball culture.

BASIC: Anything mainstream is considered basic. Pumpkin spice lattes, for instance, are basic (to some). Viral YouTube videos are credited for introducing the world to the phrase, though musical groups such as Klymaxx used the word in the ’80s.

BAE: The internet argues that this phrase is an acronym for “before anyone else,” another way of describing that special someone. And while it is synonymous with “sweetheart” or “baby,” its roots likely stem from African-American Vernacular English, a term linguists use to describe words that originated in Black culture.

BEAT: This slang term isn’t as aggressive as it sounds. “Beat” can be used as a verb or adjective, and it’s all about beauty. To beat is to apply makeup, and if someone is described as being “beat,” it means they either applied their makeup well, or just applied a lot of it. Used in a sentence as a verb: “I have to meet the parents tonight so I’m going to beat my face.” You’ll find examples of “beat” in the ball culturedocumentary Paris Is Burning.

If you want the entire list of 30 words to learn click here.

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