Cracking the Code: Helping Parents Decode Teenage Jargon or Slang


Understanding the language of teenagers can often feel like navigating a foreign land. Just when you think you've grasped a few terms, a whole new wave of slang emerges. New age mothers of Teens, can certainly relate to the challenge of keeping up with the ever-evolving world of youth culture.

But fear not, deciphering teenage slang is not an impossible task. In fact, it can be a fascinating journey into the dynamic world of language evolution.

Origins of Slang: Where Does It Come From and Why Do We Use It?

Slang is like the chameleon of language—it constantly changes and adapts to fit the context and needs of its users. It often arises through the process of shortening or combining words, such as "fab" for fabulous or "chillax" for chill and relax.

Sometimes, slang takes existing words and gives them new, unexpected meanings, like "cheugy," which describes someone or something as basic or out-of-date.

Interestingly, many words that start as slang eventually find their way into mainstream language. Take the word "mad," for example, which originally meant angry but has since evolved to convey a variety of emotions.

Top Slang Terms You Need to Know Now

While slang can vary by region, the rise of social media platforms like Instagram has made it more universal than ever before. To help you stay informed and connected with your kids, here's a handy guide to the top slang words making the rounds:


  • Meaning: Address
  • Usage in sentence: "Text me your addy, and I'll come over later."



  • Meaning: Agreeing with something; recognizing someone for being themselves
  • Usage in sentence: "I'm totally based on your decision to dye your hair blue."


Ate that

  • Meaning: Successfully achieving something
  • Usage in sentence: "She really ate that math test!"



  • Meaning: Average, predictable, or bland; often used as an insult
  • Usage in sentence: "Her taste in music is so basic, she only listens to what's on the radio."



  • Meaning: Lying
  • Usage in sentence: "Stop cappin' about your grades, I know you didn't study."



  • Meaning: Basic, out-of-date, or trying too hard
  • Usage in sentence: "Wearing Crocs is so cheugy these days."


Cozzie Livs

  • Meaning: Cost of living crises
  • Usage in sentence: "With the cozzie livs rising, it's getting harder to afford groceries."



  • Meaning: Extremely funny or embarrassing
  • Usage in sentence: "That joke had me ded!"



  • Meaning: Delusional; often used humorously to describe someone who rejects reality
  • Usage in sentence: "He's delulu if he thinks he can finish that project in one night."


Gas Up

  • Meaning: To encourage or hype someone up
  • Usage in sentence: "Thanks for gassing me up before my presentation."


Low key

  • Meaning: Discreetly, casually, or secretly
  • Usage in sentence: "I low key want to skip class tomorrow."


High key

  • Meaning: With strong emphasis or enthusiasm
  • Usage in sentence: "I high key need a break from all this homework."



  • Meaning: If you know you know; insider knowledge or an inside joke
  • Usage in sentence: "That meme is hilarious, IFKKYK."


No Cap

  • Meaning: No lie; emphasizing the truthfulness of a statement
  • Usage in sentence: "I'm telling you, I saw a UFO last night, no cap."


Pop Off

  • Meaning: To excel or perform exceptionally well
  • Usage in sentence: "Did you see her pop off during the dance competition?"



  • Meaning: Charisma or attractiveness
  • Usage in sentence: "She's got so much rizz, everyone wants to be around her."


Roman Empire

  • Meaning: Something you love and think about constantly
  • Usage in sentence: "Traveling to Japan is my Roman Empire."



  • Meaning: Annoyed or upset
  • Usage in sentence: "Why is he so salty about losing the game?"



  • Meaning: Trying too hard to impress someone
  • Usage in sentence: "He's such a simp for always buying her expensive gifts."



  • Meaning: To do something exceptionally well
  • Usage in sentence: "She slayed her performance at the talent show."



  • Meaning: To show off or boast
  • Usage in sentence: "Stop flexing with your new phone, nobody cares."


Glow Up

  • Meaning: To undergo a positive transformation, especially in appearance
  • Usage in sentence: "Have you seen her glow up since last year? She looks amazing."



  • Meaning: Greatest of all time; used to praise someone or something
  • Usage in sentence: "LeBron James is the goat of basketball."



  • Meaning: Good or fine; derived from the luxury brand
  • Usage in sentence: "Everything's gucci, don't worry about it."



  • Meaning: Excellent or exciting
  • Usage in sentence: "That party last night was so lit!"



  • Meaning: Relatable feeling or expression
  • Usage in sentence: "This rainy weather is such a mood."



  • Meaning: Fearlessly outspoken or ruthless
  • Usage in sentence: "She's savage when it comes to defending her friends."



  • Meaning: To support or endorse a romantic pairing
  • Usage in sentence: "I totally ship them, they're perfect together."



  • Meaning: Close group of friends
  • Usage in sentence: "My squad and I are going to the movies tonight."



  • Meaning: Gossip or juicy information
  • Usage in sentence: "Spill the tea, what's the latest drama?"



  • Meaning: Desperate or eager for attention
  • Usage in sentence: "Stop commenting on every Instagram post, you're so thirsty."



  • Meaning: Enjoying oneself or getting along well with others
  • Usage in sentence: "We were just vibing at the beach all day."



  • Meaning: Aware of social issues or injustices
  • Usage in sentence: "She's so woke, always fighting for equality."



  • Meaning: Exclamation of excitement or victory
  • Usage in sentence: "Yeet! We finally finished our project."



  • Meaning: Influence or popularity
  • Usage in sentence: "He's got so much clout on social media."



  • Meaning: To suddenly disappear or stop communicating
  • Usage in sentence: "He ghosted me after our first date, I never heard from him again."



  • Meaning: In real life
  • Usage in sentence: "I can't believe I saw him IRL after talking online for months."



  • Meaning: Joy of missing out; the opposite of FOMO
  • Usage in sentence: "I'm staying in tonight and enjoying some JOMO."



  • Meaning: Not safe for work
  • Usage in sentence: "Be careful with that link, it's NSFW."



  • Meaning: One true pairing; favorite romantic pairing
  • Usage in sentence: "They're my OTP, I hope they end up together."



  • Meaning: To check or look at something
  • Usage in sentence: "Can you peep this document and let me know if there are any errors?"



  • Meaning: Expression of excitement or amazement
  • Usage in sentence: "Poggers! We won the game!"



  • Meaning: To support or admire fervently
  • Usage in sentence: "I stan her so hard, she's my favorite artist."



  • Meaning: Suspicious or untrustworthy
  • Usage in sentence: "His story seems sus, I don't think he's telling the truth."



  • Meaning: That feeling when
  • Usage in sentence: "TFW you finally finish all your homework."


Thirst Trap

  • Meaning: A photo or post intended to attract attention or compliments
  • Usage in sentence: "She posted a major thirst trap on Instagram last night."



  • Meaning: Posting provocative or inflammatory comments online
  • Usage in sentence: "Stop trolling people on Twitter, it's not cool."



  • Meaning: Slang for an attractive, stylish, or confident man
  • Usage in sentence: "He's such a zaddy in that suit."


By familiarizing yourself with these slang terms, you'll be better equipped to understand and engage with your teen's world.

So, the next time your teen drops a phrase or acronym you don't recognize, you'll be ready to decode it with confidence. No FOMO here—just a deeper connection with your kids and their ever-evolving language.

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