UMMMM… Say what? It’s O-ffish {and if you read that as AWFISH then you need to read this post as much as I needed to write it.}. I might be old. Okay. Not old. Not ancient. But friends, if you think the teens are still saying things are supa fly, then you, like me, may be a wee bit out of the know. Orrrrr, if you add the word, “Not!” to the end of your sentence, you may be losing your footing with the current teen gen. 

Never fear, here’s a little tutorial on all the slang the young whippersnappers are using to communicate — whether that be on text, in person, or on the phone {okay. that’s hilarious, I know. Current teens seem like they’d rather die than talk on the phone}.

I know what you’re thinking, “Dude. I’m hip to the teen slang game. I’m the grooviest cat in this hood. Don’t diss me homeboy. I’m so on fleek. YOLO!!” 

Bah! I die. You’re not so savage. In fact, you’re hundo p out of the know. And your teen is so done with you.

So let’s talk teen, aight? Sometimes when I peruse Insta {that’s instagram, people… or IG… or the Grams} I’m caught thinking, “Are they speaking gibberish?” but obvs, like normal, different ages of peeps continue to speak using different words. And here are a few to help you decode your teen’s talk {and fo sho. this is meant to be a bit hilar. Because FR I don’t really use these words in every day language. Obvs}.

Savage – cool. badass. killer. If something or someone is savage, they are totally awesomesauce {and no, awesomesauce is not current, FYI}.

Obv – You might think, really, how much energy does it take to use the entire word? Well, apparently a fair amount. So instead of obviously, obv {said ob-v} takes its place. 

GOAT – “My mom is the GOAT.” You probs won’t hear that often, but if you do, don’t think your teen means you eat clothes! It means you are the Greatest Of All Time. Not so bad, right?

Hundo P – hundred percent. Do you totes agree? Obvs. Hundo p {100%}. And who knows if totes is still relevant. But am I still using it? Totes ma goats. 

That’s lit – You might think this would mean that someone took a match to something. I mean, sorta… because if something’s lit, it’s totally rad, man. Or cool. Off the chain, yo. 

Retweet – Same. Picture your darling 8-year-old saying, “My day was great.” Welllll, your oh-so-talkative teen might say, “Retweet.” Because why repeat something when you can just retweet the same thought in one word?!

Bruh – In light of the phenomenon that a dear friend of mine just educated me on called, vocal fry, you may think, “Why does my teen stretch her words out at the end as if she’s desperate for water after she’s been trapped in the desert for weeks?” Well, friendsies, that low gravely sound leads to words like this, “Bruh.” Because bro is so last Thursday.

Bae – Come get it, bae. Bae is your person. Your crush. Your lova. Or even sometimes, your bestie. Some people say it’s Before Anyone Else. 

Salty – This is my fave. And I plan to use it for always. If someone is salty over something, they’re bitter or upset. “I’m super salty that that blogger lady wrote a post about our secret teen language.”

Throw shade – You might think, Why would my teen throw their sunglasses at someone? Ummmm, they wouldn’t. If they are throwin’ shade, a dirty look was given or someone said somethin’ nasty. Throwin’ shade is meant to say you are knocking someone publicly or being way harsh, Ty {if you’re still speaking Clueless. As if.}.

Thirsty – Man, I’m so thirsty for him. Desperate. Yearning. And the like.

Bye Felicia – This is hilariously borrowed from my generation, yo {if you’re in the Generation X or Y, that is}. Because if you’ve seen the movie, Friday, you might remember the scene. So Bye, Felicia, is meant to send the message that you could give two shits about what the person is saying or doing. “I’m going to take your trapper keeper.” “Um, bye Felicia.”

Slay – Not to be confused with Buffy, this means, to totally kill it.

Down in the DM – Errrrrm, well, I don’t know how to break it to ya, but this one came from a 2015 song and it is to say somethin’ is goin’ down on social media private messaging. Like, in secret. Often used for hooking up or partying discussions. 

I’m weak – No. Your kid is not saying they need food. “Oh jeepers, that is so hilarious. I’m weak!” And no, current slang doesn’t include jeepers.

Smash – “Your mom is a MILF. I wanna smash that.” Also, MILF is so American Pie. But hopefully that makes it relatable to you.

Swipe left – Have you heard of Tinder? If you haven’t, Google it. I don’t have the time or the word count to get into it. But on Tinder, if you swipe left, it means you think someone is unattractive. Soooooo, to swipe left in convo, is to say, ummmm no about whether or not you find someone hot.

There you have it, kiddos. I can’t walk you through every day with your teen but hopefully this helps you decode, relate, and converse a bit with the kid in your world. I wouldn’t start using these words in speaking with your teen though. Just stick to your language and they’ll do them and you do you. And heads up, don’t harsh their vibe too much or they’ll totes ice you out, mmm k? Bye, Felicia.

*The phrases in this post were collected by the author using the Interwebs and actual teen convo (yes. Teens actually talk with adults).

Ashli Brehm

Ashli Brehm = Thirtysomething. Nebraska gal. Life blogger. Husker fan. Creative writer. Phi Mu sister. Breast cancer survivor. Boymom. Premie carrier. Happy wife. Gilmore Girls fanatic. Amos Lee listener. Coffee & La Croix drinker. Sarcasm user. Jesus follower. Slipper wearer. Funlover. Candle smeller. Yoga doer. Pinterest failer. Anne Lamott reader. Tribe member. Goodness believer. Life enthusiast. Follow me at