Language never stops evolving. And the dictionary never stops expanding. This powerful tool called communication is one we rely on immensely in life.
But as we patiently taught our toddlers to cutely say “mommy” who knew we would one day end up mourning this landmark in their development as we witness them attempting to string together a coherent sentence today as they merely baffle or confuse us in tongues?

So, if you are struggling to decipher teen lingo and terminology, here’s my top 10 guide to help you:

“Two secs.” (Alternatives include: “Just a min,” or “Yep, coming.”)
Don’t be fooled by this autopilot response. It does not mean two seconds. It does not even mean two minutes or even two hours, to be fair. Invariably it means “I haven’t heard anything you have said but I guess you want me to do something and if I reply in this way, you will leave me alone to continue watching endless TikTok videos.”

“I’m hungry.”
Often said while shuffling and huffing in front of the fridge, siphoning snacks while simultaneously complaining there’s nothing to eat. In reality “I’m hungry” can often mean “I’m bored” or “I’m too lazy to make anything healthy or substantial so I will simply graze for the next few hours on whatever I can find without too much effort.”

RELATED: Dear Mom, This Is What I Need You To Remember Now That I’m a Teenager

“Get out of my room!”
Actually, this does just mean “get out of my room.” Like seriously, how dare you even enter? Anyone would think you actually own the place.

“You can drop me here.”
This means DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT drop me anywhere near my friends. They must not know I have parents or, even worse, that you have given me a lift. I wish to appear independent as if I have walked the 10 miles from my house in a three-day snow blizzard.

You can, however, drop them right at the door if no one is around to witness the parental taxi service. Because then their little darling legs are often strangely too weak to manage the 100-meter distance to the entrance.

“I’m not cold.”
Similar to above. Basically means “I do not wish anyone to know I own, let alone wear, a coat.” It seems that a T-shirt and a hoodie are fine for anything above and below freezing point.  And please, never, ever mention the words “vest” or “layers.” It will simply be met with a disdainful look.

“Nah.”
This means no.

“Uh.”
This means yes.

The two above can often sound remarkably similar. So listen carefully because if you misunderstand, it can cause all manner of agitation. And do not, under any circumstances, ask for a clarification of response. My advicetake an educated guess and go with it. From experience, 90 percent of the time the answer is “nah.”

RELATED: Dear Teenage Daughter, There’s So Much About You I Don’t Understand 

“Meh.”
This word is so popular it does actually exist in the dictionary and is an expression of boredom or apathy. For your teen, it can be used in multiple situations in response to various questions about their life. In particular, it is pretty much a standard response to this one: “How was school today?”

“Doing it!”
Often used following the questions: “Have you done your homework?” or “Have you cleaned your room?” We are so often fooled by this one as it is what we, as parents, want to hear. Unfortunately saying it and actually doing it are two vastly different things. Invariably 99 percent of the time they are not “doing it” and have no plans to do it at all unless accompanied by a) threats b) begging and/or c) bribery.

“I know!” (Often accompanied by an eye roll.)
Probably the most common phrase for all teens and often used to interrupt you saying practically anything and roughly translates as “Please don’t lecture me, advise me, nag me, tell me something, or talk to me because I either know this stuff or don’t have a diddly squat clue, but the last thing I want to hear is you telling me about anything at all.” It’s basically the verbal equivalent of “Talk to the hand.”

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Karen Southall

Mum of 2 teens blogging for fun and to keep myself sane.

The Most Exhausted You Will Ever Be Is Not When You Have Infants and Toddlers. It’s This.

In: Kids, Motherhood
The Most Exhausted You Will Ever Be Is Not When You Have Infants and Toddlers. It’s This. www.herviewfromhome.com

People told me it would be harder. The been there done that empty nest mothers. They said, “Just wait until they’re older.” Lovely, I would think. They would stop me in grocery stores (they were shopping alone—so jealous I was) and they would tell me how much I would miss these days—these days spent wiping butts, counters, faces, and toys with the same verve and enthusiasm a sloth shows at a marathon start line. They told me to cherish every minute. Ha! Minutes. The only thing I was cherishing at that time was the amount of minutes I found myself...

Keep Reading

Hug Them Anyway: 6 Tips For Connecting with Your Teens

In: Motherhood, Teen
Mother and three teen daughters, color photo

The following six ways to nurture relationships with your teens are a good reminder to me and hopefully you. We can know the principles but living them out in the day-to-day can be hard! I currently have—count ’em—FIVE teenagers living in my house, in addition to another adult and three young boys. It. Is. A. Party. For those of you raising teens, you know it’s a very different ballgame. One difficulty has been identifying where the transition takes place between parenting younger children and beginning the process of letting them grow in independence as I become more of a voice...

Keep Reading

Mothering a Teen is Like Walking On Eggshells

In: Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Teen boy using phone

There are plenty of times in my life when I have felt I was walking on eggshells. It always involved a situation when I was with someone older because most of my memories of those moments involve me being young. I did not want to anger anyone. I was scared to fall out of their good graces, so I would find myself always going with the flow and being extremely polite. I would be quiet and try not to be visible yet still have a shadow. As a 40-something-year-old mom of two boys—a teenager and a preteen—I find myself reverting...

Keep Reading