Teens, slang and the world wide web

Every generation has its own slang, a language unique to that grouping of teens.  I was part of GenX, we loved grunge music and used words like ‘lank’ and rad’. Cellphones and the world-wide web were not part of our world.  Our’s was talking on the phone for hours to the point where one’s father would severly limit its use. Well, that’s what it was like in my home.  But, I digress.

This generation of teens is a pretty remarkable one. They are true digital natives and they belong to a world that we could only have dreamt of in the late 70’s and early 80’s.  The live online.  Their life is forever captured through Snapschat and viral videos.  To have your life recorded and sent around to your peers is pretty common.  They seem to take it in their stride.  There is the dark side, however, and this is where we as parents need to educate ourselves and guide our children in healthy online usage.

Learn about the world your children are living in.

I’ve taught my children from their preteen years to think twice about what they post on the net.  Once it’s is there, you cannot remove it.  You can delete the app or try and erase it but with a few strokes of techie’s fingers, you can find it again.

If you are a parent, use these parameters to guide yourself and your child with online posting:  Ask yourself this question?  Does it pass the “PG Test“?


Will the following people approve of your post? Can you look them in the eye with a clear conscience after you’ve posted the pic or meme?

Can you tick these boxes with a yes?

  • Parents
  • Public
  • Peers
  • Pastor
  • God

If you can’t, then think twice.

Teach them to think twice, to take a deep breathe and then decide.

Will my parents, my peers, my pastor, the public and God be pleased with what I post right now?

And just to help you in understand this generation’s language, here are a few words they use with some interpretations.

Start talking more to your children, don’t be judgemental but interested.  Your love will grip their hearts and your relationship with them can grow.

Preteen or Teen Slang

Damn, Daniel: A way of praising someone, similar to “D***, girl!” The viral phrase came from a Twitter video in which a guy repeatedly approaches his friend, saying, “Damn, Daniel, back at it again with the white Vans!” (Vans are a shoe brand.) It became a social media phenomenon almost overnight.

GOAT:  Greatest of all times . eg “Dude, GOAT”

Luss:  it’s an effort or mission

Netflix and Chill: Translation:  “Come over and have sex.” Little to no television is actually being watched. This phrase began in fall 2014 but gained massive popularity in summer 2015.

On Fleek: On point, really cool, perfectly executed. The phrase started in a Vine video (“eyebrows on fleek!”) and increased in popularity in fall 2015

Pull/pulled:  Kissing

Rents:  Another word for parents

Salty:  Translation: Don’t be bitter or not nice.  eg she’s salty (meaning:  she’s not in a good mood or not nice)

Slide in the DM;  Get into someone’s conversation on Instagram but isn’t restricted to Instragram.  Slide smoothly into a conversation

Shrooms or Broccoli: Marijuana. Popularized by the song “Broccoli” by D.R.A.M. featuring Lil Yachty, which became popular in August 2016 through the app Musical.ly (a lip-syncing app targeting 11- to 15-year-olds).

Troll: A person on the Internet who posts deliberately offensive content in the hopes of upsetting the audience. Trolls have always been around with social media, but they have especially picked up a strong social media presence within the last year.

The Dab: A dance move that’s incredibly popular with teens. The move started in Atlanta’s hip hop scene in 2012, but became popular when Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton did the move in November 2015 in a game against the Tennessee Titans.

Throwing Shade: Saying hateful, disrespectful, demeaning words about another person, either directly (i.e. “talking trash”) OR indirectly (i.e. subtweeting).

If you have any questions or would like to chat with me please email me on mandi@mandihart.co.za or click here.

AxisIf you would like more resources about parenting this generation, have a look at the Axis website. It’s a good one. A few of the slang words are courtesy of Axis.

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