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23 Words Teenagers Love To Use And What They Really Mean

Now you’ll be able to understand what the youths are saying.

1. “Turn up”

Columbia Pictures / Via memegifs.tumblr.com

Definition: Want to get this party started? Then you better turn up. After all, there is nothing teens love more than #parties (except maybe #selfies). Also can be used ironically.

Used in a sentence: “Did you hear Tracy is hosting an open house rager tonight? TURN UP!”

2. “TBT” (When it isn’t Thursday)

Destiny’s Child Vevo / Via perezhilton.com

Definition: It’s like the “Throwback Thursday” that is common vernacular for the rest of the Instagram-using world, except teens are edgy and use it on other days of the week. Throwback Thursday on a Monday? Now that is some hardcore stuff.

Used in a sentence: “TBT to dat time we were listening to Drake and drinking vodka from a water bottle in your parents’ basement!”

3. “Grind”

20th Century Fox / Via collegecandy.com

Definition: Used to express you are in the process of doing something difficult. You have to be “on” a grind; it modifies the preexisting process you are discussing. After all, nothing is easy when you are a teen.

Used in a sentence: “I’m on that midterms grind, I have to study at the library this weekend!”

4. “Chirped”

Beacon Pictures / Via rebloggy.com

Definition: Basically, your ass just got called out. Teens love to tell it like it is, after all.

Used in a sentence: “Mrs. Smith yelled at me in class for cracking jokes. Dude, I got chirped!”

5. “Doe”

Definition: Um, it’s like “though” but better, and used for emphasis. There really isn’t much to it.

Used in a sentence: “Oh, dat test doe!”

6. “Mupload that ish”

Definition: Teens LOVE technology, so they naturally have slang for the process of uploading pictures to social media via a mobile electronic device — hence, “mupload.”

Used in a sentence: “Stacy, that was SUCH a great selfie. Mupload that ish to Facebook!”

7. “Swerve”

Definition: Use it as an exclamatory word to emphasize a statement. It also can be used at the beginning OR end of a sentence. Because teens are notoriously “difficult” this word doesn’t exactly have a concrete definition.

Used in a sentence: “That cute boy is single? Oh SWERVE doe!”

8. “Swag money”

Disney / Via wifflegif.com

Definition: Sort of like “swerve,” “swag money” is an emphatic phrase that can be used at either end of a sentence. It is used to convey “rich greatness” because, duh, as if teens would ever be caught saying something is just great.

Used in a sentence: “Oh swag money, we got front-row seats to the One Direction concert!”

9. “Am I right, ladies?”

Paramount Pictures / Via noyoureoutoforder.tumblr.com

Definition: Did you just drop a major truth bomb? Then feel free to use this phrase. Teens don’t just like to tell it like it is, but also to tell you that they just told it to you like it is.

Used in a sentence: “I was totally the hottest chick at the school dance, am I right, ladies?”

10. “I can’t even”

Universal Pictures / Via quey.soup.io

Definition: Teenagers love being “dramatic” and the best way of expressing teenage drama is through hyperbolic expressions like this. After all, teenagers usually CAN even, but what would be the fun in that?

Used in a sentence: “Ugh, I have swim practice after school and I have to study for a math test. I can’t even.”

11. “Can I get an amen?”

Definition: In the religion that is being a teenager, saying something awesome is practically gospel. To let everyone know what you just said was awesome, you use this phrase as a marker. Subtlety is not something teens are known for, after all.

Used in a sentence: “OMG David just texted me. Can I get an amen?”

12. “Flannel Friday”

Juan Naharro Gimenez / Stringer

Definition: This one is kind of self-explanatory. Teens like to wear flannel…on Fridays. It’s really just an excuse to wear flannel, as if you needed one in the first place.

Used in a sentence: “Hey Britney, what shirt are you going to wear on Flannel Friday?”

13. “Kk”

Definition: Used exclusively in texting, “kk” is the less passive-aggressive version of “OK.” After all, teens LOVE to be soooooo chill.

Used in a sentence: (Responding to a question) “Kk.”

14. “Is that a thing?”

Fox TV / Via glee.wikia.com

Definition: Obviously, teens have the last say when it comes to setting trends. No one is more wary of something that may be phony, or shitty, or lame than teens. So, in order to confirm if something is in fact “happening” both in the literal and figurative sense, teens will employ this phrase.

Used in a sentence: “OMG I just heard Justin and Selena are back on. Is that a thing?”

15. “YAAASSSSSSSS”

Definition: In a fashionable move, teens have taken the more commonly used word “yaaass” as their own. This version uses one “a” and lots of “s” and always is capitalized. It basically means “yes” but with a bajillion times more enthusiasm. Because when teens aren’t being surly, they are ready to TURN UP.

Used in a sentence: “We are so going to turn up at the party tonight YAAAAASSSS!”

16. “Hashtag”

Willow Smith Vevo

Definition: Teens are so “with it” to the point that they use complex technological terms like “hashtag” in a sarcastic way to embellish a point they are making.

Used in a sentence: “Did you hear Lisa is dating that senior guy? Hashtag WHATEVER.”

17. “Killin’ it”

Definition: Teens are constantly doing awesome things, so they had to invent a phrase that basically means the awesomer version of awesome. That’s where “killin’ it” comes in.

Used in a sentence: “OMG I totally was killin’ it on the dance floor at prom!”

18. “Sprang break”

A24 / Via nextmovie.com

Definition: High schoolers are too “cool” to do spring break, so they had to invent another term. It also is often used ironically to describe a break spent visiting potential colleges.

Used in a sentence: “Ugh, so I have to visit Notre Dame, IU, and Northwestern in April. Sprang break is the worst.”

19. “Dat”

Walt Disney Pictures / Via thehungergames.wikia.com

Definition: “Dat” is basically the teenage version of “that” except it is hip and fresh like the teens that use it!

Used in a sentence: “Dat boy is so cute in his prom tux. I want a piece of dat.”

20. “Mad”

NBC Universal / Via totalprosports.com

Definition: It’s sort of like the teenage version of “very.” Because “very” is very lame, and “mad” is mad awesome.

Used in a sentence: “Yo, Sarah is, like, mad chill. She’s one of the coolest chicks I know. I want to ask her to prom.”

21. “Fam”

Paramount Pictures / Via thoughtcatalog.com

Definition: Everyone has a family, but when you are a teen, you refer to them as your “fam” because abbreviating stuff is SO mad chill. It’s especially useful to do when you are complaining about and/or making fun of them (a favorite pastime of teens everywhere).

Used in a sentence: “Ugh, I have to have dinner with the fam tonight but I can go out after.”

22. “Turnt”

Definition: You’ve definitely heard this word before, but in typical teenage fashion, the youths have taken the word and made it their own. Basically it means “fun” or “rowdy.”

Used in a sentence: “Yo Mark, are we going to get turnt for the football game tonight or what?”

23. “Fetch”

Paramount Pictures / Via hellobeautiful.com

Just kidding, no one says this. Stop trying to make “fetch” happen. It’s not going to happen.

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Editor, 2009 Prom King of New Canaan High School
 
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