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Deciphering the Code: 21st Century Teen Slang

Written by Evolve's Behavioral Health Content Team​:

Alyson Orcena, LMFT, Melissa Vallas, MD, Shikha Verma, MD, Ellen Bloch, LCSW, Lianne Tendler, LMFT, Megan Johnston, LMFT
Meet The Team >

What are They Even Saying?

We’ll start this post by reminding all the parents out there of the first rule of teen slang:

It’s for teens.

 Try it out at your own peril. At worst, your teens will roll their eyes and groan, and at best, you might score one or two hipster points. Which brings us to another rule. About trying to be the hip parent:

Give up the notion you were ever hip in the first place.

Maybe you were. Maybe you weren’t. Either way, it’s irrelevant. Trying to be contemporary teenage hip will have the opposite effect than you intend: nine times out of ten you’re going to embarrass yourself and your children. We’re offering this list not so you can trade slang with your kids and their friends, but so that when you monitor your teenager’s texts, IMs, DMs, emails, and social media accounts, you’ll have a slightly better chance at understanding what they’re talking about.

Because honestly, texting and chatting have given us more acronyms and funky phrases than military jargon, legalese, and corporate speak combined. It’s an entirely different language, and if you don’t speak it, you might miss what’s happening right under your nose, all day every day – so we scoured the interwebs here, here, and here to compile this list of slang phrases for your edification.

Teen Slang as of April 2018

Harmless Phrases

Bruh: Variation of brother and bro.

Fam: Circle of close friends

GOAT: Greatest Of All Time

TBH: To Be Honest

Lit: Something cool, awesome, excellent

I’m weak: Something funny

Hundo P: One hundred percent, for sure, certainly

Gucci: Cool, stylish

Squad: Circle of close friends

Bae: Before Anyone Else. Term for a boyfriend or girlfriend.

Curve: To reject someone romantically

Low Key: Keep what I’m about to say a secret. Same as the phrase DL or “on the down low.”

Salty: Bitter, angry, or annoyed at someone or something

Skurt: To leave.

Throw shade: To cast aspersions on someone either with words or actions

Straight fire: Anything hot or trendy.

Sip tea: Mind your own business

Scoop: To pick someone up, as in give them a ride.
Finna: About to do something. From the southern phrase “fixing to.”
Yeet: An expression of excitement
Dip: To leave
AMOSC: Add Me On Snapchat
Rn: Right now
Geekin: Laughing like crazy
Bet: A sure thing
WRU: Where are you?
WUD: What are you doing?
LYAAF: Love You As A Friend
NC: No Comment
IDKWTD: I Don’t Know What To Do

WSID: What Should I Do?
123: I agree
HML: Hit My Line, meaning call or text.
OBS: Obviously
OFC: Of course
ACC: Actually
POA: Plan of action
IMO: In My Opinion
GOMB: Get Off My Back
Huggle: Hug and snuggle
Ship:  Relationship
IDEK: I Don’t Even Know
IKR: I Know, Right?
SMH: Shaking My Head
Dime: An attractive person. A 10 on a scale of 1-10.
Woke: Socially, politically, and culturally aware
Savage: Blunt, undiplomatic public speech

SWYP: So What’s Your Problem?

Red Flag Phrases

 KOTL: Kiss On The Lips

WTH: What The Hell
AF: As F***, meaning extremely. “She’s woke AF.”
121: Chat privately
AEAP, ALAP: As Early, or As Aate As Possible
Clouds: Vapor exhaled from a vaporizer
F2F: Face to Face
LMIRL: Let’s Meet In Real Life
1174: An invitation to meet at a wild party
99: Parents no longer around
MOS, POS: Mom/Parents looking Over Shoulder
KPC: Keeping Parents Clueless
WTTP: Want To Trade Pictures?
S2R: Send to Receive, referring to pictures
Sugarpic: A nude, partially nude, or suggestive picture
TDTM: Talk Dirty To Me
Zerg: To bully someone. Adopted from a gaming phrase meaning to gang up on someone
KMS, KYS: Kill My Self, Kill Your Self

82: I Hate You
A3: Anytime, Anywhere, Anyplace – may mean an arrangement to have sex, buy drugs, or fight.

The Reddest Flags: Illegal/Drug-Related Phrases

Blow: Cocaine
Pearls: A marijuana joint or blunt that’s rolled well
Bud: Marijuana
Trees: Marijuana

Earwax, Wax. Honeycomb, Honey, Honey Oil, 710, Butter (or Budder), Amber, Nectar, Black Glass, Shatter, Errl: All terms for Butane Hash Oil (BHO), a highly potent and very dangerous marijuana extract.
Dabbing: Using BHO

Blasting: The process of making BHO at home

Blasters: People who make BHO at home.

420: General term for anything to do with marijuana
DOC: Drug Of Choice
Yayo: Cocaine
Baseball: Crack Cocaine
Skrill: Money
CID: Acid
E: Ecstasy
Hazel: Heroin
Blue Boogers: The result of inhaling Adderall or Ritalin
Pharming: Stealing prescription drugs from parents
Pox: Opium
Robo-tripping: Drinking cough syrup to get high
Tweaking: High on amphetamines or hallucinogens
White Lady: Cocaine or heroin
Wings: Cocaine or heroin
Speed, Crank, Uppers ,Crystal, Tina: Can be general terms for amphetamines or a specific term for methamphetamine

Demmies: Demerol
O, Oxy, Kickers, OC, Blues: Oxycontin – a prescription opiate
Captain Cody, Cody, Schoolboy: Cough syrup with Codeine
Percs: Percocet or Percodan
Doors & fours, Pancakes and syrup: Codeine with glutethimide
Vikes, Lorries, Watsons, 357s: Vicodin, Lorcet, or Loritab
Pink O, Stop Signs, Pink: Opana – an opiate.
China Girl, Chinatown, Tango and Cash: Fentanyl, a very strong prescription opiate.
Rids, Ritties, Skippy, Skittles, Study Buddies: Ritalin
Black Beauties, Truck Drivers, Wakeups: Adderall 

Fair warning: this list is subject to change at any moment. At the rate teen slang transforms, chances are many of these phrases will be outdated by the time we publish this list.

But we have to try to keep up – and so do you!

Our Behavioral Health Content Team

We are an expert team of behavioral health professionals who are united in our commitment to adolescent recovery and well-being.

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