If you pick up your teen’s phone on any given day, chances are the next stop you make will be Google. That’s because, if you’re like most parents, you’re beyond baffled by texting language kids use.
It’s okay, you are not alone if you feel out of the loop. As parents, we’re not invited to the party—and that’s okay. Slag belongs to the generation that coined it. And few of us are aching to use words like “sus” and “simp,” right? The goal of these updates isn’t to decode or invade. It’s digital parenting 101. The more we know about what’s going on in our child’s world, the better we can parent. It’s our job to know.
So once a year we do our best to decipher some of the more common terms you may hear or see your kids use. Keep in mind: Slang isn’t universal. It changes from city to city and culture to culture. Terms and meanings may vary. Many of the words are fun and harmless, while others are specifically meant to mask risky behavior. Remember, McAfee frees you to live your connected life safe from threats like viruses, malware, phishing, and more. Download award-winning antivirus that protects your data and devices today.
Here are a sampling of terms, acronyms, and phrases we came across this year*.
Terms, Phrases & Acronyms
A real one. A person who is being authentic, genuine, trusted.
And I oop. A phrase used after a funny mistake or accident.
Awks. Short for awkward.
Baddie. Name for an independent female who is tough and beautiful.
Bands. Refers to bands around cash or a wealthy person. No doubt, the dude’s got bands.
Bet. A willingness to do something; means “yes” or “okay.”
Big yikes. When you see something, that is a huge embarrassment.
Booed up. To be in a romantic relationship.
Bop. A really good song. That song is such a bop!
Bread or Cheddar. Terms that refer to money.
Breadcrumbing. Sending flirtatious text messages to another person to get their attention but remain non-committal.
Bussin. Something is awesome. Her new hair color is bussin’.
Cake. When someone’s body looks good. The girl in my science class has cake.
Cancel. Reject or stop supporting a group or idea.
Cap. A term that means “lie” or “false.” He said we were a couple. Cap!
No cap. A phrase that means “no lie” or “for real” emphasizes telling the truth. I just saw him eat a bug. No cap!
CEO. A term used to describe something that you’re very good at, making you the CEO of it. I’m the CEO of being late to class.
Cheug. This term describes a person, idea, or situation that is outdated or inauthentic.
Clout. A term that relates to a person’s follower count, fame, or influencer status. Sometimes an expression for an extravagant way of living.
Chasing Clout. A term that describes a person who does and says things for the sole purpose of becoming more popular.
Curve. To reject someone romantically.
Cuffing. Wanting to date or cuff yourself to someone temporarily—at least until summer break.
Do it for the gram. A phrase that describes someone doing something for the sole purpose of posting online.
Drip. A term that describes someone’s style as sexy or cool. Zayne has some serious drip.
Facts. When you agree with someone.
Finsta. A second Instagram account used for sharing with a smaller circle of friends and followers.
Fish. Fishing for compliments.
Fit. Short for outfit.
Flex. To show off or show something off.
Get after it. Start with something with intensity.
Ghost. Suddenly stop all contact with someone online and in person.
Hundo P. Being 100% certain.
Hypebeast. A term that describes someone who cares too much about popular things rather than being self-aware and genuine.
I’m dead. Describes how you feel when something is hilarious.
I’m weak. Like, dead, describes how you feel when something is hilarious.
I can’t even. An expression used when you’ve had enough of someone or a situation.
Keep it 100. Stay true to yourself and stick to your values.
Left on read. When someone does not respond to your text. He left me on read!
Lit. Cool or awesome.
Mood. A term used to express a relatable feeling or experience. Seeing that kid by himself kicking a can is such a mood.
Mutuals. People who follow and support one another on social media.
Oof. An expression used when something bad happens, and you don’t know how to respond.
Periodt. A term used to emphasize what you just said.
Purr. Expressing approval. I’ve got nothing but purr for my friends.
Receipts. Evidence to prove someone is either lying. Often in the form of screenshots, videos, or images.
Savage. A cool person or someone overly direct or candid.
Sketch. A sketchy or ominous situation, place, or person.
Skrrt. To leave quickly or get away from someone (the sound a car makes).
Ship. Short for relationship.
Simp. Used to describe a guy who is seen as being too attentive and submissive to a girl.
Sheesh. A term used to compliment someone when they look good or do something good.
Suh. A combination of “sup” and “huh” used as a greeting.
Sus. Short for suspect describing a situation, a person, or a claim. That guy is sus. Let’s get out of here.
Shawty. An attractive female. Sometimes a short, attractive female.
Sheee. An expression of disappointment, annoyance, or surprise.
Slaps. A term used when something is awesome. The DJ slaps.
Snatched. Describing a person or a thing that looks great. I’m jealous her makeup is so snatched.
Stan. A combination of “stalker” and “fan” refers to an overly obsessed fan of a celebrity.
Straight Fire or Fire. Describes something amazing. His new truck is straight fire.
Thumpin’. Word to describe someone going very. I didn’t even see him leave. He was thumpin’.
Vaguebooking. The act of posting vague Facebook or other social status updates for attention or as a cry for help. Wondering what the point of it all is anyway.
Whip. A word that means car. Have you seen his new whip?
Wig. When something has you so excited, your wig might come off; mind-blowing. The new Adele song!! WIIIIGGG!
Yeet. Throwing something out of rage. Also used as an exclamation for being excited.
NGL. Not Gonna Lie.
NMH. Nodding My Head; an expression of agreement.
NSA. No Strings Attached.
HWU. Hey, what’s up?
IYKWIM. If You Know What I Mean.
OG.Short for Original Gangster;a compliment for someone who is exceptional or authentic.
ORLY. Oh really?
SMH. Shaking My Head.
TFW. That Feeling When
TT2T. Too Tired to Talk.
L. Short for loose or loss.
V. Short for very.
W. Short for win. Their loss is our w.
WYA. Where are you at?
WYD. What are you doing?
YK. You’re Kidding.
YKTS. You Know the Score.
YKTV. You know the vibe.
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(Potentially) Risky Terms & Acronyms
Addy/Study Buddy. Terms used in place of the medication Adderal.
Break Green. A term that means to share marijuana with others.
Crashy. Combo of “crazy” and “trashy.”
Daddy. An attractive man, usually older, who conveys a sense of power and dominance.
Faded/Cooked. Terms used to describe being high on drugs.
Lit/Turnt Up. It can mean party or get drunk.
MOS/POS. Mom Over Shoulder; Parent Over Shoulder.
Kush/Flower/Gas. Terms used in place of marijuana.
Smash. To hook up for casual sex. Is he a smash or a pass?
Thirsty. Adjective for a person desperate for attention or sex.
Xan/Xans. Terms short for Xanax, a sedative used to treat anxiety. Also called xanny, beans, bars, and footballs.
CD9. Can’t talk parents are here.
CU46. See You For Sex.
GALMA. Go Away Leave Me Alone.
GOMB. Get Off My Back.
GSW. Get Some Weed.
LMIRL. Let’s meet in Real Life.
KMS/KYS. Kill myself, Kill Yourself.
ONG. On God; a term that implies a person is serious enough to swear “on god.”
ONS. One Night Stand.
Spice or K2. Code for synthetic marijuana, which can be more harmful than actual cannabis.
URAL. You’re A Loser.
WWTP. Want to Trade Pics?
X or E. Letters that stand for ecstasy, otherwise known as “molly” or MDMA.
Zaddy. A well-dressed, attractive man of any age.
Zerg. A term that originated in the gaming community for gamers using the many against one strategy to win a game. A Zerg is a person who employs the same bullying tactics in real life. Stay away from him. He’s such a Zerg! Or Stay off that site. There’s too much zerging.
*Content collected from various sources, including NetLingo.com, slangit.com, cyberdefinitions.com, UrbanDictionary.com, webopedia.com, and conversations on TikTok, Reddit, and YouTube.