Six Teen Slang Words: A Dictionary for Parents
To be honest, nothing about being a parent is easy, regardless of what age your child is. Having a baby is a hard age for many reasons, including the crying, screaming, and what seems like never-ending diaper changes. But at the same time, you are constantly wondering what your baby wants or needs because they cannot express it to you verbally yet. Most children will say their first word around 12 to 18 months of age, but even at that point, you are still a long way from having a verbal child. Flash forward to the pre-teenage and teenage years. Your child is most likely communicating verbally now, but it is almost as if they are speaking an entirely different language. They are using words now that you have no clue what they are – pendejo meaning, amirite, low-key, sus, or gucci. Do not fear! We are here to break down the teenage slang words your child uses to save you time having to google word after word.
What is Slang?
Before we begin, it is essential to know what the word slang even means. Slang is the use of informal words or phrases. Slang words, terms, and phrases are primarily used verbally but can sometimes be used in text or written communications. While it can be classified into its own language due to the overwhelming number of words or phrases that fall into the category, slang is nothing more than kids creating fun words. Some are negative, while others are just shortened phrases. From here, let us break down some of the top slang words for teens.
Pendejo translates into the phrase pubic hair, but the pendejo meaning is actually asshole or idiot. It is a Spanish slang term, and because it ends in the vowel o, it takes on a masculine meaning and translation. If you were to say this word in reference to a female, you would instead use the word pendeja. Therefore, this word is highly offensive and should not be used in a formal or professional setting. Teens use this word as an insult when treating others cruelly, and as a playful term, they may call their close friends. Pendejo may or may not be a term you want to keep your teen from regularly using, as it is a curse word and not very nice.
We can all agree that many teens are busy. Between school, extracurricular activities, sports, and jobs, they no longer have time for spaces in between words. Hence the birth of amirite, which is just a shortened way to say, “Am I right?’ We can understand where and why this slang word was created when it is said out loud. Amirite usually does not require a response and is meant to emphasize something that was said, such as “School was so boring today, amirite?”
If there is one thing that is not considered cool to teens, it is openly expressing their feelings or desires to their friends or family. This is where the slang adjective low-key was born. When a teen wants to say something but wants to stay calm, they will throw in the word low-key before using the words they are feeling. For example, “I am waiting to get my English grade back, and I am low-key freaking out.” Despite the slang word, you can bet that it usually means quite the opposite of what they are saying. In the previous example, you can bet your teen is quite literally freaking out about their English grade. Clear as mud, right?
Sus or Sussy
If you hear your teen call something sus or sussy, they are calling something suspicious. This slang word is not new but has become increasingly popular since the introduction of the game Among Us in 2018. So if anything seems a little off or suspicious, you will know by your teen’s use of sus.
Since its introduction in 1921, Gucci has been well-known as a luxury fashion brand that creates expensive clothing, handbags, shoes, footwear, accessories, and decoration. Almost 100 years later, the term gucci is used as a synonym for good, cool, or fine. When you ask your teen how their day was, instead of using one of the frequently used one-word responses, you may now hear, “It was gucci.”
We know being a parent is hard, but trying to translate what your teen is saying does not have to be with our slang dictionary. While there are hundreds more, we highly suggest asking your teen to explain the words they are using to help keep you in the know!