Teen Slang Words and Phrases

Lori Soard
teens talking

Each generation of teens has unique slang terms and catch phrases. If you are a parent to a teen or are around teens, then you probably would love a guide to what those words mean. Not only will this help you interact with them by entering their world, but you'll have a better understanding of the new language your child is speaking.

Current Teen Slang

In a survey LoveToKnow conducted of 20 teens ages 16 to 19 in the Midwest, there were some slang terms that came up again and again as favorites. These slang terms were cross-checked against the October 2015 Online Slang Dictionary and Internet Slang. The most popular words and what they mean are listed below.


This word has been around for awhile but seems to be making a resurgence in popularity. Bae simply means boyfriend, girlfriend, or someone very much loved by the person.

Example sentence: "Lauren is my bae. I love her."


Todrick Hall, a US-born singer and actor, has released a number of videos where he simply adds the word "boots" to the end of a sentence to emphasize the meaning of the sentence. It can replace the word "very" or "really," but it always goes at the end of the sentence.

Example sentence: "I am hungry boots."


This word is used to describe someone who acts outside of the social norms or seems to have stalker tendencies.

Example sentence: "I talked to him once online, and he came to my job. Creeper!"


This word is used in place of "though" for more emphasis and probably also because teens like to use unique words.

Example sentence: "That new song, doe."


If you're being difficult to deal with, then teens may use this term to refer to you. It basically means you are a high-maintenance person.

Example sentence: "My mom's an extra today."


FUBB is an acronym and stands for "Fouled Up Beyond Belief." Typically posted on social media as just the acronym to signal a mistake.

Example sentence: "FUBB."


This word is a combination of hungry and angry. According to Urban Dictionary, the word has been around since 2007, but it seems to have reappeared among the teens surveyed for this article and is still being used regularly.

Example sentence: "I need to eat. I'm getting hangry."

Onion Check

The Onion is an online publication that produces satirical articles that are completely ridiculous and untrue. Doing an "onion check" means making sure something is factual and not absurd.

Example sentence: "I'm doing an onion check on that gossip."

Throw Shade

To throw shade at someone means to give them a dirty look.

Example sentence: "Melissa just threw shade at Ian. They must be fighting."


Pop Sugar indicated on October 11, 2015, that "ship" is a slang term youth are using. Although this is slang that was originally popular in the 80s, it seems to be making a comeback. It essentially means you'd like to see two people in a relationship. Think matchmaking in the cyber-age.

Example sentence: "I ship Emily and Michael."


You've probably heard teens say "on fleek," such as that their eyebrows are "on fleek." That simply means that they are on point, looking good, the best eyebrows you've ever seen. Snatched is the new slang term that means the same thing.

Example sentence: "Her outfit is snatched."


A group of friends that the teen regularly hangs out with. These are her closest friends or friend group.

Example sentence: "I'm going to the game with the squad tonight."


This phrase means the person is just trying to get attention and often in desperate and not very attractive ways.

Example sentence: "I can't believe she did that. She's just thirsty."


This is simply the word "yes" with a lot of emphasis. If a teen is excited about something, then she might say this or post it on social media.

Example sentence: "I'm getting a new car! Yaass!!!"

Teen Slang to Watch Out For

While the words above definitely shouldn't send you tripping, there are some versions of teen slang that parents should be aware of. Drug references, cruel behavior and slang to refer to having sex are all things you want to be tuned into.

Bye Felicia

This is a phrase that is actually quite old, but the younger generation has rediscovered it and thinks that parents won't know what it means. Ice Cube uttered the line in the movie Friday in 1995. It didn't really gain much traction, though, until late 2014 when VH1 started using it as a hashtag to promote their reality show by the same name. It caught on with teens and has gained popularity in the last year.

The phrase is a way to dismiss someone who is not considered important. So, if the person says they are leaving, no matter what their name is, the response is:

Example sentence: "Bye Felicia."


This is another word that has been around for a while, but thanks to Miley Cyrus crooning about her and her friend "Molly," teens have discovered a whole new meaning. According to NIDA for Teens, Molly is a term that stands for the drug MDMA. It is a dangerous party drug. If you hear your child referencing "Molly," pay close attention. Every teen surveyed for this article knew exactly what a Molly was and had heard the term before.

Example sentence: "She took a Molly at the party."

Netflix and Chill

This is code for having sex with someone or hooking up. If your teen uses this phrase, pay careful attention to what she's really saying.

Example sentence: "I'm going over to Jeremy's to Netflix and chill."


This means porn and if you hear your teen talking about pron, it is probably time to have a conversation about the dangers of viewing porn, addiction to it and your personal concerns with this issue.

Example sentence: "Let's chill and pron."

Turnt Up

If you hear your teen saying this phrase, then it's probably time to have a conversation about underage drinking and never driving drunk or with someone who has been drinking. This phrase means to be drunk or high.

Example sentence: "I got completely turnt up last night at the party."

Zip Ghost

On October 30, 2015, the term "Zip Ghost" was added to Urban Dictionary. It means someone who has smoked enough marijuana that they are a non-functioning human at the moment. If you hear your child saying the term "zip ghost," it's time to sit up and take notice.

Example sentence: "She was a zip ghost last night."

Understanding Your Teen

Believe it or not, most teens do not want you to use this slang with them in everyday conversation. However, it is important to your teen that you understand his language. Albeit somewhat inarticulately, most teens will tell you what something means if you ask and show an interest in what they have to say. Spend enough time talking with you teen, and you'll unlock an entire dictionary of teen slang.

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Teen Slang Words and Phrases