Teen Slang Words and Phrases: Decoding Guide for Adults

Updated June 15, 2022
group of teenagers handing out outdoors

Each generation of teens has unique slang terms and catchphrases. If you are a parent of a teen or you are around teens, then you'd probably love a guide to what those teen 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. Explore some current slang words and popular phrases used among teenagers.

Current Teenage Slang

Slang words can be tricky to decipher and can have multiple meanings. When your kid comes home talking about how something is "so boujee" or "extra." What do they mean? Or maybe you hear these words on TikTok. Decipher the hidden meaning of teen-speak by looking at a list of current teen slang words and phrases. These slang terms were cross-checked against the Online Slang Dictionary and Internet Slang.

Fam

This means best friend or family. It is similar to saying dude, bro, or bestie.
Example sentence: "Sorry, fam, I can't hang out later."

Bae

This word has been around for a while 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 bae. I love her."

Doe

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."

Extra

If you're being difficult to deal with, teens may use this term to refer to you. It basically means you are a high-maintenance person.
Example sentence: "My mom's being so extra today."

Hangry

This word is a combination of hungry and angry. According to Urban Dictionary, the term 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."

Snatched

You might have heard teens say "on fleek," such as that their eyebrows are "on fleek." That simply means that they are on point, look good, the best eyebrows you've ever seen. Snatched is the new slang term that means the same thing.
Example sentence: "Their outfit is snatched."

Squad

A group of friends that the teen regularly hangs out with. These are their closest friends or friend group.
Example sentence: "I'm going to the game with the squad tonight."

Thirsty

This phrase means the person is just trying to get attention, often in desperate and not very attractive ways.
Example sentence: "I can't believe she did that. She's just thirsty."

Yaass!

This is simply the word "yes" with a lot of emphasis. If a teen is excited about something, then they might say this or post it on social media.
Example sentence: "I'm getting a new car! Yaass!!!"

Yeet

This means to throw away or remove quickly. This can also be used to express excitement or to point out when someone is destroyed in a video game context.
Example sentence: Noah shouted "yeet" when he beat his friend in Fortnite (a video game).

Woke

This means being culturally in touch and enlightened regarding current societal issues.
Example sentence: "You need to get woke."

Shook

This is someone's reaction when someone says something that shocks or surprises them.
Example sentence: "This lady was yelling at a Starbucks employee and I was shook."

Swole

This means someone is in really good physical shape.
Example sentence: "Wow, he's really swole."

Gucci

Gone are the days of "that's awesome" or "that's cool." Gucci can be used to say, good, great, awesome, etc.
Example sentence: "Everything is Gucci."

Lowkey

Lowkey is when something is secretive or private. This is typically used with emotion or desires.
Example sentence: "I lowkey like Ariana Grande."

Girls talking

Highkey

The opposite of lowkey is highkey. This is something that is pretty obvious or has a lot of intensity behind it.
Example sentence: "He highkey wants those pants."

Flex

To flex means you are obviously showing off. This can be your looks, money, possessions, etc. It's similar to arrogantly showing off.
Example sentence: "Girl, you flexing."

Salty

When someone is salty, they are a bit bitter. It can be because they are irritated or angry about something. This is typically used in reference to feeling slighted.
Example sentence: "The minute you lose, you get all salty."

Drip/Drippy

When something is cool, awesome, fly, or fresh, it's said to be drip or drippy.
Example sentence: "That outfit's drip."

Savage

When someone says savage, they are referring to a person who doesn't back down or to a savage situation. Savage means fierce and acting without fear and without care for another's feelings.
Example sentence: "He doesn't hold back. He's savage."

Sus/Sussy

Sus and sussy are just shortened versions of the word suspicious.
Example sentence: "Did you notice he was looking all sussy?" or "That's sus."

Bet

Bet is a response you might hear to a statement. It's similar to sure or okay.
Example sentence: "Is everything ready?" "Bet."

Ghosted

Teens use the word ghosted when someone stops talking to them abruptly. This could be online or in person.
Example sentence: "Becca totally ghosted me."

Boujee

Someone is boujee when they are fake rich or pretend to be something they are not. It's mostly used as a call-out on someone or something.
Example sentence: "That TikToker is so boujee!"

Fax/Facts

Fax/facts is just a shortened version of factual. Teens use it to show how they agree with someone.
Example sentence: "That's straight fax."

Ship

Pop Sugar indicated on October 11, 2015, that "ship" is a slang term teens 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.
Example sentence: "I ship Emily and Michael."

Pressed

Teens say "pressed" when they're angry or annoyed with someone.
Example sentence: I'm pressed.

Interesting Teen Phrases

Girlfriends talking & laughing at school

While most of the time you'll come across simple slang words, middle and high school slang sometimes throws a curveball at you with slang phrases. So let's spill the tea right now!

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."

Spill the Tea

If you are spilling the tea, it means you are gossiping.
Example sentence: "We know you know, just spill the tea."

I'm Dead

I'm dead takes LOL to the next level. If your teen says, "I'm dead," it means they are dying of laughter. This sentiment is also expressed with the skull emoji.
Example sentence: "Parker I can't take anymore, I'm dead."

Big Yikes

Everyone has had a "big yikes" in their life. It's when something is so embarrassing that it goes beyond the normal yikes to a big yikes.
Example sentence: "I can't believe I did that in front of the whole school." "Big Yikes!"

No Cap

If someone tells you no cap, you might be wondering why they are talking about guns. But in teen speak no cap means "no lie."
Example sentence: "No cap. It happened just like that."

Zero Chill

If you have zero chill, then you just can't stay calm.
Example sentence: "Did you see what Susie did? She has zero chill."

Straight Fire

The term "straight fire" generally means you're "on the up and up." But it can also mean you are ahead of the rest.
Example sentence: "Brandon was straight fire at the club."

Bye Felicia

This is a phrase that is actually quite old, but the younger generation has rediscovered it. Ice Cube uttered the line in the movie Friday in 1995. It didn't really gain much traction 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: "Bye Felicia."

Teen Slang to Watch Out For

While some current teen slang isn't anything to be alarmed about, there are some versions of teen slang that parents should be aware of. Drug references, cruel behavior, and slang that refer to having sex are all things to note.

Molly

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. 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 Molly at the party."

Netflix and Chill

This is code for having sex with someone or hooking up. If your teen uses this phrase, they are most likely discussing sex.
Example sentence: "I'm going over to Jeremy's to Netflix and chill."

Pron

This means porn. If you hear your teen talking about pron, it is probably time to have a conversation about sexuality and safe sex.
Example sentence: "Let's chill and pron."

Turnt

If you hear your teen saying this phrase, then it's probably time to have a conversation about drinking, drug use, and drunk driving. This phrase can mean to be drunk or high. However, it can also mean excitement or full of adrenaline.
Example sentence: "I got completely turnt last night at the party."

420

This means marijuana. If you hear your teen talking about this, it's a good idea to discuss drug use.
Example sentence: "Hey, do you wanna go 420?"

Finsta

A finsta is a fake Instagram account. Some teens might use it to post things they might not post on their real accounts. It can also be the account they hide from their parents.
Example sentence: "Did you see Lisa's post on her finsta?"

Texting Slang

Smiling teenage boy texting

Texting slang tends to be written in abbreviations or shorthand to get the texter's point across quickly. Texting slang may also include emojis.

100%

This means in total agreement.
Example text: "Should we go out tonight?" "100%"

AF

This means as f**k. It is used to add emphasis to whatever is being said.
Example text: "It is cold af today."

Eggplant Emoji

This image means penis. This emoji is typically used when talking about sex or referencing a sexual partner.

Fire Emoji

This emoji is used when something is "fire" or awesome.

BB

This is used as a shorthand for babe or baby.
Example: "Good morning bb!"

Pls

This means please in shorthand.
Example sentence: "Pls don't forget the cookies!"

GOAT

This stands for greatest of all time.
Example sentence: "Tom Brady is the GOAT."

FUBB

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."

WYA

WYA is just a shorthand of the phrase, where you at?
Example sentence: "WYA I've been waiting forever?"

Amirite

Evidently, spaces have gone out the window in text land. Amirite is just a shortened version of the phrase: Am I right?
Example sentence: "He looks trashy. Amirite?

IYKYK

IYKYK stands for "if you know you know." It's more of a secretive term to show that you are in the loop about something.
Example sentence: "Tim's party was nuts. IYKYK.

Keeping Up With Teen Slang

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 their language. 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 your teen, and you'll unlock an entire dictionary of teen slang.

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Teen Slang Words and Phrases: Decoding Guide for Adults