Cover image: Valery Kenski, Photo: Darren Johnson
Speaking in coded language has been used for years by teenagers trying to hide something, or communicating in their own way. The sudden growth of the online world allowed for more terms to appear and spread more quickly, creating a more universal, viral, version of the teen slang that’s been around for years.
Not all of these terms are exclusively used online - they’re as likely to appear in spoken conversation as well as on social media messaging.
These terms come and go, becoming out of date or appearing out of nowhere quickly, and some expressions that are cool in one part of the country may be considered outdated in another.
In response to huge national interest, we’ve updated our online teen speak article to include some slang words and acronyms that have proved popular recently:
- 'g' - a friend (boy to boy - originally from 'gangsta')
- acc - actually
- IK - I know
- truss - I agree (from trust)
- skl - school
- fierce – looking amazing/ incredible
- bromance – close friendship between, as you have probably already guessed, two boys.
- 'ship - short word for relationship
- on fleek – on point / executed really well
- to ‘ghost’ someone – to completely ignore someone suddenly – ghosting someone can be a nasty way to break up with someone else.
- basic – generally negative term – can mean boring as much as it can mean clumsy/careless/gross
- bare, also spelled ‘bear’ – an alternative way of saying ‘really really’ or ‘a lot’ - e.g. “that is bare cool!’
- hella - really
- blates - obviously
- Ur - your
- peak - unfortunate
- cuz - friend (from cousin)
- booted - left behind/dumped (as in ‘I was booted’)
- kicked - same meaning as 'booted'
- moving to (someone) - approaching, either aggressively or romantically
- gassed - happy
- wag1 (or wagwan) - what’s up?
- preeing - looking at someone online also known as 'facebook stalking'
- 'pre'-ing - pre-drinking
- ill (or sick) - fantastic, cool ‘That gig was sick!’
- dench - synonym of ‘sick’
- cba - can’t be bothered
- merked - can mean really drunk/intoxicated/beaten up or even getting found out/told off
- to be down/pumped for something - to be excited to do something
- molly - term for ecstasy/MDMA
- cray - shortened version of crazy
- stacked - built, really muscly/well-built/toned
- peng/tidy - really attractive
- blessed - nice (person)
- safe - reliable/good (person)
- aired - ignored (someone)
- swear - are you serious?
- rolling - going
- baffed - confused
- slipping - messing up (as in ‘get caught slipping’)
- 'b' - babe (but can be just a friend)
- jokes - really funny e.g. 'that book is so jokes!’
- fail - exclaiming ‘fail’ has become fairly popular with teens of late, and is fairly self-explanatory
- yolo - you only live once!
- swag - confidence or fancy clothes/jewellery
- dope - really cool/awesome
These are some terms that used to be current and may still be used now and then - teens all over the country have their own slang which are changing all the time:
- ASL - age, sex, location (could mean your child is using an anonymous chat room)
- CD9 - Code 9 (meaning parents are around)
- GNOC - get naked on camera
- KPC - keep parents clueless
- IRL - in real life. See also:
- MIRL - meeting in real life
- LMIRL - let's meet in real life (fine if it's their friends)
- IWSN - I want sex now
- MOOS - member of the opposite sex
- P911/P999 - parent alert
- PAW - parents are watching
- POS/MOS - parents over shoulder/mum over shoulder
- RU/18 - are you over 18?
- WYRN - what's your real name?
- Zerg - to gang up on someone
- 420 - marijuana
Classics you might use too:
- LOL – Laugh out loud
- BRB – Be right back
- GTG – Got to go
- WYSIWYG - What you see is what you get
You can find more of these at netlingo.com