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Teen slang illustrated with bright words and emojis Parent Tech Tips

2024 Teen Slang Meanings Every Parent Should Know

The Bark Team  |  March 01, 2021

Teen slang illustrated with bright words and emojis

**This blog post was updated on April 10, 2024.**

Nowadays, it seems like teen slang evolves way more quickly when we were growing up. New words, phrases, and even emojis with hidden meanings pop up all over the place! And just as quickly as it becomes popular, it becomes out of date just as fast.

At Bark, we know it’s a big task to keep up with teen slang. That's why our monitoring tool uses machine learning algorithms to detect the context of conversations, as opposed to just simple keyword analysis. So when a child texts something like "bih" or "DTF", Bark can pick up from the context that this might be cyberbullying or sexual content, even if on the surface it doesn't seem like anything at all.

In this blog post, we’ve gathered today’s most popular slang terms. Some of this slang you’ll be familiar with, but much of it may surprise you. And we’re always updating this post when new slang surfaces on the web, so save this as a resource to come back to whenever you need it.

Popular slang terms often are attributed to Gen Z, TikTok, or other parts of popular culture, but it’s important to remember that many of these words and phrases stem from the roots of African American Vernacular English (AAVE).

Text Slang Decoded

  • AF — As f**k
  • A mood — A relatable feeling or situation (often shortened to the single word, “mood”)
  • And that’s on [something] — Used to indicate that you’ve just shared a truth that needs no further discussion
  • ASL — Age/sex/location
  • Ate that — Means you successfully did something; you pulled it off. Example: “I saw your prom pics on insta, you totally ate that look.”
  • Bae — Significant other or crush
  • Basic — Someone who is viewed as boring or a conforming person
  • Beige flag — A quality or characteristic of a significant other that is weird or off-putting, but not enough to reject them. 
  • Bet — A response indicating agreement. Example: “Wanna go to the store?” “Bet.”
  • Bestie — “Best friend"; can also be used as a kind of formal address to a stranger.
  • Bih — Short form of b*tch
  • Body count — The number of people someone has slept with
  • Bruh — “Bro”; can be used to address anybody
  • BTS — A Korean boy band popular with tweens and teens
  • Bussin — Awesome. Example: These tacos are bussin’.
  • Cake Used to describe a large bottom
  • Canon event — A moment in development that will help shape your life or personality.
  • Cappin’ — Lying
  • CEO of [something] — To be a representative of some activity or thing. Example: “Taylor is the CEO of sleeping in late.”
  • Cheugy — Used to describe someone or something that is basic, out of date, or trying too hard
  • Cursed — Used to describe something (usually an online image) that is unsettling or creepy
  • Cringe — Causing feelings of embarrassment or awkwardness
  • Daddy — An attractive man, usually older, who conveys a sense of power and dominance
  • Ded — Used when something is really funny or embarrassing. Example: OMG that meme has me ded!
  • Delulu — Short for "delusional" and used when someone has unrealistic ideas about something
  • Do it for the plot — Said to encourage oneself to take a chance on something. Example: I'm going to try out for the basketball team. Even if I don't make it, I'll do it for the plot."
  • Dope — A way to describe something as cool or awesome
  • Drip — Style, great fashion sense, flashy accessories
  • DTF — Down to f*ck
  • Egirl / Eboy — A young person with emo-inspired, punk-rock style
  • Facts — An emphatic way to acknowledge the truth of someone’s statement
  • Fam — Friends
  • FBOI — F**k boy; a guy just looking for sex
  • FINSTA — Fake Instagram account
  • FOMO — Fear of missing out
  • Fire — Amazing
  • FWB — Friends with benefits
  • Gas — Can refer to marijuana, be used to describe something that’s cool, or be used as a verb to mean “hype someone up”
  • Ghosted — Ending a relationship by completely disappearing with no further communication
  • Goals — Something you want or aspire to
  • GOAT — Greatest of all time
  • GTG — Got to go
  • Gucci — Something good or cool
  • GYAT — Shortened term for "godd**n" used to express approval or excitement, particularly when one notices a large bottom.
  • Hentai — Graphic anime pornography
  • High key — 1. Very interested in 2. Actively spreading information
  • Hits different — When something is better than it normally is because of different circumstances. Example: “A cold soda just hits different when it’s super hot outside.”
  • Ick or Ick Factor — The feeling you get when your attraction to someone is suddenly flipped to a feeling of disgust.
  • ISO — In search of
  • IYKYK — “If you know you know”; meant to imply that there’s an inside joke
  • Juul — Type of e-cigarette that is small and discreet; ‘pods’ are used for smoking
  • Karen  — Used to refer to an entitled mom
  • KMS — Kill myself
  • KYS — Kill yourself
  • Left no crumbs — A phrase that means you did something perfectly.
  • Lit/Turnt/Turnt Up — Something that’s active or popular, can also refer to being stoned or drunk
  • LMP — 1A term that means “like my pic” or 2. Sometimes stands for “lick my p***y”
  • Low key — 1. Somewhat interested in 2. Keeping information secret
  • Meal — Someone who looks good enough to eat. See also: “Snack” or “snacc”
  • Mewing — The act of making your jawline more defined by putting your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Teens might say something like, "Can't talk, mewing" to indicate this is why they're not talking.
  • Mid — Insult meaning "low quality" or "average." Derives from "mid-tier"— not awful, but not great. Example: "The new Jurassic Park was mid."
  • No cap — Used to indicate that someone is not lying
  • OFC — Short for “of course”
  • OK, Boomer — Calling out an idea that is outdated or resistant to change
  • Plug — Term used to refer to someone who can “connect” you with drugs; a drug dealer.
  • Preppy — Used to refer to a particular aesthetic that involves girly, bright-colored clothes and popular name brands, such as Lululemon and Stanley. It's very similar to the definition of preppy we grew up with, but slightly more refined and "basic".
  • Rizz — Derived from “charisma." Someone who has “game” when it comes to romantic pursuits. Example: "Taylor has that rizz, they're so charming."
  • ROTFLMAO — Rolling on the floor laughing my ass off
  • Salty — To be bitter or cranky about something
  • Same  — “I can relate”
  • Shading — Where teens gossip about another party without naming them; also “throw shade” means to talk about someone
  • Ship — Short for “relationship”; also used as a verb to indicate a desire to see two people together. Ex.: I ship Taylor and Jamie.
  • Sigma — Someone who is a lone-wolf type, independent but still strong. As opposed to the more dominant "Alpha" male type.
  • Simp —Somebody who tries very hard and does a lot for their crush. Ex.: "You got Sarah 3 dozen roses? Stop being such a simp."
  • Sis — Short for “sister” but can be used to address anybody; usually used to express that drama has occurred
  • Skeet — To ejaculate
  • Skibidi toilet —A surreal animated video featuring a singing toilet. It's not supposed to make sense or any sense, it's just a funny video popular with Gen Alpha.
  • Slaps— Used to express that something is awesome. Ex.: "This burrito slaps."
  • Smash — Means to have casual sex
  • SMDH — Shaking my damn head
  • SMH — “Shaking my head,” meaning “I don’t believe it” or “that’s so dumb”
  • Snack — Describes an attractive person
  • Snatched — On point, very good, or well styled
  • Spam — A fake social media account
  • Squad — Close friend group
  • Stan — A teen slang term meaning an overzealous or obsessive fan of a particular celebrity
  • STFU — Short for “shut the f**k up,” can be used as an expression of disbelief or to cyberbully
  • Sus — Short for "suspicious." Popularized by the Among Us game.
  • Swoop — To be picked up in an automobile
  • TBH — To be honest
  • Tea — Gossip or interesting news shared between friends
  • Thicc — Having an attractive, curvy body
  • TF — The f**k, as in “who TF you think are?”
  • Thirsty — Desperate for attention, usually sexual attention
  • Thot — Stands for “that ho over there” and is often used instead of “slut”
  • Trap phone — Also called a burner phone, this is an older, hand-me-down smartphone that kids trade or sell with each other. Kids who get their phones taken away by their parents may seek out a trap phone to have easy internet access (provided they can connect it to WiFi).
  • Trash — Terrible or unacceptable
  • — “Very”
  • Vibing — Chilling out, having a good time, or identifying with a certain kind of energy
  • WAP — Wet ass p*ssy
  • Woke — Socially or politically conscious
  • YAAS — A very emphatic yes
  • YEET — 1. A very strong word for yes. 2. To throw something.
  • Zaddy — A well-dressed, attractive man of any age

Older Teen Slang Terms

  • 420 — Marijuana reference
  • 11:11 — Popular time to make a wish
  • ASB — As balls. Example: I’m high asb.
  • Chad — A hyper-sexual young man
  • Chill — Relaxed or laid back
  • Coney — Slang for “penis”
  • CYA — “Cover your ass” or “see ya”
  • Dabbing — Refers to concentrated doses of cannabis; also a dance craze
  • Dongle — Slang for “penis”
  • HEAF — An acronym for “High Expectations Asian Father”
  • Hulk — A 2mg generic benzodiazepine bar, which is green
  • ILY — I love you
  • IRL — In real life
  • JK — Just kidding
  • Netflix and chill — Getting together and hooking up
  • OKURRR — Variation of “OKAY” made popular by rapper Cardi B who defines it as something that is said to affirm when someone is being put in their place
  • School Bus — A 2mg Xanax bar, which is yellow
  • SH — Sh** happens
  • Snapstreak — Created when friends send snaps every day, creating a streak
  • Spam — A fake social media account
  • TDTM — Talk dirty to me
  • VSCO girl — A style characterized by Hydro Flasks, Crocs, and scrunchies
  • WTF — What the f**k?
  • WYA — Where you at?
  • WYD — What you doing?
  • WUF — Where you from?

Teen Slang Emoji Icons

Pretty frequently, kids opt for emojis instead of typing out full words, and understanding the meaning behind these teen lingo emojis can help parents stay in the loop. Here’s a helpful list of some of the most popular teen slang emojis decoded.

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