A Teacher’s Guide to Teenage Slang

Now you’ll know whether to smile or cry when they call you the G.O.A.T.


Alessandra Bontia, Staff Writer

Picture this: You tell your students that the test you planned for today was moved to two days from now (since you won’t see them tomorrow—thanks, block scheduling!). The classroom erupts in shouts and cheers: “YUUUURRRR,” they say. “You’re the G.O.A.T, Mr(s). _______!”

Last time you checked, goats lived on a farm, and while the suburban high school you’re teaching at makes you feel like you’ve lost touch with civilization, you can’t help but ask, “What in the heck is the G.O.A.T these children speak of?” 

Look no further, folks. With this guide in hand, you’ll never be the black sheep in a teenage conversation ever again.

Basic: I feel like this is pretty self-explanatory, but it’s basically when someone does something predictable and boring.

Jessica, like, doesn’t even try with her outfits anymore. She wears, like, the most basic outfits. T-shirt and leggings—she can do so much more.

Bet: This word is used as a way to agree with someone. Like “you bet.”

Jessica: Hey, Becky! Are you trying to hang out tonight?

Becky: Yeah, bet.

Dead: You can either use this word when you’re so tired that you can’t move or when you find something so funny that it overwhelms you, leaving you “dead.” Additionally, if you’re too lazy to write the word “dead,” as many teenagers are, you can just use “ded”—it gets the point across.

(Looking at the funniest meme of the century) Wow. Ded.

Fam: A shortened version of the word family, this one is used to describe friends and families, and has now become a common word for anyone.

(Approaching a group of friends) Whaddup, fam?

Full send/send it: This is a way of saying that you’re going to do something 100%. It’s usually used when the speaker is not necessarily entirely sure about whether or not to do something and has decided to put all doubts aside and go wholeheartedly into something.

I know my research essay was short six pages, so submitting it was a full send.

Ghost: When you ghost someone, you leave a relationship or a potential relationship without any warning or explanation.

Jessica: Yeah, I was talking to this guy, but now he’s not responding to any of my messages. I even went to his house, school, work, grandma’s house, and gym, and I still can’t find him.

Becky: Girl, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you’ve been ghosted.

G.O.A.T: This is an acronym for the words Greatest of All Time. Usually used when describing athletes and Michelle Obama.

The lunch lady saw I was three cents short to buy a cookie, so she just gave it to me for free. She really is the G.O.A.T.

Gucci: This is a synonym for good.

Becky: Jess, do you mind if I borrow your Hermes bracelet?

Jessica: Yeah, all gucci.

In my bag: In your bag means you’re within your own world and in your own feelings, particularly when you are feeling sad.

Ever since that guy ghosted her, Becky has really been in her bag. I haven’t seen her with a smile on her face in months.

Lit: When one is lit, they are energized and excited; they are ready to have a good time. “Lit” is also used as an exclamation to show excitement and agreement towards something.

Jessica: The fact that Mr. Markmant moved the test to next week is so LIT!

Becky: What? NO way! LIT!

Low Key: When you want to keep things on the down low.

I’m having a birthday party, but my mom said I couldn’t invite more than six people, so keep it low key.

Meme: I’m assuming that most people know what memes are by now, but if not, they’re funny photos or videos that are usually posted through social media. They have a funny punchline or emphasize something that viewers will find relatable. Some are very straightforward, while others require prior meme knowledge to understand. Also, it’s pronounced “meem,” not “me-me.” Below are two different memes: one that would most likely be found on Facebook, which is a bit outdated, and one that would most probably be found on Instagram, a place where all the latest memes are discovered.

This is an outdated type of meme. The text applies to the photo, and there’s a pretty obvious pun.
This is a more up-to-date meme. It uses a random picture and connects it with something relatable.














No cap: One would use this phrase when emphasizing the genuineness of something. It means to say that there is no exaggeration to what is being said.

Kyle: Jessica, you are the prettiest girl I know.

Jessica: Kyle, that is the most romantic thing anyone has ever said to me, no cap.

Odds: This refers to the probability that something will occur or someone will do something. Usually, this word is used when the speaker is doubtful that whatever has been said will happen.

Becky: I swear. This time I promise I am over him.

Jessica: Odds.

Rip: This is a reference to someone or something being so bad it’s basically deathly.

Jessica: I’m sorry, Kyle. I can’t come to the big game this weekend because my family is going skiing in Aspen!

Kyle: Rip x_x

Shade: Shade is bad talk or passive-aggressive comments. It’s like an insult, but a little less direct.

I was eavesdropping on Becky and Jess’s conversation about Becky’s ex-boyfriend, and I heard so much shade that I don’t think I’ll ever see the sun again.

Sus: This is just an abbreviated form of suspicious or suspect. It is used when something is abnormal or seems sketchy.

I saw Jessica hanging out with Becky’s ex-boyfriend, Kyle. I know those girls are good friends, so it was pretty sus.

Take an L: This is equivalent to “take a loss.” Apparently, our generation has something against the letters “o” and “s.”

I was up studying so late for my AP Calc and physics tests that I totally forgot to do my Membean for the week. I guess I’ll just take an L on this one.

Tea:  This is another word for gossip.

After Jessica spent the whole summer at camp, she demanded that we fill her in with all the latest tea she’d missed.

Woke: When someone is woke, they’re aware of the bigger picture and are not just focused on the superficial things in life. It means being conscious of world problems and their potential harm.

Did you see Becky? She was wearing a women’s rights shirt. She is so woke.

Yeet: exclamation of excitement.

(Throwing a rock into a pond) YEET!!

Yuurrr: Don’t be fooled. This is just yes, but completely botched. Apparently saying yes is too difficult.

Mrs. Marquez: Is Timmy here?

Timmy: (walking in ten minutes after the bell) YUURRRR!

@ me:  On most social media platforms, when one wants to mention you in a post, she’ll type the at symbol and then proceed to type your username. The symbol lets the platform know that it needs to send you a notification telling you this person mentioned you regarding a certain post. When a person says @me, they are telling that person to not make passive aggressive comments and to just tell them what they’re saying is about them.

Jessica: There’s a mess all over the floor. I wish someone would step up and clean it up.

Becky: Okay, @me next time.

The world of teenage slang is most definitely a world of its own, leaving teachers feeling lost and confused, trapped in the crosshairs of YURRS and YEETS. These words aren’t all bad, though. Some teachers even find themselves amused by the transformation of these regular words into what is now considered slang.

“There are a lot, but I like ‘lit’ for no particular reason—I just think it’s fun,” said Mr. Brandstaedter, a physics teacher at THS. Reminiscing about his own slang, Mr. Brandstaedter recalled his teenage days: “A slang word that we used in my generation was ‘skeef.’ It really means to steal in a petty way, but my Cross Country team used it to mean someone who was slacking on a workout or skipping practice. I also think that my generation started using ‘awesome’ in the way that it’s used today.”

With that being said, perhaps “YEET” will reach the level of relevancy and everyday usage that “awesome” has.

Hopefully not.