One of the thing I liked about teaching High School is the direct exposure I received to the evolution of slang. I thought it would be fun to post the current slang and what isn’t popular anymore, since the olds (aka me) have gotten hold of it. I actually drafted this post over a year ago and just discovered it again. Better late than never? Well, that’s up to you to decide.
Current Slang (as of June 2016)
Gas – pronounced with a subtly elongated “a” sound, “gas” is a compliment primarily reserved for delicious looking food one is able to look at but not eat. While “gas” was a general compliment last year, replacing “dank,” it now is used almost exclusively for foodstuffs. Real examples: “That pasta salad looks gas” or (looks at picture of sushi) “That looks so gas. I want some!”
Heated – is still around and is used to indicate anger, it’s going strong, but my effort to introduce “pre-heating” to delineate the emotional space of growing anger did not take. Apparently, one is either “heated,” “getting heated,” or “was heated” and there’s no room for variation.
Lit – is a verb, (ie: “that party was lit” or “this party’s getting lit”) and has nothing to do with literature, much to my disappointment. Last year it was more clandestine and would indicate drug use, but now it has become main stream (real example: “that board game looks lit”).
Savage – being a savage is a compliment bestowed upon one by an outside party (real example: “Miss C is a savage”) and indicates that one is willing to be truthfully mean to someone. Sample conversation:
Student 1: You gave me an F! That’s not fair!
Miss C: What’s not fair is you not doing your work and then trying to blame me.
Student 2: Ooooooh! Miss C’s a savage!
Generally the party “being savaged” with recognize the validity of the critique, thus differentiating it from rudeness. Additionally, it is always done to the party’s face and is not considered gossip or ‘trash talk,’ what makes someone “savage” is the ability to tell the (often unkind) truth, to concerned parties, and have the party acknowledge the truth of said statement through silence. Complicated to explain, but very intuitive in person.
T.H.O.T. aka Thot – is an acronym that stands for That Ho Over There. While the term is well-seasoned enough to have lost its correct capitalization, it’s still regularly in use. Example: “Rachel? She a thot.”
On the Way Out (as of June 2016)
Grid – while popular last year, using “grid” to indicate someone else’s desire to fight (ie: “You trying to step in the/my grid?” meaning: “Are you trying to make me fight you?”) is not used anymore, but is not uncool yet. I predict it will be lame before August 2016.
Thirsty – what the indicated party is “thirsty” for is sexual, thankfully this is on the way out because students going to the water fountain would have to say that they’re “dehydrated,” which no one cared for.
Bae – acronym colloquially believed to stand for Beyond All Else or Before Anything Else. While popular two years ago, it is now officially dead, and will receive an irritated response from any teen you use it around. I recently got a Zappos email advertising shoes that were “bae,” so you know it’s for sure lame.
Ratchet aka Ratch aka Ratchel (if you’re named Rachel and someone hates you) – is now for boring old people trying to look cool. Originally meaning messed up, busted, or ugly, it’s now an indication that you’re trying to look cool while being so uncool that you have no idea what cool is like at all, and also, no one says cool anymore.
Enjoy the slang fellow ‘old people’ with teens who are trying to figure out what the heck they’re saying. It’s been a whole year between draft and publishing on this post, so know that many of these terms are now out of date. Use caution when trying to communicate with a wild teenager, as they often get very irritated for absolutely no reason. If they storm off and put in earbuds, you have used the slang incorrectly.