130 Teen Slang Words and Phrases Decoded

If you are the parent of teens – or work with young people – you may feel alienated from their world due to the words and phrases they use. Every generation has its unique expressions but today’s youth seem to have more teen slang than ever before, mainly due to the minefield of texting acronyms. They use these terms as shorthand, to express emotions and to create a sense of community with peers.

Many of the words and phrases are fun and harmless but others can be toxic and mask risky behavior. It’s helpful for adults to know what teens are saying – even if they don’t intend for you to understand – in order to break down communication barriers. When you know what their jargon means, you can engage with them more easily and look for warning signs that they are struggling and may need support.

Although there are some words and phrases used by youth across the world, slang is not universal. Expressions may vary from country to country and culture to culture. So, what are some teenage sayings in 2022? We have created a slang dictionary to help you decode the most widely-used terms.

A-Z of the most popular teen slang words and acronyms

teen slang meanings

Here are some of the most common teen slang words and acronyms explained. Many of them are used by gamers when playing video games or streaming.

AF — as f**k

AFK — away from keyboard, meaning the person is unavailable

And I oop — surprise, shock or embarrassment

And that’s on [something] — to show something is final and needs no further discussion

Anime – TV shows and movies inspired by Japanese animation

ASL — age/sex/location

Awks — short for awkward

Bae — before anyone else; a significant other or term of endearment (like babe)

Basic — used to describe someone or something that is mainstream or unoriginal

Bet — an affirmative reply: “Wanna hang out?” “Bet.”

Bih — abbreviation of b*tch

Body count — number of people someone has slept with

Boujee — aspiring to have higher social status

Breadcrumbing — sending occasional flirtatious messages to someone without putting in much effort

Bruh — another way of saying bro; used to address someone

Bussin’ — when something is really good

Cake — another word for bottom

Cappin’ — lying

CEO of [something] — someone is the best at something

Cheugy — someone who is uncool or trying too hard to be trendy

Clout — a person’s follower count or influencer status

Code 9 — warning that parents are around

Cursed — something that is creepy or unsettling

Cringe — someone or something that makes you feel awkward or embarrassed

Daddy — a dominant (usually older) man who conveys a sense of power

Ded — something really funny or outrageous

Dope — cool or awesome

Drip / Dripping —as in dripping with money, style or confidence

DTF — down to f**k, meaning someone is willing to have a short-term sexual relationship

E-boy / E-girl — young men and women who spend a lot of time online

Enby — short for non-binary

Extra — trying too hard, being over dramatic

Facts — agreed

Fam — close friends

FBOI — f**k boy, a male looking for sex

Finsta — fake Instagram account (sometimes hidden from parents)

FOMO — fear of missing out

Fire — amazing or exciting

Flex — show off

FWB — friends with benefits

Gas — marijuana; or to describe something that’s great

Ghosting — when someone ignores you for no apparent reason

Goals — something desirable that you want or aspire to

GOAT — greatest of all time

GTG — got to go

Gucci — fashionable or cool

Hentai — graphic anime pornography (Japanese cartoon characters having sex)

High key — intense and out in the open (the opposite of low key)

Hits different — when something is better than normal due to different circumstances

ILY — I love you

I’m dead — something that’s so funny you could die laughing

In my feels — strong emotional reaction to something

IRL — in real life

ISO — in search of

IYKYK — if you know you know (implying there’s an inside joke)

JK — just kidding

Juul — vape device that’s small and discreet

Karen — demanding or entitled woman

KMS — kill myself

KYS — kill yourself

Left on read — when someone has read but not replied to a message

Lit — exciting or excellent; can also mean being drunk

LMAO — laughing my ass off

LMP — like my picture, like my post or like my profile

LOL — laughing out loud

Low key — have a low profile; or keep something secret

Meal — someone who looks attractive and appealing

Mood — relatable feeling or situation

Mutuals — people who follow and engage with each other on social media

Netflix and chill — euphemism for sexual activity

NGL — not gonna lie

No cap — saying that someone isn’t lying

NP — no problem

NSA — no strings attached

Okurrr — ok but with more sassiness

OFC — of course

Ok boomer — calling out an idea that’s out of touch, like a parent who doesn’t know tiktok slang

OMFG — oh my f**king god

Periodt (the t is silent) — conversation over, there’s no more to discuss

Plug — someone who can access hard-to-find items such as drugs

PMOYS — put me on your story or put me on your Snapchat

ROTFLMAO — rolling on the floor laughing my ass off

Salty — to be bitter or irritated about something

Same — I feel the same

SH — sh** happens

Shade — expression of contempt for or disgust with someone

Ship — short for a romantic relationship

Shook — to be in shock

Sis — short for sister but can be used to address close friends

Skeet — to ejaculate

Smash — to have sex

SMDH / SMH — shaking my damn head / shaking my head – meaning you don’t approve of something

Snack — an attractive person

Snapstreak — when friends message each other via Snapchat on consecutive days, creating a streak

Snatched — amazing, attractive or well styled

Spam — fake social media account; or unwanted messages

Squad — close group of friends

Stan — excessively devoted fan

STFU — shut the f**k up

Sus — short for suspicious

Swoop — getting a ride from someone

TBH — to be honest

Tea / Spill the tea — gossip

TDTM — talk dirty to me

Thicc — attractive, full-figured body

TF — the f**k, used to express disgust or disbelief

Thank you, next — when something useful has passed

Thirsty — need for approval or attention

Thot — that ho over there, often used instead of slut or whore

Throw shade — criticise someone

Totes — totally

Trash — something that is bad or unacceptable

TT2T — too tired to talk

Turnt/Turnt up — excited, wild and crazy, often with the help of drugs or alcohol

V — very

Vibing — chilling and hanging out alone or with others, sometimes listening to music

VSCO girl — a style characterized by crop tops, scrunchies and white Vans, an avid user of the VSCO photo editing app

WAP — wet-ass p*ssy

Woke — politically or socially conscious

WTF — what the f**k?

WYA — where (are) you at?

WYD — what (are) you doing?

Yaaasss — a very definite yes

Yeet — exclamation of excitement or approval, or to throw something very hard and fast

YK – you’re kidding

Zaddy — attractive, fashionably-dressed man

420 — marijuana

Want to understand more about teen slang? Read our guide on how the emojis teens use can have underlying meanings. You can also learn more common slang terms on platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram and Roblox.

emoji slang guide

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