Hi Claire,

I have a teenage daughter, and like most parents of kids that age, I am struggling to relate to her. She has wild mood swings, she’s embarrassed to be seen with me, and she is on her phone more than she’s not. But the worst part is actually talking to her – she uses bizarre slang and crazy references, and I can barely decipher what she’s saying. As it’s rare for her to say anything at all to me, I feel like I need to learn the lingo of today’s kids. Could you please help me out and explain what some of the current slang phrases mean?

Thanks,

Lost in Translation


Oh Lo-trans,

Your description of the typical American teenager makes me nostalgic for my own glory days of adolescence! Cruising around town in my parent’s car, playing Junior Varsity volleyball, stealing large amounts of merchandise from Wet Seal, filling water bottles with pure vodka and taking them to school, convincing the underclassmen to try cocaine – what a time I had! I would be delighted to serve as an ambassador to the pop culture language of today. Behold my phrase by phrase guide below!

WTF – An acronym for “What, too fat?” It means she is flirting with anorexia, and you should force her to eat as much as possible, as fast as possible. Gummy bears, kale salad, tuna tartare, Velveeta Shells n’ Cheese, organic radishes, loose chocolate sprinkles – doesn’t matter, just force it down her gullet. If she throws up, she likely has also caught bulimia, and your efforts must double. Just keep mashing edibles down her throat, and she’ll thank you for it, even if she has diabetes and one less foot.

Fleek – Code for cyberbullying. If anything about your daughter is on fleek, you should take immediately action. Set up a dummy Facebook account and pretend to be a boy she likes. Flirt with her, promise her luxury gifts, maybe invite her to the big dance. The positive reinforcement this provides will counteract the cyberbullying she is receiving for her eyebrows being on fleek, or whatever the fuck kids care about these days. Once she’s good and confident, you can (as the kids say) “ghost” her. Maybe tell her the reason the guy disappeared was her eyebrows – TWO BIRDS, ONE STONE!

Bye Felicia – this is not actually a slang phrase. If she says it to you or your partner, remember that she probably doesn’t know your first names (you weren’t born ‘Mom’, amirite?). Correct her loudly and in public.

Amirite? – A request that you try and relate to her. No matter what she says, if she says “amirite?” agree with whatever it is she just said. Failure to do so will result in feelings of abandonment and isolation, which is almost always classified as bad parenting.

Turnt – Slang for good grades. If you’re daughter says she wants to get turnt, congratulations, you are an excellent parent. Getting turnt gets you into college. Children should always strive to get turnt.

Cray Cray – if your daughter says this phrase, be prepared for her to change schools. She is not popular and will likely be bullied for her limited cool vocabulary. In fact, if your daughter says cray cray, please just stop reading right now. I don’t want your familial basicness to taint my words.

Cray – an abbreviated way of saying crazy

Hashtag – an indicator that the person saying it wishes to be taken seriously. For instance, if you need to talk to your daughter about the birds and the bees, don’t foolishly sit down for an open and honest discussion. Simply text your precious snowflake #safesex #useacondom #abstinenceispreferable. You can guarantee she will take your words to heart and hopefully avoid making you a Meemaw before its time.

YOLO – a phrase used to excuse semi-indulgent behavior. For instance, if your daughter can’t decide between the single scoop of ice cream or the double scoop of ice cream, simply give her a meaningful look and yell “YOLO!” The phrase must be yelled, or it loses all of its meaning and becomes nonsense gibberish.

I hope this helps your communication, my little lovely LT – how could it not???

Cordially, Claire

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