Friday, December 12, 2014

The Evolution of Language

I'm a native English speaker...or at least I was.  It seems that the English language has evolved without me.  I don't know what happened.  I never thought I was going to be one of those old people who didn't understand new slang.  In college, I even helped my linguistics professor compile a slang dictionary!

But it has happened.

I  have two teenagers and a ten year old, so I thought I was keeping up and pretty hip on today's language.  Not even close!  Through almost constant texting and instant messaging teen language evolves so quickly that I feel like a foreigner when I listen to my kids talking to one another.  And the "olden times" sayings that I use produce blank stares from my kids asking for translation.

Here are just a few of the words my kids have said in the last month or so that stumped me:

Jays/(z)- Jordans -I'm assuming the shoe
Bae- an acronym for Before Anyone Else, I thought it was just short for baby
Bruh- what?  like when someone does something stupid or weird
Yeet- form of expression like yeah, but used when really excited
On point or OP- perfection ex: "Your outfit is on point!"  (for gamers, my son informed me, OP means over powered)
mod- minecraft stuff which is a whole other language that I don't get
hella- Hell of a
turnt- party up or yeah, accompanied by hands in the air (like "let's get in the partying mood!")
turn up- similar to turnt
TBT- Throwback Thursday usually to have an excuse to post a weird picture from the good ol' days
tbh- to be honest
YOLO- You only live once (I did figure this one out, but I've never used it)
TT- Transfromation Tuesday similar to TBT

Our kids have even made up their own words used within our family:

Sloth- a creepy person
Ladyboogles- lady bugs that scare our beagle
Bdonkers- thank you
Ridonkulonx- ridiculous
Deeeeeee- said when something super cute is around
Maomaoer- an imaginary treat "thrown" from oldest daughter to son to get him to do stuff
Bobfobis- what my kids call me though sometimes it's Piggymom or Momservant

Nicknames my girls call my son (he actually loves these so don't feel bad for him):

Chubtin (not sure why cause he's super skinny)
Pig Brother
Bean Brain

Nicknames for our chubby beagle Rory:

Flopperoogleboogle- he does have huge floppy ears

Said to our dog when he's bad:

Good boogles don't bite, and you bit, so you not a good boogle, and if you not a good boogle, then there's only one thing left to be, a bad boogle so that's what you are a Bad Boogle!!!  Oh but you can also be good sometimes! (then they give him a hug and kiss!)

Even these words tend to evolve weekly into newer words and my husband and I are left trying to keep up!

So "keep your ears peeled" (something my grandpa used to say) and listen to all that teen speech or someday all us old folks will be left needing a translator to talk to our grandkids!

I'd love to hear any new slang you've heard, or "olden times speech" that no one understands anymore.

Have a great weekend!  Time to get hella turnt!

Kathy :)


  1. Hmmm, think I'm going to have to take an English as a Second Language course as it was mostly Greek to me, too! Chuckled at Bean Brain!

  2. Kittie- haha, I don't know how they come up with some of the things they say!

  3. I'd get all the gamer terms, but the rest would have me stumped.

    1. My son is always talking to me about games. I love having him talk to me I just wish I understood it! :)

  4. I only know about half of those words. Uh-oh. I might be getting old and I'm not even thirty yet.

    1. Haha, then maybe we should come up with a new language called Teenglish that's restricted for teens, then they have to graduate to our olden times words when they move on to college! :)

  5. Evolution or desecration? Not sure. But I do know every generation for as far back as I have any knowledge of has had it's own slang. I actually know a few of those. I may be in my fifties but I have a 15 year old.