One of the things I love about being a parent is listening to how my kids’ language develops. A minute ago my boys (ages 6, 9, and 12) were saying “ga ga, goo goo” and now they’re speaking in complicated sentences, with some impressive vocabulary. But there are times as they get older when their jargon becomes difficult to understand again, because they’re speaking in code.
My 12-year-old son, Jacob, often uses abbreviations to say what’s on his mind, sometimes leaving me feeling confused and old. I made a point to jot down some of the phrases he and his friends uttered in recent months and thought you might benefit from some translations.
obvi – “obvious,” as in duh, Mom!
totes – as in “totally.” But don’t make the mistake I did and try to use it as an adjective. No, no. You can’t say something is “totes cute.” This apparently makes no sense and will elicit an immediate eye roll. You can say “totes” in response to a statement or question, as in “do you love my shoes?” or “was your mom mad?” Please note the distinction.
BTDubbs – My good friend Katie Mackay (who is my 13-year-old female insider on all things cool) divulged this little gem. It’s actually the opposite of an abbreviation as it requires more texted letters than the old-school “BTW” but it’s the preferred way to say “by the way” in teenland.
OMJizzle – similar to BTDubbs, this expression takes OMG to a new level, and adds some street cred. It’s hard to explain but according to several urban dictionary/wikivocab internet sites, -izzle is a slang suffix used to form hip-hop-sounding words, popularized by rapper Snoop Dogg. It also tends to make whatever word it’s added to more legit. For shizzle.
Cray – Jacob uses this a lot. It means “crazy” but he uses it so liberally and loosely you’d think he spent his life in an asylum.
Shitake mushrooms! – this is a clever way for kids to swear without getting penalized. It’s often used as an expression of frustration or anger. I like it so much, I’d like to start using it myself to cover up my foul language in front of my 6 and 9 year olds, who already know too much.
Gas – This is a tough one to understand. Apparently, it’s a verb for telling lies…or also can be used as a response when you think someone is exaggerating. For instance: “He gassed that story.” Or, the proper response to a kid telling you he ate 50 hotdogs in the eating contest? “Gas!” and a shaking head.
Do you feel cooler now or more perplexed than ever? I find these expressions and abbreviations hilarious and would love to hear any you’ve picked up from your kids– at any age.
Please tell me in the comments, kk? It’ll be sooo cray dudes. Totes!