I Can’t Even :: A Guide to Decoding Teen Slang in 2020


It’s a tale as old as time. For years tweens, teens and young adults have used slang terms to create their own languages. The hip 60s, groovy 70s, rad 80s, awesome 90s and sic early 2000s each have their own set of vocabulary words, leaving generations of unnerved parents fervently trying to decode their kids.

I am here to help a sister out (am I dating myself yet)? This handy beginner’s guide to a few key slang terms will have you decoding your peeps (dang, did it again) in no time.

They say: V Excited 
They mean: Very excited
In context: I am V excited that we have a half-day on Friday.
You might have said: stoked, enthused, pumped

They say: Fire
They mean: Amazing
In context: That shirt is fire. You should wear it next weekend. 
You might have said: Phat, fly, cool, hot

They say: No cap
They mean: No kidding
In context: You were fire in that championship game. No cap.
You might have said: In all seriousness, seriously, not joshing

They say: Salty
They mean: Bitter, Angry, Sassy or High-Drama
In context: She is just acting salty because her parents took her phone away. 
You might have said: Trippin’, being a diva 

They say: Bet
They mean: Wanna bet? Oh yes, I can. 
In context: You: I don’t think you can make that three-point shot. Other person: Bet. 
You would have said: No lie, No joke, Duh 

They say: Hundo P
They mean: One hundred percent 
In context: We should Hundo P hang out this weekend. 
You would have said: For sure, totally 

They say: VSCO girl
They mean: Someone who embraces a collection of brands and trends from baggy surfer-inspired sweatshirts, scrunches, reusable water bottles and saving the environment.
In context: That shirt is a little VSCO for me but it works for you, Hundo P. 
You should say: Dear daughter, it was the 90s and we were the original VSCO girls, k? 

They text: TBH
They mean: to be honest
In context: I never really liked him, TBH. 
You might have said: seriously, in all seriousness

While you may not choose to toss around your newfound understanding of their conversations, and this guide will likely be out of date by the time this hits your newsfeed, you can Hundo P be sure that the next time they start acting salty you can tell them you are V excited that the family will be having some good quality time this weekend without their cell phone. No cap.

*Compiled with the assistance of one V helpful sixth grader. 

What are some slang terms you would add to this list? And keep it clean, people. 

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Kelly Barbrey is an early riser, old soul and retail therapy expert. She is a wife to Jonathan and a mom to two strong-willed daughters, born in 2007 and 2010. Kelly grew up in Atlanta, GA and earned a degree in magazine journalism from The University of Georgia. She has worked full time in tourism marketing for Experience Columbia SC since 2004, where she loves to share all the exciting things happening in Columbia, SC with potential travelers. When she’s not working or wrangling kids, she enjoys date nights with her husband at local restaurants, exercise, reading and sharing real and humorous accounts of life, motherhood and nostalgia on her blog, Up Early + Often.



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