Every Young Adult generation invents some new lingo to establish it’s identity: some of this originality remains in the YA realm, but other words or phrases cross into the mainstream vernacular.
Q: How do you know if a word or phrase has become mainstream?
Young Adult A: My parents start saying it with a straight face.
Older Adult A: Barbara Walters or Mitt Romney says it.
Top Twelve New Words I’ve heard coming out of YA’s mouths in recent years
Q: Which, if any, do you think will become mainstream?
1. My B: short for my bad, as in, my mistake.
2. DL: secret, DL stands for Down Low.
YA girl: Mom, I just heard Edward is going to break up with Bella—but keep in on the DL, okay?
Mom: Dirty laundry? Dopey love? Dashboard Lights? Say What?
3. Chill:(v)* relax.
4. Hardcore or H: (adj)* intense
5. Hater: (n)* What YA might call someone who is perceived as bad or getting in his way.
Christina: Did you hear what Tris did to my brother Will? She is such a hater!
6. Heart: (v)* Love, as in, I ♥ you. Comes from the FB, texting world, or just maybe, my blog ☺
7. Noob: (n)* someone not up on current culture or fashion. Could this have originated from the Newbie vampires in Twilight?
8. Pwned (usually pronounced owned): (v)* 1) to be beaten like in a video game or argument or 2) to have triumphed. Said to have originated from a video-game typo.
Clary: You pwned me in that game!
Simon: Yeah, but you pwned that test. I flunked it.
9. Random: (adj)* used so much in the past few years to describe almost everything—even if it was quite specific.
Me: If I had a dollar for every time I heard the word random, I could buy an island off the West Coast of Tazmania.
YA son: That was random.
Me: No, that was specific. Calling it random was random.
10. Sick: (v)* Awesome! Amazing! If you thought it meant ill, you may be a noob (see #7 above).
YA guy: New Corvette! Sick, dude! This has nothing to do with carbon monoxide emissions threatening the dude’s health.
11. Sketch: (n, adj)* This word means suspicious in the not trustworthy sense. I read somewhere that it comes from the process of making meth.
12. Swerve: (v)* Get out of my way
*N, V, ADJ., and ADV. are abbreviations for old-school parts of speech that teachers (often nuns brandishing yardsticks) would drill into your parents’ heads for hours on end, year after year, before the teacher’s union voted them unconstitutional.
1. circa. 1965- Cool! Far out! Groovy! Psychedelic = Phatt, Sick, Ill, Sweet, Insane
Carpe Diem is Latin for Seize the Day and usually means, Don’t be afraid to pursue your dreams.
Yolo means, You Only Live Once and is used most frequently before intentionally doing something extremely foolish.
These abbreviations have been heard in actual voice conversations and emigrated from the land of Facebook, Texting and/or Twitter: LOL, OMG, BRB, POS** **Translations: Laugh out loud, Oh My Gosh!, Be Right Back, Parent Over Shoulder
If you’re a YA, LMK what you like to say (assuming it’s PG or less)! If you’ve ever been a young adult, let me know some of the words your peers introduced into the language.