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
2. circa. ancient Rome- Carpe Diem = YOLO
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.
24 thoughts on “I ♥ YA because YA are So Inventive!”
YOLO…I love it!
I’d love it more, if it was followed by acting as WISE as an owl!
Your blog is sick! Keep it going…
Vanessa, Your comment is phatt! Thanks!
Heard that one a fair amount, didn’t we?
So many terms come and go in fads.
What’s derp? Did you make that up?
I feel sorta caught up. Thank you! (favorite: swerve)
Sophie told me about swerve–it’s going around Jamestown, don’t know if it’s viral yet. Ask your girls for me…
I loved your book and can’t wait to buy it for my Granddaughter.
I love it! This is so right on! Keep up the great work!
Any slang from California, Dude?
I enjoyed this post! YA’s love their slang.
It’s fun comparing the different generations.
Why, this whole blog is the cat’s pajamas! (only kidding! I’m not That old! It IS I nteresting tho. maybe now I can converse with some of my grandchildren beyond asking”how’s school?”. Good job daughter,
when was the cat’s pajamas in vogue?
In the 1920’s
I have two more you can add to your list: “dope” and “dank.” I hear those all the time (unfortunately) from the mouths of YAs…not as drug references but to mean “awesome or high quality” stuff. Nice list though!
Thanks, Brynne–haven’t heard either from either the college or hs YAs here, but prob just a matter of time for them to make it to Billsburg
well, I learned a few new ones! Thanks, Charlene. The book (from 2 posts ago) sounded interesting also 🙂
well, I learned a few new ones! Thanks, Charlene. The book (from 2 posts ago) sounded interesting also! (Sorry- I didn’t do this right)
Nancy, I did too, but then you probably hear the latest from your girls.