How to Talk Teen

Ever overhear a conversation your kids are having with their friends, and think, “Huh?” Since the dawn of time, teens have found unique ways to express themselves—in style, in attitude, and in language. We talked to a few local kids to compile a helpful (though abbreviated) list of current teen vocab to help you understand them better…maybe.




Say Less Fam: say no more; fully understood.

Addie: I really need you to work for me tonight. I have a huge test tomorrow.

Nolan: Say less fam. I got you.


Simp: a person who does way too much for the person they’re interested in.

Chase: Man, I got her flowers, chocolate, and new AirPods. I hope she’ll go out with me.

Brooks: Bruh, you a simp.


Cap/No cap: lying/not lying.

Will: No cap bruh, I really like Gemma.

Cameron: Stop capping bruh, FR (for real)…ask her out then!


Flex: showing off in a braggy way.

Amanda: My family goes to Italy, like, every summer.

Quinn: Weird flex, but okay.


Basic: only interested in things mainstream, popular, and trending.

Jill: Ugh, Katie showed up to class with her Pumpkin Spice Latte yesterday, wearing her Uggs, of course.

Mandy: Ew, she’s so basic.


Straight fire: otherwise known as “on the up and up” or better than all of the rest. It can also mean hot— not as in temperature, but as in, “That’s hot!” expressed in a positive way.

Shane: Bruh, this new game is straight fire!


Shook: a way to describe that you are emotionally shaken or affected by something.

Emma: I stayed up all night reading that book, and the ending… I am shook!


Bet: an affirmative reaction

Seth: We’re leaving for the beach in two hours. You ready?

Jace: Bet.


ONG: short for “On God”; used as short for “I swear to God.”

Camille: The best thing about Christmas break is my sisters coming home from college!

Kris: ONG, I feel the same!


Tea: the latest news, story, or gossip.

Sandy: OMG, did you hear about Reagan?!

Isabel: No! What’s the tea?!


Sus: suspect, or suspicious.

Lila: Jack called in sick to work tonight, but I saw him at thebowling alley just now.

Delaney: Sus.


Bruh: synonym for Dude/Bro; also, the best way to answer pretty much anything, good or ridiculous.

Liam: My mom made mac and cheese for dinner.

Trent: Bruhhhh.


Joe: Was Washington the first U.S. President?

Evan: Bruh.

 “I’m dead.” used instead of the laughing/crying emoji. If you use the laughing/crying emoji, you’re obviously old, bruh.