IDK: Guide to Tween Slang

Common Tween Slang

Say it with us: Those are some really kewl rides, home skillet.
Say it with us: Those are some really kewl rides, home skillet.

Every generation changes the usage of certain words and comes up with its own unique lingo. In the beginning of the 20th century, men sought to be dandy, but by the time their grandsons were coming of age, hip was in. A few decades later, everyone just wanted to be cool.

Of course, each generation doesn't come up with an entirely new lexicon. Today, for example, cool is still, well, cool. Modern tween hipsters have updated the spelling of the word to "kewl," but many other common words and phrases have changed meanings, or at least taken on additional ones.

Most tweens' dialogue is peppered with conjoined and repurposed words. Some common slang words are:

  • 2 cents - opinion or advice
  • bird - girl
  • bounce - leave
  • cheddar - money or cash
  • chillaxin - hanging out; a combination of "chilling" and "relaxing"
  • deuces - bye
  • dip - bye
  • fives - laying claim to an empty chair or space for at least five minutes
  • home skillet - friend
  • laters - see you later
  • poppins - perfect, like Mary Poppins
  • requestion - a request that is also a question
  • rides - sneakers
  • tope - excellent or very cool; a combination of "tight" and "dope"

As you can see, some tween slang words are easier to understand than others. "Laters" and "2 cents" make a fair amount of sense, but "bird" is less obvious to us.

The takeaway here? Don't be afraid to ask your tween for an explanation if you don't understand something he says. If he responds to your texted request to come home for dinner with a bunch of letters and numbers, get clarification -- or Google his message to get the translation. (That means look it up on the Internet!)