What does the world cost? Oh well, then we'll just take a small coke.

Monday, March 17, 2008

How to Speak Teen

If there's one thing you won't get taking English 1A or reading Merriam-Webster's (two things we get enough of anyway), it's an academic and somewhat-thorough exploration of Teen, the 4th most popular language in the United States (after Spanish, Old School, and English). Communicating in 2008 America makes a working knowledge of Teen a necessity, so we present this glossary for your enlightenment.

All: (adj) (adv)

Indicates a state of being or that the following word/clause/idea will describe the subject. Can also be used to imply opening quotation marks.

He's all, I'm moving to Belize.
And she's all hopping up and down and all, that is so not cool.
And he's all, why are you all way upset.
And she's all, why are you gonna be all Belizian.

When used consecutively, the principles of exaggeration mathematics apply (See: Like).

Teen: He's all, he's all shot in a million places.
English: He was under the weather.

Convention dictates that this word usually refers to the past when applied to someone else, but to the present when applied to the speaker.

Cool: (n) (v) (adj) (adv) (prep)

All-purpose word used to communicate whatever the speaker is trying to say, as with the Italian "prego". Can be combined with any prefix or suffix for enhanced comprehension.

He's cool!
He's bringing the cooler!
He IS a cooler!

Can be used to indicate general positive qualities.

That car is cool!
My doctor is major coolness!
Nazis so un-cool!
It's a cool ride!
Ask a Ninja is cool!

Also to indicate calmness, especially in times of passion or stress.

Go cool off!
He's a cool cat!
Be cool!

Also as an acknowledgment.

"I finished grammar school!"

To draw attention to awkwardness.
"I have small pox." "... Coooool ..."

To communicate acceptability.

"Is 6 o'clock cool?"

"I ran over your flower bed."

"That's cool."

To communicate skill or wickedness (teen usage).

He's a cool driver!
He's cool at making medieval weapons!

To communicate kindness or niceness.

"You want the rest of my sandwich?"
"Thanks! You're really cool."

To communicate the resolution or prevention of relational tension.

"I'm sorry."
"It's cool."

"Are we cool?"

"Yeah, we're cool."

(Note that the 2nd line of this dialogue uses Cool to communicate acceptability, whereas the 4th line communicates forgiveness).

"What's up with you and Jack?"
"It's nothing. We're cool now."

To communicate popularity regardless of inherent worth.

I hate Britney Spear's new album. How'd it get to be so cool?
Bell bottoms aren't cool anymore.
All the cool kids eat at Rick's.

To communicate consent or agreement.

"I'll pay you two-fifty for it." "Cool."

To communicate a state of being without any unique immediate needs.

"Are you still sick?"
"No, I'm cool now."

"She dumped me this morning."
"Are you cool?"

"Yeah. I'm cool."

To communicate a state of total disrepair.

My jeans are cooler!

To communicate a declining of an offer because of a lack of interest and/or a state of contentment.

"I can help you get even."
"No, I'm cool."

To communicate or describe something brilliant and/or random.

"I've got a fever, and the only prescription for that fever is more cowbell!"

Used as a fall back word when all other responses fail.

"My room mate has a problem - thinks he's a refrigerator, sleeps with his mouth open - I can't turn the light off."

"I have established a connection with the spirit world through that lava lamp you threw away. Your great-granddad says hi."

Dude (n)

Informal: person.
"Who's that dude across the street?"
"Bob is a cool dude."

To show greater respect, the word Guy is preferable.

"That's the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He's a pretty important guy."

To show greater intimacy/friendship, the word Bro is preferable. Bro is best used possessively; as "my bro" and "your bro," indicating who the subject is close to.

"Is that your bro Kate who just walked into that building?"

Dude, Guy, and Bro are not gender-specific, but when referring to females, the sentence is sometimes restructured to omit the word.

"Bill is an awesome dude."
"Megan is awesome."

This practice is conventional but not gramatically necessary.

Hecka: (adj) (adv)

Substantial; significantly great, especially to indicate a quantity.

He drives hecka fast!
That's hecka ice cream in that float!
This song is hecka cool!
I hecka love this song!
I use the word "hecka" hecka lot!

Like: (adj) (adv)

Indicates that the word, clause, or idea immediately following is exaggerated.

Teen: "I'm, like, exhausted!"
English: "I'm tired!

Teen: "That's, like, so far away!"
English: "That's a moderate distance."

Can also indicate an action or state of being, especially in the past, especially involving communication. See: All.

Teen: "I'm, like, I hate you!"
English: "I told him I'd rather be alone."

Teen: "And he's, like, fine, I don't need you anyway; I'll just go back to living with my parents!"
English: "He quit on the spot."

Teen: "I'm all cheesed off and he's, like, dude, chill."
English: "He had to calm me down."

Like is used mathematically with exaggeration words like Hecka. Each Like negates the amplifying effect of a single exaggeration word translating into an English word like many or very.

Teen: The peanut butter was, like, way hecka old.
English: The peanut butter was very old.

Teen: My computer is, like, like, totally crashed.
English: My computer will be fine.

Own (v)

To dominate; be vastly superior to.

America totally owned Saddam Hussein.

Also used as a noun with the suffix -age.

My governor owns yours.

If the target of the owning is not specified this word implies a general state of superiority.

This soup owns.
Master Chief is total ownage.

In many circles, the word is modified with a P; it's is spelled Pwn and pronounced: pOn. This is often associated with nerds, gamers, and Wikipedia contributors.

Luigi pwns Mario.

Random (adj)

Unexpected; unrelated; selected because previous events have given no warning of it.

"I'm hungry for pork and cottage cheese."
"Your appetite is so random!"

"I was walking in to school today and some random guy came up and started talking to me."

"Flying rutabagas and purple cannonballs!"
"Uhhh ... random ..."

Way: (adj) (adv)
Very; extremely.

This band is way cool!
I'm way tired!

Not to be used to communicate a quantity as "hecka."

DON'T: That's way cars!
DO: That's hecka cars!

Also not to be confused with the English noun with same spelling and pronunciation.

Wicked: (adj)

Good; desirable; to be envied.

That car is wicked!

Combined with "sick" to emphasize a high level of skill or excellence.

Wicked sick!

Combined with any other adjective to emphasize an unattainable quality.

Wicked cool!
Wicked awesome!

Not to be used in a sentence with amplifying or diminishing words.

DON'T: "He's way wicked."
DO: "He's wicked sick."

DON'T: "Iowa is all wicked right now."
DO: "Actually let's face it. Iowa is just not that wicked."

So if you can randomly insert the above words in like, your daily language, you can wicked own all those dudes who think they're way cooler than you.


you can call me batman said...

zomgoodness, that was, like, way totally wicked ownage right there. awsumness, d00d. peace.

adrialien said...

LOL. That was a great way to end your spring break and begin mine! :)

big mo said...

heh heh, teen-speak pwns.

that post was, like, made of awesome, dudes.

200 said...


teen is my 1st language said...

that was hecka! that like totally owned all your other posts. my bro was all "wow." and all.

Anonymous said...


guitarbob said...

you forgot the words 'serious', and 'wow', like what the heck would i do without them? Its like, the stuff, dude. You also forgot 'yeah', like...yeah...

Anonymous said...

dude also expresses emphasis, as in
"DUDE that was wicked" although that may not work in the teen circles you participate in