Readers' Teenspeak


A Slang Dictionary in Progress From Teens in St. Louis

In our two-part article on the slang that teenagers use worldwide ("Teenspeak," June 18 and 25, Pages 16 and 17), we invited readers to submit their own teen words and phrases. Ninth-graders in St. Louis's Aim High Program took this assignment to heart. The teens, enrolled in a summer-enrichment school for public-school students sponsored by John Burroughs School, produced their own glossary of teen terms current in their area. They e-mailed it to The Home Forum for us to share with readers.

Many thanks to them for their work, and for sending it in! A longer version of their glossary is available on the electronic edition of the Monitor at:

brick wall: noun; the unilateral ending of a conversation. Used alone to indicate one party is not listening anymore. "He tried to argue with me, but I said, 'Brick wall!' " A variant of "stone-walling."

crib: noun; home. "I'm going back to my crib."

five-oh: noun; police. Derived from the 1970s television show "Hawaii 5-0."

geekin: verb; to desire strongly. "Tracy was geekin so bad for a candy bar."

grip: noun; money. "I got some grip in my pocket."

hard: adj.; good, enjoyable. "That party was hard." [Editor's note: Interestingly, this usage was also cited in a Monitor survey of teen slang in Glasgow, Scotland.]

humps: noun; loud audio speakers in a car. "That car has some serious humps!" Derived from the appearance of such speakers in the back of cars.

kicks: noun; tennis shoes. "I'm going to buy some new kicks at Footlocker."

lil-loc (LIL-loke): noun; a likable preteen.

lock down: adj.; grounded, confined to the house; controlled by another person. "My girl friend has got me on lock down." [Ed.: A borrowed prison term.]

mackin (MACK-in): verb; to talk in a flirtatious way. "At the party, he was mackin on that girl."

molody (moe-LAH-dee): adj.; a large amount. Usually follows the noun it modifies. "That girl's got hair molody." Derived from "a whole lot of."

on hit: adj.; very good or attractive. "That Isuzu Rodeo is on hit!"

peeps: noun; family members or close friends. "My peeps came to town for the reunion." From "people."

props: noun; deserved recognition or respect. "I give you your props for doing a great job." Derived from "proper respect."

put that on something: verb; to swear or promise. "I thought he was lying, so I told him to put that on something." Derived from "swearing on a Bible."

shady: adv.; betraying or disappointing. "He said he'd pick me up, but he played me shady."

swerver: noun; a car.

tight: adj.; attractive, desirable, impressive. "Those shoes are tight."

trippin: verb; to annoy. "Those girls yelling out the window are trippin on me."

24/7: adv.; always. "Tasha is in love with Gary so much she's with him 24/7." Derived from "24 hours a day, 7 days a week."

ya-yo (YAH-yo): noun; money. "The landlord came to collect, but Jeff didn't have his ya-yo."

*Written by: Tamara Binion; Johnny Brown; Natasha Clark; Joshua Glasscock; Tasha Lorthridge; Leon Robinson; Dalisa Scott; Wilshawna Coleman; Martin Collins; Larvell Minor; Nicole Garth; Paulinho Smith; Latrice Wayne; Sam Jones; Laura Bradley; Jason Carter; Brian Jones; Shamir Zerai; Keith Hill; Yolanda Jenkins; Ron Charles, instructor.

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