National Survey Reveals Parents Just Don’t Get Slang

TFW your teen calls you sus and you have no idea what it means. Time for a vibe check.

TFW your teen calls you sus (IYKYK), and you have no idea what it means. Time for a vibe check. 

Slang is everywhere (thanks to TikTok), and parents are increasingly feeling the need to learn it to better connect with their child.

A recent survey by Preply uncovered the terms teens are currently using, which terms parents picked up and why parents try to keep up with slang. The results are bussin’:

Slang parents hear teens use the most (& what it really means)

  • Sus (Giving the impression that something is questionable or dishonest; suspicious)
  • Bet (An expression that means ‘I agree’, ‘good news’)
  • Yeet (To violently throw an object that you deem to be worthless, inferior or just plain garbage)
  • Salty (When you are upset over something little)
  • Cap (Another word for lying. It can be used like no cap or you can say stop capping)
  • Extra (Being over the top, excessive, dramatic behavior)
  • Bussin’ (What you would say if something was really good)
  • Bougie (Used to describe someone as high class, literally or figuratively)
  • Sheesh (An expression when you’re impressed or amazed by something)
  • Drip (When something is very cool. Can be used to describe an outfit/accessory, person, song, etc.)

Text slang got parents shook

Keeping up with the latest slang is like learning a new language. We weren’t surprised to see that nearly 3 in 5 parents say they have Googled a slang term after seeing or hearing their teen use it. Of those, salty (70%), bougie (67%), and sus (62%) are the slang terms a majority of parents know the meaning of, while DTB (4%), pushin’ P (8%), and cheugy (9%) are the least understood.

Strengthening connections through slang

Despite some of the confusion, more parents say they are turning to slang to better relate to and communicate with their teens. “Sus” (29%), “salty” (25%), “bet” (25%), “extra” (23%), and “bougie” (22%) are among the most common terms that parents are guilty of using. 

“Even as teens grow up and become more independent, parents still want to protect their kids and bond with them in an ever-changing world,” says Matt Zajechowski of Preply. “Since text slang is such a major part of society nowadays, for many parents it’s the first step to seeing the world from their children’s increasingly digital point of view.”


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Lori Orlinsky
Lori Orlinsky
Lori Orlinsky is an award-winning journalist and bestselling children's book author. She is the mom of three little ladies who keep her on her toes.

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