The Urban Dictionary for Parents (Abridged)

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Hark! Feeling like the tweens and teens around you are speaking another language? Here at Bark, it’s our job to learn and understand the popular lingo with kids. We’ve translated a few of the most common slang expressions today into fun, Ye Olde English-st‌yle phrases. And because the parents at Bark are all Gen Xers and “vintage” Millennials, we’ve got that translation for you, too.

“It’s lit, fam.”

Ye Olde Teenspeake: ‘Tis lit, kin!

Gen X Translation: Kids use “lit” to describe something as awesome or exciting. Fam? That’s a close friend, fam.

“DTF”

Ye Olde Teenspeake: DTF (delighted to fornicate)

Gen X Translation: Teens send messages saying DTF to indicate they’re willing to engage in casual sex.

“U up?”

Ye Olde Teenspeake: “Art thou awake and ready for tomfoolery? Prithee come over, if so.”

Gen X Translation: Teens send this after-hours message to people they’re attracted to, usually with the hope of sexting, or, in some cases, meeting up.

“Bae”

Ye Olde Teenspeake: “Yon oft-smooched true love for whom one cares immensely”

Gen X Translation: It’s a girlfriend or boyfriend or romantic partner—”before anyone else.” Or something you really really like. Example: “Tacos are bae.”

“Bye, Felicia!”

Ye Olde Teenspeake: Good morrow, Francesca!

Gen X Translation: You say “Bye, Felicia” when you want someone to get out of your face. It’s generally intended as a dismissive kiss-off. More often, it’s said jokingly as a goodbye with no real bad feelings.

“YOLO”

Ye Olde Teenspeake: YOBLO (ye only but liveth once)

Gen X Translation: “You only live once.” A sentiment similar to the Latin “carpe diem” (“seize the day”), YOLO is often used to a justification for irrational or risky behavior.

“Netflix and chill”

Ye Olde Teenspeake: Fireplace and Bare Thine Ankles

Gen X Translation: While this expression literally means to go over to someone’s house to watch TV, it’s most commonly used as a metaphor to head to someone’s house to hook up.

GOAT

Ye Olde Teenspeake: This one doesn’t translate well, unfortunately. It’s actually just the family goat, Phillip Kids are weird in every time period.

Gen X Translation: “The Greatest of All Time.” Folks use GOAT usually when referring to a well-regarded sports icon, e.g., Lebron James is the GOAT.
The way kids talk will forever change and evolve with the times—and parents will forever be trying to catch up!

Titania Jordan is the Chief Parent Officer of Bark.us, an internet safety solution that helps parents and schools keep children safer across social media, text messaging and email. She is also the mother of a nine-year-old son and is a master at LEGO.