Every once in a while I realize that I am too old to be hip but too young to be square. The most recent evidence: the acronym WAP began appearing in social media and I could not for the life of me figure out how Wireless Access Protocol applied to the context in which the acronym appeared.
I looked that particular piece of slang up–no need to repeat the meaning here–but find myself beset by social media shorthand that doesn’t make sense at first glance. Educate me. What do I need to know to understand what people are saying? I promise not to repeat it–I’m too old for that. But I still want to know so I don’t embarrass myself.
To be honest, even though I am young, I do not know half of the things people say these days. I think it would be simpler just to say what it is than turn it into slang. I am ashamed when I have to ask my younger siblings who are all more than two years younger than me what this something means. I think that it is okay to not know what people are saying sometimes. When I don’t understand them, I just ask even though some laugh at me.
To better understand what the newest/hippest slang is right now, I’d say staying up to date with what’s trending on Twitter is a start. There is also Urban Dictionary, an online dictionary dedicated to keeping people informed with almost every phrase or saying on the internet ranging from Vine days to Tiktok references and so on. However, you shouldn’t need to get so many apps to stay up to date or in the loop but older people, to me, at least, use Facebook to help them with these issues.
Candidly, I agree with Danielle. I’m fairly ignorant about the slang of my generation; however, I think that’s part of “slang-culture” today. There are so many new colloquialisms that would only be known by a specific niche of people that NOT knowing the meaning of a slang term is pretty common. Granted there are some terms that are more widely known, but, on the whole, I think it’s fair to say that plenty of individuals do n o t know the meaning of the many slang words used today. (e.g. kids at my home school started referring to COVID-19 as the “supa-sicc”. If you don’t attend GHS or if I hadn’t told you that, you probably wouldn’t know what it means– and no one would really expect you to.)
Honestly, I have come across people who limit their language to strictly slang. It does not make much sense to me, as I do not use slang frequently. Rarely, I educate my older sisters and keep them up to date with the few slang terms/phrases I do know of. My homeschool invents new words and phrases daily; it is hard to keep up. Anyways, if one did not use social media, it would be less likely for them to understand the phrases and terms used, today.
I would have to agree with Zaria on this and say that downloading and being active on social media is a great way to keep up with trends and slang. Tik Tok is a great app for not only discovering but understanding said trends and slang through short videos. However, to know every slang word or trend would involve devoting copious amounts of time to something that is undeserving of one’s time. There will always be new terms and trends, and the most effective way to decipher the meaning is simply to ask.
I, for one, spend most of my time on social media and still struggle with current slang. If I don’t understand what something means I ask my friends who may or may not make fun of me about it. Teachers, however, are a different story. I think it’s almost expected for someone older than us to be behind in the current world of trends and slang.
I would say I’m fairly up to date with slang. There are several appropriate words and sayings in which I use often. On the other hand, some slang is a bit out of my comfort zone in terms of speaking them aloud. Some slang comes from social media, but a good portion of it comes from communities. If you haven’t noticed each state and cities within that state have their own slang. For example, the slang word “jit”, is associated with Florida. If you want to better understand and be up to date with slang, social media is a great place to start. Create a diverse timeline; therefore, you could possibly be exposed to outside slang. Also, don’t be afraid to ask. I know it may seem embarrassing but depending on the person, they will explain the meaning behind the slang to you.
I also find it very hard to keep up with new slang. With this, I usually do one of two things, completely ignore this new slang or I look it up on Urban Dictionary because it is very embarrassing to ask someone. But I only really bother looking it up if it has been either said directly to me or used by people that I am close with.
Personally, Urban Dictionary is my best friend. While I guess I’m at the age to be considered “young and hip” by your standards, I hardly ever understand the slang that people use. I use several forms of social media, but I, unfortunately, am still pretty clueless when it comes to the slang people use, so Urban Dictionary really helps me out.