8 Single Words That Speak Volumes In Teen Speak

by Glynis Ratcliffe
Originally Published: 

Teens are certainly talented at expressing their feelings to parents with only actions, but where they really excel is in their ability to communicate entire phrases in just a single word. It’s as though they can’t be bothered to say everything to us, so instead, they cram all of that inflection from the rest of the phrase into one word.

It is masterful. It is efficient. It is supremely annoying.

After some consultation with other parents of teens, it’s been determined that there are at least eight of these words that mean far more than they appear, when just typed. Words that speak volumes. Read on to discover their true meanings.

1. Fine

The other four-letter F-word, and this one is far worse. It is silent rebellion, despite agreement on the surface. It is shorthand for “You win this round, but you won’t win the next round … and I’ll hold this against you for as long as I think it’s important.”

2. Whatever

Generally, this one word means something along the lines of “You think you know everything, just because you’re older and my parent, but the reality is that I have thought this through, and I know I’m right this time. So fuck off.” Give or take.

3. OK

Let’s be honest: We all wish “OK” actually meant that things were OK, but we know better. We know that it really means “I’m tired of listening to you or trying to make you understand my side of things. Please stop talking and go away.”

4. What?

The rest of the question, spoken silently, is “Are you a complete idiot?” The answer, in their mind, is a resounding yes. It’s amazing how much scorn can be crammed into a single word, isn’t it?

5. Seriously?

This single word question is so loaded with other words, it practically explodes out their eyeballs, when they say it. “You can’t possibly be asking me to do that?” Or, “Do you honestly feel that way? Because I will have to pretend I don’t know you in public, if that’s the case.” You get the point.

6. Don’t!

This is short for “Don’t start this lecture. I know exactly what you’re going to say, and I don’t want to hear it!” Chances are, this is because they know they are wrong already.

7. Nooo

The long, drawn-out “No” is generally what you’ll hear when they don’t want to tell you whether it’s actually a “No,” or really a “Yes” and they’re flat out lying. Good luck trying to figure that out. Sometimes accompanied by an exasperated sigh, to add drama.

8. Yes

That single word that looks so good on paper, but sounds so bad when your teen says it. This one actually means “I’ll say yes because it’s what you want to hear, but I don’t actually mean it at all.” Sorry.

Do you remember the good old days, when you had a preschooler who wouldn’t shut up? How did that verbose little kid turn into the one sitting in front of you? The one who glares, stomps, slams doors and uses mostly one-word sentences to tell you what she really means?

Yeah, I’m not sure either. But I’m told it gets better in another six years.

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