Bae, On Fleek, And Other Weird Crap Teens Say: A Decoder

by Scarlett Ballantyne
Originally Published: 
teen slang

We may still feel hip, cool, and totally awesome, but today’s teen slang is a lot different from the slang we knew 10 or 20 years ago, and it’s up to us as parents to be versed in what the heck our kids are saying. And so, for all the moms of teens and tweens, this is a roundup of the top words and phrases considered “cool” by today’s teen standards.


Have you heard this one yet? It may be new to you, but by teen standards, it’s been around for a while. The word “bae” is used as a short form of “baby.” And it’s an acronym too: before anyone else.

In a sentence: “She’s my bae. I don’t know what I’d do without her.”

On Fleek

It means fresh or that something is going well or looks perfect or on point.

In a sentence: Girl 1: “Wow, I love her new shoes!” Girl 2: “Yeah, they are really on fleek.”


Even cooler than saying something is on fleek, “hype” is generally used as an adjective meaning over-the-top excited.

In a sentence: “I’m so hype for the party this Saturday.”


Something you aspire to, you would refer to as “goals.”

In a sentence: “Kylie Jenner and Tyga are so cute together. Relationship goals.”


First made popular by hip-hop lyrics, “squad” referred to a group or crew of individuals with a common identity. Recently, it has been made more widespread in popularity by Taylor Swift and her posse of model and celebrity friends appearing together at events.

In a sentence: “The squad and I went driving around all night.”


This one means you totally succeeded at something, or you killed it — you slayed it. One of my daughter’s dance teachers said to me recently, “She totally slayed that routine!” I had to go home and look it up. I wasn’t sure of it was a compliment or an insult.

In a sentence: “Drake’s new album slayed.”

The Struggle Is Real

A more urban, tongue-in-cheek way to describe a situation that is hard to get through or unpleasant — often used hyperbolically.

In a sentence: Girl 1: “I had to walk to school today because my mom couldn’t drive me.” Girl 2: “The struggle is real.”


A lazy phrase, as it is just a short form of the word “love”: I luh you. Apparently it means more than like, but not as much as love.

In a sentence (or more likely, an Instagram comment): “Gul [Girl], you know I luh ya!”


This is in reference to the app Snapchat, which is one of the most popular methods that teens use to communicate with one another.

Kids use the word “snap” like a verb.

In a sentence: “Last night, my friend and I were snapping all night.”

Today’s teens have more access to information and are quicker to learn and absorb than we ever were. This generation grew up with computers and iPads, and right behind them will be a group that was raised with mobile devices. But no matter what generation or what medium is being used to communicate, one thing hasn’t changed: Teens universally still want to find ways to connect to one another and make memories with their peers.


This post originally appeared on UrbanMoms.

This article was originally published on