Youth lingo


“Good day, How are you?” would probably result in a blank stare, and people wondering which archaic famous novel you came out of.

Not that there is anything wrong with speaking like this, but the truth is the youth have their own culture, their own way of speaking, and have a way of animating the most simple phrases.

It is interesting to know that there are teens out there who do not believe in speaking slang, but the truth is the majority, when speaking amongst themselves, use at least one slang/colloquial word.

It makes it difficult to follow a conversation if you do not understand the lingo.

So if you’ve been hearing certain phrases and wondering what they mean, this might keep you in the loop.

On the other hand some of these phrases may be out dated by the time you read this, so feel free to enlighten us.

This is just a sample of words and phrases from a small group of teens.

It does not represent how every teenager speaks today. It would be interesting to know how each group or clique interacts, but for now we’ll use the sample at hand.

Most who offered a sample of these words expressed that there is a growing trend of saying words backwards, “backwards front” they call it.

To start with the greetings, the commonly used phrase “what’s up?” has been switched to “Twas pu/Twa pu?”.

. . (Please note that for most of the words to follow there is no correct spelling currently available, so for the sake of progress, they are written as said).

Alternatively “What’s panning” (What is happening?), can be used as a greeting or response to a greeting.
When referring to relatives or people in general, these are the words commonly used; a mother would be “queen”, “Q”, “Quan”, “niqui”, father — “bali”, “labi” or “larley”, cousin — “zaki”, young sibling — “lytie”, guy — “oan”, girl — “chick”, “daige”, “item”, “soufflé”,” babe”, “vibe”, friend — “homie”, an older woman/cougar — “mothas”.

The response to a person’s looks, are as follows; pretty or good looking is “hot”, “fresh” (‘e’ emphasised), “nice”. Not so pretty on the other hand would be “guly”.

Teens love to have fun and these are some of the common phrases around this activity; a party is a “boot/toob”. “Shimen” would be going out to party, to a club would be “clubbing”. In response to how the party went, if it was fun, it would be a “heavy item”, “booting/ tubing”.

If the party was not fun, or was dying down, “it’s for die” or “it’s late” would be used. Another frequently spoken about topic is food, or rather “doof”. The act of eating is “chowing” and juice is “oova”.

The list of words used is endless seeing as it would be the equivalence of writing down every word in a particular language.

For now we will take note of some of the popular words from the sample. Be warned these terms may have already changed by now, or are soon to be replaced.

Nothing/no — jack/cage/ thunning
Hunger — conquest
Give — vig
Broke — Krobe
Black — klab
Shoe — shanquet
Music, tunes — matsibiri
Money — moola, stax, gwap
“I’m doing the locksmith” — kukiya kiya
Car — whip
Passenger seat — shotgun
Stories — gwans
Hit — weave/ brush/ tanned
Chilled — lekke
Reveal someone else’s dark secrets to the world — open poney
Home/ house — cabinz
Have — vay
Time — myt
Do — ood