Page last updated at 15:58 GMT, Thursday, 11 September 2008 16:58 UK

Teen speak dictionary for 'rents'

Some fear getting 'murked' (killed) if they leave their 'endz' (neighbourhood)

An online dictionary to bridge the gap between parents and teens has been launched by a parents' charity.

Parentline Plus created the guide to stop adults getting "clocked" (caught out) and appear more "sick" (cool).

Demands from confused "rents" (parents) struggling to understand their children's chat led to the initiative.

The jargon buster at has more than 100 entries and can be updated by parents as new terms are discovered.

The Gotateenager website was launched in response to the more than 50,000 calls Parentline received a year on its 24-hour hotline from parents of teenagers concerned about drugs, binge-drinking, discipline problems and gang culture.

Just flossin'

The jargon buster was not included on test versions of the site but was brought in to lighten the tone after early feedback suggested it looked "too doom and gloom".

What are you saying, blud?

Friend, mate
That's gash mate.
That's rubbish.
What's up? What's going on?
I'm proper blench.
I'm tough.
You're jarring man.
Stop annoying me.


After months of research, including talking to teenagers about the latest slang, the Wikipedia-style vocabulary list on the government-funded website was created.

The jargon buster's merits as an educational tool soon became apparent to project manager Nikola Mann.

"A teenager using words like 'shank' or 'jook' might be overlooked by a parent without knowledge that these both mean 'to stab'.

"Knowing what these terms mean would then give a parent the incentive to begin talking to their teenager seriously about violence and risk-taking behaviours."

Alternatively, parents may just want to be able to show they can, literally, speak the language of youth - and appear "flossin'" (awesome).

The social networking element is key and runs throughout the site
Lucy Edlington
Parentline Plus

By opening up the word list to anyone who registers on the site, the organisers hope to ensure it is the most up-to-date reference for youth terms.

They concede that one or two fictitious terms could be added, although a group of appointed parent and teenager "stakeholders" will vet new entries.

The website also offers online courses for parents to help them understand their child's behaviour better and help to advise them on a range of issues such as drug and alcohol use.

Common scenarios will be played out in a regularly-updated comic strip to explain how to handle complicated situations, such as when a teenage daughter comes home late, drunk and is, as a result, sick.

An online community has been set up on the website by adapting the popular social networking model used on teenager-friendly sites such as Facebook and Bebo.

This is to help parents of primary school children keep in touch with each other when their children move on to different secondary schools.

Lucy Edington, acting chief executive of Parentline Plus, hopes this will enable them to retain important support groups.

She says the website "plugs that gap creating an online community for parents of teenagers".

"The social networking element is key and runs throughout the site, encouraging parents to interact, share tips and strategies and gain confidence to tackle issues."

The site also includes a texting service enabling parents to have tips and information texted to their mobile phones.

Parents concerned about their children can also call a free 24-hour hotline on 0808 800 2222.

A lexicon of teen speak
10 Jun 05 |  Magazine


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