To Slay or Not to Slay?

In this day and age, the majority of younger generations have replaced typical vocabulary with slang words. Our conversations these days have been bolstered by the use of “slay” and “gas”. 

Unfortunately, if these words are in your daily vocabulary, there is a high chance you have said it to your parents. Like parrots, there is a high chance your parents have attempted to adopt said slang words into their vocabulary. Trying to be more “hip” and relatable, the dinner conversations are overrun by your parent’s usage of “dude”, “bro”, and “ick”. You are definitely not alone in this struggle. 

Although many of us understand the time and place for slang words, it seems that parents just do not get it. Teenagers these days have grown up around a constantly changing vocabulary; new things are created (leading to new vocab) and old things resurfaced (leading to the revival of past vocab). 

There is a never ending trend cycle that moves a bit too fast for our parents to always be in touch with it. If your family is like mine, you will see your parents start to pick up your slang a couple of months after that trendy word has run its course. Then, you are stuck listening to them tell you that the 100 on your math quiz was a “slay!” or that the new song you are listening to is “lit”.

“I think it’s funny when my parents use slang, mostly because they never use it correctly. My dad for example tries to say ‘slay’ but it’s not usually in the right context. If I get a good grade or do well in something, he calls me a ‘slayer’,” senior Libby McHugh added, laughing.

Is there any point in trying to teach them the correct way to use these words? Based on the timeline that current slang word usage lasts, no. It is only a couple of months until you will move onto the next popular slang word to use, so why bother? 

While your parents might be a bit behind your vocabulary’s schedule, it is nice to see that they are making an effort to connect with you. Maybe discussing math is not a commonality between you, but by attempting to use your vocabulary, they are essentially learning your “language” to communicate.

“Surprisingly they [parents] do use it correctly, but I’ve had to explain the same terms to them multiple times. Once they’re reminded about what the words mean they can use it right. When I explain it they understand, which is surprising, but they are on Instagram and TikTok all the time so I guess it makes sense,” said senior Mia Alderman.

However, if you are beginning to reach your wits end with your parents’ weird timing of “bro”, maybe you need to set them up with a spreadsheet of when to use what words.  

First, make sure you break the news of your displeasure to your parents kindly, because I’m sure they felt ecstatic being able to relate to the young ones again. Next, formulate a spreadsheet of when to use certain slang words. This can include: bro – when you’re talking to your friends; lit – when something is really good or enjoyable; swag – style.

The introduction of slang into parent’s vocabulary simply provides moms and dads with more ammunition to tease kids, and at this point they use words in order to annoy. “I’ve tried to teach him how to use it, but now I feel like he purposely uses it wrong just to make fun of our generation,” said McHugh.

If you want your parents to completely stop using all of your slang, pay attention when you are talking. Your parents only picked it up because of how often you were using the slang words in the first place; stopping your usage of these words will result in your parents’ interest in the words eventually decreasing.  At this point in our lives though, most of the time our parents are just trying to annoy us or be amusing.

Parent’s usage of slang does not bother everyone – instead some have found humor in the jokes.“I do think it’s funny because when they do use it; it’s to make fun of me or annoy my brothers because they hate those words,” commented Mia Alderman.

It seems that the surge of older generations using slang has most definitely been in an ironic way, as many parents get a kick out of annoying their kids. Perhaps the best way to combat the parental misuse of slang is to just not use the words around them, or accept that they are never going to use “dope” in the right way.

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