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Decoding Tween Slang 101

Parenting a tween can sometimes feel like you’re the dumbest person on earth. Between their exaggerated sighs, eye rolls and fragmented conversations, we hardly need the added complexity of decoding their language. Most days I wonder what planet the aliens are from that have taken over my daughter; she is literally speaking a foreign language. Fear not, I’ve got the inside scoop on the hidden meaning behind their strange tongues.

Rizz – The first time I read this word I thought it was a spelling mistake, but when my daughter’s friend told me I’ve got rizz, my rizz-level or charisma level certainly nose-dived after my response was “No, but I have Triscuits!”

Bet – Don’t panic! Your sweet child hasn’t suddenly taken up betting on the ponies. It’s our tweens’ way of being efficient. They had to drop you in “you bet” because they are so busy scrolling on their phones.

Mid – Just to be clear, I am anything but mid. Mid refers to average, but usually in reference to humor.

GOAT – They aren’t talking about the other cute kids that goat cheese comes from. GOAT is the abbreviation for Greatest Of All Time. To be a GOAT, you are at superhero status.

Bruh – This one is so popular in our house right now. It reminds me of the frequency of “Oh my God” back in my Valley Girl days. Although these can easily be confused with belches, or leave you wondering how the conversation changed to bras, just know that it’s a term of endearment. 

Navigating tween slang might feel like playing dodgeball, but coming to their level will not only help you communicate with your alien but serve as a reminder that you were once like them. Now that you have become fluent in their lingo, try using it on them. While grasping their slang is vital, it’s equally important to maintain open communication with your tween. Encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings with you, even if it means interpreting their slang from time to time. 


Janet Smith is a proud single-mom of one daughter and a marketing professional who is grateful for her rural roots in the London area. She is a big believer in connecting with people through laughter and honesty.


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