Keep it 100: Your teenspeak glossary, part two


Amy Fenster Brown

Recently, I created a makeshift glossary of trendy teen lingo for you, and you’ve made it clear you want more. The tremendous feedback I’ve gotten from so many of you proves I’m not the only one who doesn’t understand what the kids these days are saying.  

By popular demand, I’m back at it again with more helpful, hip and happening teen terms and definitions so you can effectively speak to your child or grandchild in a way that seems cool. Or it will backfire and make you sound like a bigger dork than they already think you are. 

Cap – When you say something your teen doesn’t believe to be true, they either yell “cap” or “I call cap,” which is a fresh take on the good old-fashioned “liar, liar, pants on fire.” In a related story, one can also say, “no cap” instead of saying “I’m telling the truth.” Such a cool way to have integrity. “As Leo’s gourmet mother informs him there are no weird ingredients in the delicious dinner she has painstakingly crafted, the young man turns up his nose and says ‘cap.’”

Up there – Bro, if you’re up there, you’re kind of crazy, like losing your marbles. “When his mom asked him to fold his own laundry, Davis thought, ‘This woman is up there.’”

It’s not that deep – While something might seem like a big deal it actually might not be that deep.  This one borders on a teen saying something doesn’t matter that much and just not wanting to let on that it matters that much. “Feeling his mother was overanalyzing a random comment he made about not liking the movie she picked, Davis said ‘Mom, it’s not that deep.’ His mother considered calling the bakery to order a cake that said, ‘Happy Passive Aggressive Day.’”

Real one – I have zero clue how to describe this term. That’s because I have zero clue what it means. I do know with absolute certainty it makes my kids cringe when I bring it up, so, obviously, I bring it up a lot.  During a moment of silence, it’s fun to ask, “Are you a real one?” This works equally well on text. Next time your kid texts asking to grab a bite after practice with a friend, you need only respond by asking, “Is he a real one?” They don’t like it. 

Lit – A rare treat, lit has two definitions. Bonus! Lit can be when something is really cool, and it can also be when someone is really drunk. “If Davis and Leo each had a nickel for every time their loving mother said, ‘It’s not lit to get lit when you’re underage’ they would be two very rich boys.”

Keep it 100 – When you’re keeping it 100, you’re keeping it real. You’re being genuine and honest. Otherwise, someone might call cap. “When dirty dishes were left in the sink, Davis and Leo decided to keep it 100 and fess up, since they wanted to go out with their friends. They didn’t want to keep it 99 because their mother had a sixth sense for these kinds of things.”

Throw hands – This means to fight. Like if you rile me up too much, I’ll throw hands.  At your face. This leads into the related term, “catch these hands,” which is what one can say to make a threat. “When Davis ate the last cookie Leo was ready to throw hands, and boldly announced, ‘You’re going to catch these hands’ when he saw Davis chewing the chocolate chip evidence.”

I hope I’ve been able to up your cool quotient with the teens in your life. It’s probably because I’m a real one. 

Columnist Amy Fenster Brown is married to Jeff and has two teenage sons, Davis and Leo. She volunteers for several Jewish not-for-profit groups. Fenster Brown is an Emmy Award-winning TV news writer and counts time with family and friends, talking and eating peanut butter among her hobbies.