Psychological Development Across the Lifespan

Adolescence (12–18)

Why does adolescent slang change over the years?

In contrast to school aged children’s preference for the routine and predictable, adolescents prize the new and contemptuously dismiss the old and familiar. We can contrast the rapid changes in adolescent slang with the conservative nature of school aged children’s games. Listed below are slang terms used by adolescents at four different periods during the last century:

Years Slang Definition
  doll attractive woman
  dollface attractive woman
  jerk idiot
  dope idiot
  drip idiot
  rugged attractively masculine man
  hep cat “cool” male
  swell positive
  keen positive
  golly exclamation of surprise/admiration
  gee expression of mild astonishment
  lady girlfriend
  uptight uncool/rigid
  far out awesome/amazing
  bad good
  hip cool
  groovy great/awesome
  foxy attractive woman
  fine attractive
  bogart the joint hog the marijuana
  stoned intoxicated
  take a hit inhale from a joint
  crib house/home
  rents parents
  bogue from bogus
  bogus negative
  excellent pronounced like egg salad
1980s dope a drug, usually marijuana
  radical positive
  rad short for radical
  fresh positive
  dude young male
2000s—often influenced by text messaging
  lol laugh out loud
  bff best friends forever
  g2g got to go
  brb be right back
  idk I don’t know
  ttyl talk to you later
  jk just kidding
  omg oh, my God
  sweet great!
  wicked positive
  call you out disrespect someone
  def positive
  dope positive
  tramp stamp wide tattoo on the small of a woman’s back
  tool idiot


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