I Think I’m Too ‘Sus’ To Keep Up With My Kid’s Dumbed Down Vocabulary
By Jenn Cox
Photo © ilonakozhevnikova/Twenty20
Apr 6, 2022
When I was a kid, my parents would mock me when I said something was “all that and a bag of chips.”
Or my mom would suggest something that my teenage self thought was super uncool, so I’d give her a dramatic eye roll with an even more exaggerated, “As if!”
I always thought they sounded so old and out of touch when they’d snicker at our vernacular.
They were just as amused by beeper codes.
I had an entire typed page of numerical codes that my friends and I would text one another with, and they meant everything from “I love you” and “BFF” to “meet me tomorrow at school.”
We passed notes folded in cockeyed origami shapes and wrote in secret codes, omitting all the vowels or writing words out phonetically. I reread them now and cringe.
So, you can imagine my amusement when my son, who is eight, started playing video games and using sayings and phrases that not only cracked me up but made me feel just as old as I thought my parents were (um, because I kinda am).
Things like “sic” and “OG” came back.
My son and I had a three-day debate on the origins of “OG,” as he was adamant that it stood for “Old Game” whereas I recall it starting with my generation and was an acronym for “Original Gangster.” Duh!
Then I was introduced to some new modern lingo. Everyone my son played video games with was either a “hacker” (not to be confused with an actual hacker who can hack into computer systems, but someone who is too good to be that good) or totally “sus” (short for suspicious because, apparently, it takes too long to say the entire word).
"Believe it or not, I found myself Googling some of these terms because I heard them so often."
He gets angry when video game players “flex” on him (i.e., show off), and when someone doesn’t answer him, it’s OK because they must be “AFK” (away from keyboard — which is "obvs" way too long to say).
Believe it or not, I found myself Googling some of these terms because I heard them so often and, quite honestly, I wanted to be sure my son wasn’t swearing or being disrespectful.
I’m embarrassed to admit it but the first word he said that I didn’t know was “FOMO” — a word I was sure was shorthand for some sort of cuss word (don’t worry: it’s Fear Of Missing Out … but you probably already knew that, right?).
In my day my friends and I spoke pig Latin (emember, ra?) to keep adults from understanding what we were saying, and when our moms started catching on, we switched over to gibberish, which sounded like someone drunk, talking with marbles in their mouth. Today’s kids are throwing around acronyms and other slang that sound like the laziest English I’ve ever heard.
Know what “rage quitting” is?
It’s our ‘90s equivalent of slamming down the phone when we would angrily hang up on someone. But instead, kids lose their minds on Fortnite and scream into their mics and suddenly disappear from the match.
That’s rage quitting.
Players can’t stand when something is "lagging" or "laggy" … in other words, their video game is running slowly.
"The fact I’m even writing this article would be 'cringe' in my kid’s eyes."
"Cracked" means someone is damaged in Fortnite (it’s doesn’t mean they’re nuts, which was how I took it).
The fact I’m even writing this article would be “cringe” in my kid’s eyes.
Oh well. I’m not the first mom who has ever been cringe to their child and I certainly won’t be the last.
I guess I’ve got to just try and keep up as my son and his generation slowly dumb down the English language. At least that’s how I see it. And probably how my parents saw it.
I’ll try and stifle the giggles.
And sure, they’ll think that’s sus.
Because it probably makes me a “noob” (brand new) in their eyes.
Like most of what my son says these days, I had to look that up too.
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