Words Your English Teacher Never Taught You

by Vatchara Thongkamdee

Chris and Tommy, two friends from high school, meet each other at the bus stop.

Chris: Hey Yo son, What's up man?
Tommy: It's all good. See the game last night? It's sweet Yo.
Chris: Hell yeah, that joint tight.
Tommy: See that dude number 19? That's my dog.
Chris: That dude's cool, man.
Tommy: So, How's going, Yo?
Chris: Just chillin' around, not much
Tommy: Still in school?
Chris: Hell no, I graduated last year. Class of '97 is da bomb.
Tommy: Nah, class of '97 ain't all that. Class of '98 - it's da bomb.
Chris:Yeah? I gotta go. My bus's coming. Chill, son.
Tommy: Peace, man.

Do you understand the conversation above? Most teenagers understand it. But if you are an adult or ESOL 1 or 2 student, you might be completely lost. "No, I don't understand that conversation at all. But I hear people say it," said Sergio an ESOL level 1 student.

New slang words are being invented by teenagers always. Teens use slang words in sentences to make the sentences shorter, faster and easier to say. Those slang words are used in different ways and have different meanings from the literal or dictionary meaning. Adult language and teen language are different. Teens slang helps them identify with a group.

In different countries teens have their own slang words, "Ethiopian teens use slang words to say something different from grown ups," said Meron Afework.

"In Thailand teens do use lot of slang words, " said Pattama Kornkew. "Everyone says it because they usually hear everybody say it. However adults don't like to hear when teens say something in slang because it doesn't make any sense to them," added Pattama.

Copyright © 1998, Silver International, Montgomery Blair H.S., Silver Spring, MD USA

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