Cool. Awesome. Rad. Bitchin. Teenage slang from my day. Who's with me? But life has moved rapidly away from those years and new phrases and words have taken over what was once familiar territory.
I know this for two reasons. One, I have teenage characters in my books and so I research to learn the current slang. Pat, pat. And two, I have a teenager and pre-teen in my home who make sure I understand how little I actually know about current teenage slang.
So they teach me. They don't realize they're teaching me, but I watch and listen and observe. I'm the Jane Goodall of teenagers. And let me tell you, based on the state of their shared bathroom, I might possibly be living with chimps myself.
Last night, I thought I learned a new word. I heard my daughter say to her sister in a weird, high-pitched voice, "That's so fetch." My eyes widened. I turned to her, barely able to contain my excitement at a new discovery. "Fetch? As in cool?"
A new slang word. I felt my fingers tingle. My teenage character was about to get real. I smiled, nodded in solidarity to my daughter. "Your hair today was really fetch."
Both girls erupted in giggles. The kind of giggles that mean I'm in my forties and they are not. And then I got it. "Oh, like from the movie Mean Girls?" I take a deep breath, regroup, try to remember the slang I'd heard them say when they thought I wasn't listening. "I can't even with you," I said, smiling and just a teensy bit smug. The girls cringed, then moaned as one. "Because what I meant," I continued, "was that your hair was Gucci, bruh."