People explain slang and memes: teachers versus teenagers

Every year, my school puts out this awesome student-run magazine. This year’s edition just came out a few weeks ago, and two of the articles were HILARIOUS. One was titled Urban Dictionary and the other was called What in the world is a meme?

In the first one, students interviewed teachers and asked them to create their own Urban Dictionary-ish definition of current weird words that people use. In the second one, someone explained what a meme is.

The people who came up with the idea for those articles and the people who wrote them are all absolutely brilliant. As I was reading them and cracking up, I was like, this is exactly something I would write about- so here I am, writing a post about it. Strange how these things work, am I right?

I was about to just take pictures of the pages and post them, but then I realized it was probably an invasion of privacy for me to put all these people’s names on the internet without their permission. So I decided it would be a better idea for me to type it out.

All the quotes that don’t have the name of the person who said them are copied straight out of the magazine. The rest of them are from my friends. Almost zero of the following words are mine. Basically, I had people write this entire post for me- which is fantastic. The only credit I can take for this article is my ability to type.

Okay, I’m done with my attempt at staying out of plagiarism trouble. ONTO THE FUNNINESS.

Teachers explain slang

Gucci

Stylish, expensive.
My outfit was the essence of Gucci glamor.
– high school history teacher

Something expensive.
When they dress, it’s all Gucci. (although my daughter says ‘nah fam, we Gucci,’ so I really have no clue.)
– high school dean of students

Woke

The same as fire: when a student says something in class that he/she thinks is pretty inspired only to realize that he has just answered the question from 5 minutes ago, and no one is tracking with him.
Man, I just woked that seminar!
– middle school history teacher

What I did this morning at 5:5 AM and then again after my first cup of coffee.
I woke this morning feeling refreshed.
– another high school history teacher

Basic

Utilitarian necessities.
A sandwich is my basic lunch on weekdays.
– the first high school history teacher, again

A ‘Basic girl’. So, if you’re ‘basic,’ or you do something that’s ‘basic,’ it is something a stereotypical girl would do/like. Most popular examples would be: wearing leggings, oversized tee-shirts, or drinking a pumpkin spice latte.
She was so very basic wearing her leggings, baggy T, and sipping on a latte.
– elementary school teacher

Boujee

Boyfriend.
That’s my Boujee. How do you even pronounce this? Is it booyah!!! Bam!!!
– Algebra II teacher

Similar to stuck up, rich, and stereotypical.
Wow you’re drinking your latte and wearing all LuLu Lemon, how boujee can you be?
– the elementary school teacher, again

French for boogie.
I boujee in my dance class.
– the second high school history teacher, again

Money or currency.
I’m going to need some boujee for the movies.
– another elementary school teacher

Skrt

The sound of burning rubber when you peel out in an automobile.
Molly was trying to skrt chapel today.
– head of the high school

To fail.
How did I do on that math test?…Skrt.
– Algebra II teacher, again

Norwegian yogurt.
I ate some skrt with berries this morning.
– middle school history teacher, again

When my kids are making fun of my driving.
Wow dad you skrted out of the parking lot.
– high school science teacher

Teenagers explain slang

Gucci

A brand of really expensive stuff.
I like that Gucci belt you are wearing.
– Jael

A brand, or it’s good.
It’s gucci.
– Jocelyn

Good.
We gucci.
– Riley

Something great and cool.
That party last night was gucci.
– Isaac

Woke

Being awakened from sleeping.
I was woken by my dad.
– Jael

To know/be aware.
Stay woke.
– Jocelyn

Like a sudden realization.
They woke.
– Riley

Like discovering something.
I got so woke when I figured out Kylie’s baby wasn’t her husband’s.
– Isaac

Basic

Being the same or regular.
That shirt is a basic color.
– Jael

You’re super mainstream and super does everything that’s trendy.
Basic white girls.
– Jocelyn

Someone who likes doing/wearing things that are trending/popular.
That new girl is so basic.
– Riley

Boujee

Very expensive things or actions.
That Rolex you just bought is so boujee.
– Jael

To be like rich and up there.
She’s bad and boujee.
– Jocelyn

High class.
Gotta get out of this boujee city.
– Riley

Like idek.
That restaurant felt so boujee.
– Isaac

Skrt

The sound that a car makes.
That car went skrt.
– Jael

Cardi B. says it a lot.
Skrt skrt.
– Jocelyn

Trying to get out.
I just sort of skrted my way out of there.
– Riley

Going fast.
I got to skrt away from Annie’s house.
– Isaac

Teachers explain memes

“I have no idea…it is…a double me?”
– beloved substitute teacher

“A meme is a funny picture that has a funny caption that’s clever and timely with the pop culture.”
– the second high school history teacher, again again

Teenagers explain memes

“A meme is a dank gif- it’s just lit, hype, cool, dank, really.”
– junior

“There’s no definition. It transcends human conceptualization! It’s a way that all cultures and humans can connect that exceeds normal communication.”
– junior (I think?)

“A meme is a picture with a caption that’s funny…it doesn’t make any sense, but it’s funny.”
– two freshmen

“I don’t know…it’s like a joke off of Instagram? I honestly don’t know.”
– anonymous

“A meme is a hilarious thing that everyone laughs at, and no one really understands.”
– two juniors

“A funny phrase or sentence that is emphasized by a picture.”
– Jael

“A funny pic/vid w funny captions.”
– Jocelyn

“Memes are my life.”
– Riley

Finally…

I asked Jonathan to ask his friends for input, but my instructions were obviously not clear enough. This is letter for letter of what happened after I first texted him for help:

Jonathan:
wat
ooooh
nvm i thought u we’re saying gucci woke basic boujee and skrt
as like a phrase
Me:
HAHAHAHAHAHA
jonathan:
i was so confused
A wise man once told me to stay woke and skrt away from them basic girls with the boujee brand handbags like Gucci
this was matthews response
Me:
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
No that’s not what I mean
I mean INDIVIDUALLY
Jonathan:
kelvin just said um what and didn’t respond
Me:
Oh come on
Tell him I would really appreciate an answer
Jonathan:
Well that’s not the way life works
use context clues
was matthews response
Me:
Hahahaha okay cool

ps

Does your school have a student magazine/newspaper? Because if you do, I 100% want to know what your favorite articles were from it so I can steal them for next year.
Are any of those words part of your vocabulary? The only word out of those five that I’ve used before is basic. But I might start using skrt. I don’t know why, but I find it to be such a funny term. Before this, I had an okay understanding of the other words except for boujee. I had heard it be used in context, but I still wasn’t really sure what it meant.
Favorite meme you’ve discovered recently? This is hard. I’ve spent way too much time looking at Marvel stuff lately on Pinterest (My friend thought that was funny. She was like, you look at memes on Pinterest? And I said, yea, I don’t know how to find good memes on Instagram, which made her laugh.), BUT now I have a rocking board of Marvel memes so I think it’s turned out for the best. It’s hard to choose, but this one is pretty good.

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And finally, A CHALLENGE: ask a parent/teacher/friend/yourself to define gucci, woke, basic, boujee, or skrt and use it in a sentence. Or you can do what Matthew did and make one big hilarious creative sentence with all of them.

19 thoughts on “People explain slang and memes: teachers versus teenagers”

  1. THIS IS AMAZING.😂I laughed out loud at “this is my boujee.” And “I ate some skrt with berries this morning.” And…when whoever Isaac is said “I got to skrt away from Annie’s house,” was he talking about you Annie? Probably not, but I was just curious haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AHH, thank you!! YES, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. Hahaha, Isaac is Jonathan’s friend, and yep, he was talking about me, even though I don’t know why he or anyone ever would want to skrt away from me.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That meme you chose at the end.. it reminds me of a video on YouTube that was released recently where a lot of the cast of Infinity War were actually singing those words! 😂 If you want to see it it’s called James Corden’s Star Tours – The Avengers. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooooh, that’s the video I’ve been seeing on my sidebar!! I wasn’t sure what it was, so I didn’t watch it. Thank you so much for the recommendation, now I won’t have to search for a funny Avenger video myself!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Whoa, I didn’t know any of these words until reading this post. I mean, to clarify, I knew the words ‘basic’ and ‘woke’ but only in the traditional sense. This is some really fancy vocabulary. The way that language evolves is fascinating. That was such a cool idea for the magazine to have people define random terms!
    Language is such a fluid thing. Words constantly change meaning, or drop out of daily life, and whole new words crop up. Two hundred years ago, English was practically a different language. There were so many words they used that we don’t use anymore, and there are so many new words that they wouldn’t know. If I went up to an average kid and used words like ‘pugnacious’ and minacious’ and ‘flummery’ they wouldn’t know what I was talking about, and if I went back in time and used words like ‘movie’ ‘Google’ and ‘LOL’ they would be totally clueless. If you go back far enough, to old English, it’s not even comprehensible to us now. Even though it’s still English!
    Language sure ain’t basic. It skrts along and if you stay woke to it you’ll be pretty boujee because it’s so gucci.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That reminds me of my dad’s response! When I asked his to use “basic” in a sentence, he answered (true to form), “I have to meet my job’s basic requirements.” I know! What makes me the most curious is how these new definitions take off and spread. Like, are there certain websites that coin most of the new slang words?
      I feel like language’s changingness is most obvious if you’re a teenager or young adult. There’s a different rotation of weird words every year. Haha, thank you for adding some new words to my vocabulary! I was expecting ‘minacious’ to mean the opposite of what it does because it reminded me of ‘mini.’ I can’t wait to say to drop the phrase, ‘What flummery!’ in a conversation. Ha, that would be funny. We actually read a book in school that was translated from Old English! It had alternating pages of Old English and our English, and one of the only words that were recongnizable from the Old side was ‘wyrd’ which meant fate and is now our ‘weird’!
      OH MY GOODNESS HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Thank you so much for that, it made me laugh so hard that I almost started crying.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I know, it is something to wonder! It would make sense if the internet has something to do with new definitions now, but the internet is really a recent development and this has been going on way before it existed.
        You’re welcome! Flummery is such a fun word! We should bring it back into everyday usage.
        It is my pleasure to have brought such mirth upon you. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hm, maybe William Shakespeare was able to add so many words that have stayed because his reach was far during a time when that was rare, but now there’s a way faster turnover rate because people are more connected. Or it’s probably because he just wrote so much good stuff.
        Haha YES, we should!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Woah, I had no idea what any of those terms meant. I mean now that you say them I feel like I’ve heard people say them, but they just sort of floated in one ear and out the other and flew away and I forgot they existed until now. I would be like the teacher who said woke is what I did this morning- except NOT at 5AM because YIKES. I don’t operate on that kind of schedule.
    Those meme explanations were quite entertaining 🙂 Especially the one about how memes transcend human conceptualization. And “It doesn’t make any sense, but it’s funny.” So true.
    HAHAHAHAHAHA. Your texting conversation with Jonathan is amazing. It’s like…. its own meme. I love it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, that’s funny. What my brain does is it immediately assumes it knows what a slang word means, but as soon as I try to explain it, I find that I don’t really. I KNOW, 5AM is so early. I think the only time I’ve woken up around then was for a plane flight. I know right?? Haha, I love how people said the same things in totally different ways- I feel like “doesn’t make sense” is the simple translation of “transcend human conceptualization.”
      YES, I’m glad you thought it was funny! Mission accomplished. And AHHHHHH, thank you for such a nice compliment!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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