What Are the Kids Calling It These Days?

A Glossary of Slang We’ve Gotten from Students Recently

One of the joys of teaching is how much you learn from your students, and sex-ed class is a great place for a rich vocabulary exchange. Sometimes they’re testing us; sometimes it’s to make their classmates laugh. Fortunately urbandictionary.com provides a wealth of resources for cracking the code and showing the youths that yeah, we know a thing or two. Read on for some of the new terms we’ve seen most often in the past few months–mostly from 7th, 8th, and 9th graders–and the “teachable moments” they’ve offered.

Edging: This refers to a masturbation practice of getting close to orgasm/ejaculation, but pulling back and not going “over the edge”. Many people find that withholding makes for a more intense climax. Students often want to know if it’s harmful, which it isn’t, though taking masturbation advice from strangers on TikTok might be. This is not a new practice, but many students believe it is a new trend. 

Gyatt: This one has a few different explanations, and has really exploded in popularity in the last six months; we hear it in almost every class now. Most importantly, it has its origins in African American Vernacular English (AAVE), so we encourage students to consider whether they may be appropriating language from a culture or community that they are not a part of, and whether that’s in line with their values. Teens generally use it to refer to a large butt; one definition states that it’s an acronym for “Goddamn your ass thick”; though one group of 7th graders told us they thought it stood for “get your act together”. Similarly, anonymous questions about “BBC” (big black cock) or “BBL” (big booty Latina) are opportunities to point out the racism in hyper-sexualizing People of Color. Yes, sometimes we really are trying to suck all the fun out of (problematic) sexual humor.

Jelqing: The most concerning TikTok trend we’ve come across in a while, the idea behind “jelquing” is based on a flawed understanding of muscle-building and is a good way to cause permanent damage to a penis. Bodybuilders lift heavy weights that strain their muscles, causing small tears in the tissue, and then consume high levels of protein to build those muscles back bigger and stronger. Pulling on a penis to the point of pain, however, will not cause it to grow bigger, because there are no muscles in a penis. Parents, please talk to your children about not believing everything they see on the internet. 

Mewing: A practice intended to reshape the teeth and jawline by regularly pressing the tongue to the roof of the mouth, over a period of months or years. It’s not harmful, but there’s also no research demonstrating that it works–which hasn’t stopped plenty of social-media influencers from pushing the habit. It’s almost impressive how every new generation comes up with brand-new body image insecurities, and the internet has created fertile ground for a whole new crop of flawed advice for, ahem, “looksmaxxing”. There is an associated finger motion, stroking the jawline with a finger and then over the lips, as in silence. 

Mogging: This one has a range of definitions, but we’re most interested in the one that relates to body image and attractiveness-messages, but with a negative connotation; mogging (or a mogger) is when someone commands attention by being notably more attractive than anyone else around–a man who is very tall, or a woman with very large breasts. The implication that an attractive person is causing harm just by being present, or is taking something away from others, is troubling. People are attracted to a wide range of types and looks, and attractiveness is not a zero-sum game!

Rizz: It’s short for charisma, and honestly this one’s pretty wholesome. If the kids are gassing each other up to be charming, funny, and good conversationalists, we’re on board! Plenty of surveys and anecdotal evidence show over and over again that confidence is the most attractive quality a person can have, and our students show us every day how smart, kind, thoughtful, and hilarious they can be. We hope they see it in themselves, too. 

At the end of the day, whatever vocabulary they’re using, we just want everyone to feel good about themselves and take good care of their bodies and be a good human to other humans. No cap.*

*”No cap” means “no lie” or “for real”, according to Dictionary.com. “Cap” is another word for lie, so “no cap” emphasizes when someone is being truthful. If someone is “capping,” they are lying.

Published at Wed, 08 May 2024 21:30:38 +0000