What up now? Kids create own lingo
No bluffing, high school students sling sweet slang.
They have words for what they like, what they dont like, what goes well, what doesnt go well and words they just like to say for any occasion.
Jordan Irish, WDC 10th-grader, likes the phrase Wompers Toyota!
She uses the phrase in many situations. For example, if shes upset about something, shell say Wompers Toyota!
It just came into my head, she said.
Her lunch table likes to use the phrase how embarrassing!
We just say it to everything, even if its not embarrassing, said Michael Astle, WDC 12th-grader.
For example, theyll say how embarrassing if someone didnt score well on a test or if someone burps.
Other favorite sayings in the high school include thats hot! shanazy, sure thing, youll have that and variations on whats up?
Jaime Kern, WDC 12th-grader, likes to say What up now? Cody Robinson, WDC 11th-grader, likes to say What a do?
Sometimes, theyll have a favorite word for describing something they like.
Dawn Lundstrom, WDC 12th-grader, likes to use the word awesome.
I tell everyone theyre awesome, she said. Thats like the 80s coming back in.
Other words high school students use when they like something include: sweet, truce, amazing, cool and Im stoked.
On the contrary, wrong, thats cold, stinky, thats junk, eew, gross or sick mean they dont like something.
Sometimes gestures go along with the words to emphasize meaning.
When Irish likes something, shell raise her hand, make a fist and lower the hand by bending the elbow. While shes moving her arm down, shell say, yes!
When Michael Astle wants someone to calm down, hell raise both his hands, palms out, and say Whoa!
Tone is important, too.
Oh snap could mean something went well or didnt go well, depending on how a person says it, said Heather Birch, 10th-grader.
Other expressions they use for when things go wrong include son of a bee sting! holy goodness and aw, shucky darn.
For the most part, the high schoolers tend to speak appropriately for school, said Tim Bjorge, Wadena-Deer Creek High School principal.
When students say an inappropriate word, they are asked not to repeat it. If they do, discipline action is taken. However, rarely does the situation advance to the discipline stage.
Bjorge doesnt recall ever disciplining a student strictly because of language since coming to WDC three years ago.
Students are respectful and follow directions, he said.
When handling language in the building, adults work together, Bjorge said. Whether someone said something inappropriate is decided upon by the listener. Inappropriate words are those that are harmful, derogatory, hurtful or offensive.
Most important is not the words themselves but how they are used.
The words change, but the context in which they are used determines if they are inappropriate, Bjorge said.
Along with having words for expressing things going wrong, teens have words for things going well, like solid, rad and fantabulous.
Finally, some ways to express agreement in high school include sure, whatever, chyeah! and for sure and fo-sho.
While the kids know what theyre talking about, the adults dont always follow.
Dexter Jensen, 10th-grader, said his parents, or parental units as some kids call them, dont understand a lot of the words he and his friends use.
His friends will use newb for someone being new at something, p-wned (pronounced powned) if a person lost at something or what a do? to say whats up?
Parents have a hard time understanding pretty much all of those words, he said.