Lucy Tobin teaches par­ents to ‘teen-speak’

The Jewish Chronicle - - People -

PAR­ENTS, DO YOU know what it means to have a “benny”? Be “juiced”? Or to “unass”?

Jour­nal­ist Lucy Tobin re­veals all in her lat­est pub­li­ca­tion, Pimp Your

Vo­cab (Por­tico, £7.99), a guide to “teenglish”.

Aimed at adults, it is a funny and in­for­ma­tive dic­tio­nary of words and ex­pres­sions used by teenagers and stu­dents, to help bridge the com­mu­ni­ca­tion gap be­tween teach­ers and stu­dents, par­ents (rents) and chil­dren (kidults). Miss Tobin, 23, tells

Peo­ple: “When I was at Ox­ford Uni­ver­sity I found that a lot of sit­u­a­tions cropped up where tu­tors didn’t un­der­stand stu­dents so I thought it would be fun to do a book on it.” What are some of the most con­tro­ver­sial phrases? “The use of the word ‘raped’. Teenagers use it to mean ‘to be beaten by a task or an event’ but when adults, who don’t know the new mean­ing, hear it they can be quite shocked.”

Her re­search in­volved strate­gi­cally po­si­tion­ing her­self near teenagers on the tube and not­ing down the phrases they would say. She says: “All the de­bre­vi­ated lan­guage shows how ha­rassed our so­ci­ety is and says a lot about pri­or­i­ties, par­tic­u­larly the pro­lif­er­a­tion of words about drink­ing.” (Gaze­boed, smashed, ham­mered and oblit­er­ated — to name a few). “There is some­thing quite op­ti­mistic about the in­ven­tive­ness of the lan­guage used by teenagers (and kidults). It’s quite fun that kids have their own lan­guage that par­ents don’t un­der­stand.”

Lon­don-based, Miss Tobin works on the City desk at the Evening


And rents: in case you were won­der­ing, to have a “benny” means to be­come an­gry; “juiced” means ex­cited and “to unass” is to leave some­where very fast.

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