I talk teen
Tracey Hawthorne tries to understand her teen. Lol!
We were having dinner and my son was trying to break up his baked potato with a spoon. It wasn’t working, so I put on an Obi Wan Kenobi voice and said, ‘Use the fork, Luke, use the fork.’ (My son’s name isn’t Luke.)

He and I thought this was wildly funny and screamed with laughter. My daughter, also amused, said what sounded like, ‘Loll.’
Loll? Did she mean ‘droll’? And if she did, where did she get such a rare word and how did she know how to use it?
My daughter had not, alas, been at the thesaurus. What she’d actually said was ‘LOL’, which in SMS-speak means, she told me, ‘laughing out loud’.

‘So when you or your friends find something funny, do you just say that word, rather than laugh?’ I asked in amazement.
‘Ja,’ she said. ‘And if it’s really funny we say El Em Aye Oh,’ which apparently means ‘laughing my ass off’.

But just how out of touch I am with teen lingo came horribly clear the next day, when my daughter was flicking through a gossip magazine. ‘Ooh,’ she said, suddenly, pointing to a picture of Matthew McConaughey. ‘Dilf!’

‘Okay,’ I said, tacitly admitting my enormous ignorance in the area of new-age acronyms, ‘what does that mean?’

She looked coy (an unusual expression for her, and not one that made me feel comfortable) and said, ‘‘‘Dad I’d Like To’’… you know.’

Well, there’s nothing new about the F word, is there? And I don’t mind admitting I was pretty shaken to hear my little girl expressing lustful thoughts about a man – Hollywood star or not – old enough to be her father, never mind anyone else’s.

Realising that I had a lot to learn about teen-speak, I hopped on the Internet the next day and downloaded a list of acronyms, which I memorised. By far my favourites were MOS, ‘Mom Over Shoulder’, and PIR, ‘Parent In Room’. (Deeply disturbing were GNOC, ‘Get Naked On Cam’, and NIFOC, ‘Naked In Front Of Computer’.)

That afternoon when I went into my daughter’s room to drop a load of laundry, she was on the phone. Glancing up at me but clearly addressing the person she was talking to, she said, with studied nonchalance, ‘Pee Eye Are.’

‘Don’t worry,’ I said. ‘I won’t be in the room for long. I’m just popping in to drop off some clean clothes.’

Her shocked look probably echoed mine when she’d told me what ‘Dilf’ meant, and it made my day.

Do you and your kids speak the same language? What are the most unusual terms they use?

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