You know the old saying, "These kids today!" As we get older we tend to think it more.

We're constantly comparing how things were when we were young and view the changes among our youth through that lens. There's nothing wrong with doing that, it's just human nature.

The older we get, the more we have to compare what was to what now is. And it's also normal to think that whatever we did or said in the past when we were young is what it should always be as time moves on.

Think about a lot of the slang you might use, for example. Even today saying something is "cool" is used to describe something we approve of.

Hands up and thumbs raised
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Before we look at some of the slang kids today are using, I want you to think about some of the words are phrases that were popular when you were a kid or teen and invite you to share that in the comments. It'll be interesting to see what has changed, and what hasn't, over the years.

According to, slang is defined as a "language peculiar to a particular group." And the group we're referring to here are kids living in New Jersey who are currently in K-12 schools.

One of the biggest ones I've heard from my kids, who are currently in elementary school, is "bruh". What the heck does that even mean? Is bruh just another way to say bro?

School kids / School house / Kid Slang

Turns out, it kind of is. According to the October 2020 meaning on (yes, the current meaning is that recent), bruh is defined as "an informal term for a male friend, often used as a form of address."

And the kids use it all the time, pretty much toward everyone. One thing that's different with how they use it, however, is that it's used more when talking about something that's surprising or shocking.

A great example would be "Really, bruh!?" Almost like a disapproval. That's more or less how they tend to use the word.

Although bruh has been around since the 1890s (according to, I don't ever remember it being used so frequently when I was in school. Guess the term has been on hiatus long enough to where it ensures parents won't be saying it in embarrassment.

Gary Shannon
Gary Shannon

That's just one of the common ones they seem to use a lot. Do I find it annoying? A little. Why not just say, bro? Isn't that easier?

But then again, me saying bro is exactly why the kids prefer bruh. This next one, however, is a bit more unique.

Have your kids ever told you you're doing something that seems "sus" or "sussy?" Yup, that's yet another common one that comes out of their mouths.

They'll sometimes even use that one at dinner time saying "These vegetables look a little sus to me." In that instance, they were referring to steamed vegetables.

A Listeria scare widens a frozen food recall to over 40 brands (Thinkstock)
A Listeria scare widens a frozen food recall to over 40 brands (Thinkstock)

So what the heck does that one mean? According to, sus is simply slang for suspicious.

And it's used a lot as well, and pretty loosely. In fact, almost anything can sound or look sus.

Interestingly, some of the slang we use and say around them they stopped using since going to grade school. More likely than not because it's not cool to sound like your parents.

See how I used the word cool? Yup, that's one of the slang words they put the brakes on. Way to make us feel old, kids.

Slang used by kids and teens / Confused adult

So far, the slang words I'm hearing from my kids aren't all that bad. But as you can tell by the full list below, the slang will only ramp up from here.

Here's a look at what our youth in school is saying now throughout the schools of New Jersey, from young kids to older teens. As you'll see, some of it is quite sus.

THAT'S SUS! Slang kids and teens now say and what the heck it means

According to a comprehensive list from, these are some of the slang words and phrases kids and teenagers are using today that some older generations might not understand.

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

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The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 Sunday morning host Mike Brant. Any opinions expressed are his own.

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