Deciphering Teen-Speak

OK, so this post just might have something to do with having three teenagers under my roof.

But, as they say, “write what you know.”

In that vein, no one is more familiar than me with all the nuances and shadings of that timeless phrase, “Shut up.”

Here’s my lexicon:

One.  “I don’t believe you.”  Teenager #1:  I got front row tickets to see Taylor Swift.”  Teenager #2:  “Shut up!!”

Two.  “Really!?!”  Same example as above, but less skeptically or even with approbation; often with emphasis on “up”:  “Shut UP!”  See also, “OMG!!”

Three.  “Stop talking” (literally).  Colloquial version of “be quiet.”  “Shut up (the movie’s starting).”

Four.  “Stop talking . . . Now!”  Disciplinary, often by a parent to a misbehaving child.  See also, “I’ve heard enough (out of you)!”

Five. “Stop lying to me.”  What wife says to cheating husband (or husband to cheating wife).

Six.  To intimidate, keep in check.  Often combined with “the $#%#” (“Shut the $#%# up!”).  Uttered by authority figure to subordinate(s).

Seven.  “You were right” or “you made your point”; see also, “stop rubbing it in.”  Usually followed by an “already” — as in, “Shut up already.”

Eight.  “You can’t talk to me that way.”  As in, “No, YOU shut up!”

Nine.  “Stop delaying.”  Most common formulation:  “Shut up and [ _____ ].”  Examples:  “play,” “drive,” “dance,” “kiss me.”

See also, “That Bob is a Real Hustler!”  Compliment or Insult?”; “Why is Calling Someone “a Piece of Work’ an Insult?”“Interesting” vs. “I-n-t-e-r-e-s-t-i-n-g“; “Which “Done” Did They Mean?“; “The Many Guises of “Hot Dog’“; “You’re . . . You’re . . . Such an Almond! (Huh??)“; “Induct” vs. Indict”; and “Re-Duded Home.”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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