Having brought up three teenagers schooled within three different London postcodes, I feel I’ve been given a fair exposure to the depth and breadth of regional slang. I’ve also endured some years of their refusal to explain what apparently key expressions mean. I didn’t know what “bate”, “butters” or “sick” meant.
As my brood has gradually emerged from their more hostile years, they’ve taken pity on me and explained more and more. But if I had been very desperate when they were younger How to Talk Teen by Mark Leigh could have been a life line.
Although I note that “bate” is not included; this means “obvious” I am reliably informed. There are lots of words in the book that don’t seem to have cropped up in my corner of South East London – “peas” for money, “quiche” for something very attractive and “cankle” for a calf and ankle that blend in to one. These must mean something somewhere though!
Mark Leigh has a nice turn of phrase and is witty, but his book is essentially a dictionary. I’m not sure I would have read this from A to Z even at my most exasperated times, and I think now many of us would probably take the quick option and let google provide a translation.
For parents who want to be ahead of the game in speaking teen, this is a must-have book!
PWT rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
Published by Little Brown, How to Talk Teen: From Asshat to Zup, the Totes Awesome Dictionary of Teenage Slang by Mark Leigh and illustrated by Dominic Trevett is available from Amazon and book shops.