Evolution of Slang

Rizzin’ up the New Slang


Chloe Zako, Paw Print Reporter

      Throughout high school, I have heard many different slang words. Slang- a type of language that consists of words and phrases that are regarded informal. Some have stuck around while others have disappeared (Oxford Languages). There are many aspects too slang and how it is used. Slang started to appear in the U.S during the 1920s. It became more used during that time because of the change happening at that time. After it started to appear, it became evident throughout the years and also changed. 


          Mr.Laughton, AP US History teacher, talked about slang that was used in the 1920s. Some examples of slang are Bee’s Knees, Pet, Dogs, Whoopee, Crush, and more. There is still some slang from that time that is being used now. Such as, Dogs for feet or hike for walk. For example, “Go to a hike.” when someone is being annoying or not listening. An interesting fact about slang is where it comes from. The 20s was the first decade to emphasize youth culture over the older generations. Many of the new words and phrases were created by the liberated women. Mr. Laughton taught my sophomore year, APUSH class about the impact and change of society in the 1920s. Slang was a big part of that, which also created a new culture throughout America.

“My favorite slang word is ate (you ate) which means, you look good or do good. This is my favorite slang word because it hypes people up and it is positive.”

— Rachel Miller

          In the 80s, there was new slang that popped up that is still familiar now. Examples are…psych, most def, spaz, dope, legit, word, for sure, and busta. My father, Matt Zako, voice actor who graduated high school in 1986. He described to me that there is slang that is positive and negative. He tends to use old slang sometimes and I am not sure what it means. Slang he still uses today is… word, for sure, and spaz. The difference between the slang can show how some words and phrases went away. As well as, some of the slang is still around because I will hear him say the slang that the youth still uses today. 


          Over the past four years, slang has changed or has stuck around. The slang that is popular right now is Rizz, NPC, period, purr, highkey/lowkey, bruh, word, dope, valid, ate, and be so fr. Rachel Miller (‘23), In school, Rachel and I hear a variety of slang and often find it humorous because of the usage. There is context within slang that usually connects to what it means. When it is used in an incorrect way, in today’s society…people will cringe or react badly. Another example of that would be older people using today’s slang because our youth is not used to hearing that from them. It is interesting to take notice on the different reactions of slang because it is no longer used or used badly.