Slang Game

Dec 18, 2020
Originally published on December 18, 2020 10:40 am

Jonathan Coulton's kids Theo and Eleanor help their dad and Ophira Eisenberg translate and navigate the latest teen slang. It's "lit!" Are the kids still saying that?

Heard on Andrew Bird: Mandatory Fun Office Holiday Party

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Hey, in this next game, we had a few technical difficulties. So guess what? You get to hear what I sound like on Zoom.


EISENBERG: Hey, so we have a - this is a kind of special segment for us.


EISENBERG: We are going to play a game.

COULTON: Me and you, Ophira. We're in the puzzle hotseat.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) And we have experts. And our guest experts - you know them because they live in your house.

COULTON: That's right. These are my children.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

COULTON: These are my children.

EISENBERG: It's amazing.

COULTON: We have with us Eleanor.



COULTON: And this handsome young man is Theo.


EISENBERG: Hi. OK, so what are the ages so I know what I'm dealing with?

ELEANOR: I'm 15.


THEO: And I'm 12.


COULTON: A teen and a tween.

EISENBERG: Eleanor, how has it been being at home with your parents over the last many months?

ELEANOR: It's definitely been interesting.


ELEANOR: It's been a great experience.


EISENBERG: This will not - this doesn't count towards any college applications.


COULTON: Yeah, you don't have to lie.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

ELEANOR: No, I don't know. It's just been, I mean, crazy for everyone.

EISENBERG: All around. That's good. What a perspective. Theo, how is it for you?

THEO: It's been good. I feel like I don't know how much has changed just because we don't typically, you know, leave our rooms that often.


THEO: But I feel like we - it's pretty much the same other than just, like, not getting out of the house as much.

EISENBERG: You sound like a comedy writer, to be quite honest.

COULTON: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: So well done. So what we're doing here is that we've invited Jonathan's own children, Eleanor and Theo, to join us and explain, you know, the lingo that the youth of today are using.

COULTON: All right. So the way this is going to work is these children of mine have assembled a list of slang terms that young people use. And they're going to give us a word, and we're going to try to guess what it means. And we're allowed to ask them for - to use it in a sentence if we need help.

EISENBERG: Great. OK. Eleanor, why don't you start?

ELEANOR: The first word I have is stan.


COULTON: Stan. Stan the man.

EISENBERG: I have a little insight into this, but I would like a - I can ask you for a sentence - right? - where you contextualize it.


EISENBERG: Oh, yes, please.

ELEANOR: If you love, like, Taylor Swift, you would be like, I stan Taylor Swift.

EISENBERG: So stan is a fan or something.

ELEANOR: Yeah, exactly.

EISENBERG: And if I - am I right in saying that - OK, I don't want to say where I think it comes from.

COULTON: I think I know where it comes from. It comes from stalker and fan, a combination of...

ELEANOR: Yeah. Yeah.

COULTON: So it's like you're a super fan because you're so much a fan that you're stalking them, right? Is that right, Eleanor?

ELEANOR: Yeah. That's it. Yeah.


COULTON: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: Oh, I even have more information. The word originated - I was going to say this, Eminem, but then I got scared. See, the children make me feel vulnerable.

COULTON: They are intimidating, aren't they?

EISENBERG: They are. They are.

COULTON: I know.

EISENBERG: I want to appease them.

COULTON: They're old enough now that I just - I want to be cool in front of them, and I'm not, so...

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

COULTON: What are you going to do?

EISENBERG: Yeah, this word originated from a song by Eminem where he imagines a psycho, obsessive fan of his named Stan.

COULTON: All right, Theo, how about you give us one?

THEO: The first word that I have is full send. It's more of a term, but...

COULTON: Full send - Theo, will you give us a sentence?

THEO: Yeah.

COULTON: Because I don't know what this means at all.

THEO: One way that you might use this is if you're in a video game, or if you're just playing any game really, and you have to use a strategy. It might be a risky strategy, but you're just going to go full send.

COULTON: Whole hog, or...

EISENBERG: Right. Or, like, full-court press, like, just with everything.

COULTON: Just going to put it all on the line.

EISENBERG: Yeah. Where does that come from, though?

ELEANOR: I think of it in, like, the context of if you're texting someone and you're, like, about to send a text. You don't know if you should send it.

COULTON: Oh, just like our favorite saying, yeah.

ELEANOR: You're like, full send.

COULTON: Full send.

THEO: Yeah, exactly.

EISENBERG: Yeah. Yeah.

THEO: So you were pretty much right at the start.

COULTON: This text is full send.

EISENBERG: OK. Right. You know what? We should have - they should give us two buttons. Like, there should be, like, a light send, full send...


EISENBERG: ...So you can decide.

COULTON: Light send.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) Light send.

COULTON: Can I kind of send this?


THEO: I want there to just be a 50/50 on whether or not they see it.

COULTON: Yeah, that's right. That's right. You don't know if they got it, and they don't have to answer. Everybody's off the hook. It's nice.

EISENBERG: OK. Eleanor, Eleanor, next one. I'm ready.

ELEANOR: OK. The next word is slaps.

COULTON: Oh, this one I...


COULTON: This one I know. It is a verb, I guess. But give us a sentence. Give us a sentence.

THEO: It could be a verb and a noun, too.

ELEANOR: Noun? Oh, yeah. He's - I don't say it as a noun.

THEO: It's - I mean it was...

COULTON: You can use it as a noun?

THEO: A little bit. It's very loose.

ELEANOR: OK, don't listen to what he...


EISENBERG: (Laughter).

COULTON: It's like this all the time around here.

ELEANOR: Did you ask for a sentence?

COULTON: Yeah. Will you give us a sentence?

EISENBERG: Yeah, I need the sentence.

ELEANOR: I would say, like, this song slaps.

EISENBERG: OK. So I'm going to imagine that it is - you know, I would say getting slapped is not a great thing. But in this case, it's the opposite. It's great. Like, it slaps. It has a great rhythm. Slaps - slaps you in the face, it's so amazing.


THEO: Yeah.

ELEANOR: Yeah, exactly.

COULTON: And I'm curious, Theo, what's it - how would you use it as a noun?

THEO: If someone asked to play music in the car, you can say, OK, you can play music, but you better play some slaps.

COULTON: (Laughter).

THEO: Or that song is some slaps.

EISENBERG: Yeah. Right.

COULTON: So it's - specifically songs that slap are slaps for short.

EISENBERG: Right. I want the next one, Eleanor.

ELEANOR: OK. Next one is glow up.

COULTON: Glow up.

EISENBERG: Glow up sounds - OK, I need a sentence. Give me a sentence.

ELEANOR: OK, if I hadn't seen someone, like, over the summer and then I see them on the first day of school, I'd be like, wow, she had a huge glow up.

EISENBERG: All right. So, like, looks better. Someone got more attractive basically.

ELEANOR: But you could also have, like, a personality glow-up.

THEO: Yeah.


COULTON: (Laughter) That's the best kind of glow-up.

THEO: Yeah (unintelligible).

COULTON: OK. Glow-up - so according to a Reddit thread, see also Longbottoming, which is a...

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

COULTON: Which is in reference to actor Matthew Lewis, who appeared in the "Harry Potter" films as Neville Longbottom, who started out as a kid on screen and grew up to be very handsome. He had a real glow-up.

ELEANOR: Yeah...

EISENBERG: Oh, yeah...

ELEANOR: ...There we go.

EISENBERG: ...That would fit.

THEO: There was a whole thing is that everyone except for Harry got prettier and prettier as they grew up.




ELEANOR: Or you can also have a glow-down, which I would say Ron from "Harry Potter" had a glow-down.

COULTON: All right. So give us another one, Theo.

THEO: All right. This next one, another term - got me dead.

EISENBERG: Got me dead - that's got to be, like, got me good or something like that.

COULTON: That fantastic song, which incidentally slaps, has got me dead.

EISENBERG: Oh, right.

COULTON: ...Meaning it has simply murdered me due to its excellence.


THEO: You guys are pretty close.

ELEANOR: Well...

THEO: You're - I mean...

ELEANOR: No, no, no. I think - kind of you have the essence - but it's more like - well, do you want to say?

THEO: Yeah. Do you guys want a sentence?

EISENBERG: Yeah, yeah.

THEO: All right. So it might be that if you're, if someone is telling a joke and there's like at the end there's a big punch line, it's like a twist ending, you might say, oh, my God, that twist ending got me dead.

EISENBERG: Oh, yeah. Right. So it's literally like...

COULTON: It's surprising or shocking?

EISENBERG: ...Dead hilarious, dead funny.

ELEANOR: Yeah. Yeah, funny.

COULTON: Oh, funny - it's specifically about funny.


COULTON: All right. This is the last one, I think. Eleanor.

ELEANOR: Left on read.

COULTON: Left on red, as in R-E-D?


EISENBERG: All right, interesting.

COULTON: I'm totally mystified by this one.

EISENBERG: Let's have the sentence.

ELEANOR: You want a sentence?

COULTON: Yeah, how about a sentence?

ELEANOR: I would be like, I can't believe he just left me on read.

COULTON: Oh. So is this like a texting thing?



COULTON: You can see that they have read it, but they haven't replied.

ELEANOR: Exactly.

COULTON: Is that what it is?

THEO: If you're...

ELEANOR: Which I don't have my read receipts on for you or mom, actually, because...

COULTON: Who cares?

ELEANOR: ...I don't want you to know if I've seen what you told me to do.



THEO: If you were to - yeah.

ELEANOR: Well, like, if mom's like, come do the dishwasher, if she sees that I read it, she knows that I am able to do it. But if she thinks I just haven't seen it, there we go.

COULTON: Plausible deniability.

ELEANOR: That's my out.

COULTON: I just feel as though I need to say as another parent in the household, it is your responsibility to empty the dishwasher.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

ELEANOR: I do do the dishwasher.

COULTON: I know you do. I know you do. You're right. I - you know, you left me on read. You got me dead. That's right there. That's a song right there. That's a comedic song that slaps.

EISENBERG: (Laughter). You're going to have so many stans with that one.

COULTON: Yeah. Everybody is going to stan my song that slaps, which is called "Left On Read, Got Me Dead."

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

COULTON: See how they're squirming in their seats?

EISENBERG: Yeah, they're just looking up. When will this end?

COULTON: (Laughter) And Ophira, I think we did great. I think we did a very good job.

EISENBERG: We did pretty good. We figured it out. That's the thing.

COULTON: We figured most of them out.

EISENBERG: Yeah, we were able to play - we were able to play the game.


COULTON: Were we able to say the words in a way that makes young people uncomfortable? Absolutely.

EISENBERG: Full send on that - nope.

ELEANOR: (Laughter) Yeah. That's...

COULTON: We went full send on this game.

EISENBERG: We went full send on this game. There you go. Thanks, Theo. Thanks, Eleanor. Really appreciate it. I feel like we should do this once a quarter just so we can, like, get updated.


COULTON: That's not a bad idea - not a bad idea.


EISENBERG: After the break, musician Andrew Bird will show off his amazing whistling skills. I'm Ophira Eisenberg, and this is ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR.


EISENBERG: Remember, your local public radio station makes it possible for us to make this show. If you can give, please consider supporting us and all of the NPR shows you love. Just go to

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