Creative Brand Communications

The Bebo Guide To Teen Slang.

teenUK publisher HarperCollins has approached Bebo, the popular social media network, to help identify the most widely-used teenage slang words in the UK today.

Selected words which could be included in the 30th anniversary edition of Collins English Dictionary include bare (a lot of), seen (cool), mugged (take the mick), fiend (addicted to something) or hater which translates in today’s teen speak as a negative person.

The words were originally short-listed by a panel of 14-18 year-olds and have been divided into six categories; money orientated, ‘cool’, friends, girls/boys, street language and put-downs. Now Bebo’s 10.5 million unique users in the UK are casting their votes and views on which of the slang words they think should be included. 

The most popular ones will be submitted to Collins, where a team of experts will research their origins and decide which will make the final grade for inclusion in the dictionary.

The in-depth research has revealed how a large number of slang words have been passed down from generation to generation. Timeless turns-of-phrase include cool, bruv (mate), grim (disgusting) and naff, which still translates as embarrassing.

Kate Burns, Managing Director and Vice President Europe, Bebo says: “Collins English Dictionary is so well respected, and the fact that it has approached Bebo reflects the growing value of the voice of our community.  Our strong UK youth base and our ability to go directly to the heart of the community, means that Bebo and its audience is well placed to offer the most accurate assessment about popular street language.”

Cormac McKeown, Head of Content at Collins says: “We’re very excited about the prospect of working with Bebo. Teenage slang is notoriously hard to pin down if you rely on the normal channels; by the time it’s filtered into publications, broadcasts, and eventually mainstream speech, it’s too late, young people have stopped using it. The findings from the Bebo community will give us the chance to keep track of an exciting part of our language that usually goes unrecorded.”

The list of teen slang words selected for the 30th edition of the Collins English dictionary will be made public by Bebo this summer.

For more information please contact [email protected]


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