When carpooling kids, I've learned to not insert myself into their conversations.
First, we don't even speak the same language. And second, anything an adult says to a 12-year-old (that's not a direct order) is just noise.
So, instead of trying to make conversation, I try to learn their lingo.
Today, I offer a glossary of Generation Z terms with their Baby Boomer equivalents. (Disclosure: I'm a boomer with two Gen Z kids at home, so my ear is tuned to this stuff.)
Parents, and especially grandparents, please clip and keep (or, in the modern vernacular, "cut and paste"):
* "Chill." I heard my 12-year-old son use this term to describe a classmate: "He seems like a pretty chill guy." Boomers, this usage of chill is a hybrid of "cool" and "hip." For reference: Arthur Fonzarelli.
* "So annoying." Our son can't say 100 words without enumerating something in his life that is "so annoying." This can include boring teachers, excessive homework or YouTube reaction videos. Note to Boomers: If you haven't heard of reaction videos, imagine videos of people watching "Candid Camera." Yep.
* "All good." It means "don't worry" or "it's fine." "All good" is an all-purpose response to anyone expressing regret or contrition. It's also a first cousin to "no worries."
Kid No. 1 says: "My bad, bro."
Kid No. 2 answers: "It's all good."
Boomer says: "I'm sorry, man."
Gen Xer replies: "No problem, dude."
* "Lit." I love "lit," and I'm not talking literature. "Lit" is one of those short, sharp words that's full of internal energy and broadcasts a positive vibe. Example: "That new Taylor Swift song is lit!"
Boomer equivalent: Groovy.
* "Flex." To flex, means to boast or show off. Example: "The kid flexed after he got his ACT score."
Boomer equivalent: Showboat.
* "Finna." A collapsible version of "fixing to." Example: "I'm finna watch YouTube."
* "Ghost." Often the act of one party disappearing in online communications. Example: "Aiden ghosted the girl he met on Tinder."
Equivalent Boomer slang: Blow off. Example: "Roger blew off his ex-girlfriend's emails."
* "Hangry." A combination of hungry and angry, this is the state of being aggressively famished.
Boomers will recognize "hangry" as a prime example of a sniglet, a 1980s term for a contrived term to describe something that's not currently in the dictionary, but should be.
* "Yea." Often seen in texts, nine times out of 10 times, this is just your Gen Z kid misspelling "yeah," not voting in the affirmative under Robert's Rules of Order.
* "YaYaYaYa." This is "yes" with emphasis.
Boomer translation: "Heck yeah!"
* "Yaaas." Yes-squared.
* "Same." I love this usage of the word "same." It means "me, too," and I predict it will stand the test of time.
"Me, too" requires one more letter, a punctuation mark and a working knowledge of the adverb "too." If you think that's too many moving parts for modern language, well, "same."
Mark Kennedy at email@example.com or 423-757-6645. Follow him on Twitter @TFPCOLUMNIST. Subscribe to his Facebook updates at www.facebook.com/mkennedycolumnist.