Anna Sheffer
May 02, 2019 12:12 pm

Slang often gets a bad rap, but the reality is language is constantly changing and evolving. Slang is also no less legit (see what we did there?) than standard English, and some words have even made it into Merriam-Webster. That said, it can be hard to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of wordplay—so one teacher in Lowell, Massachusetts created a Google doc of student slang, and his efforts have now gone viral.

On April 30th, Twitter user @mewtailv2 shared pictures of their sociology teacher’s self-compiled guide to slang terms. Called “Callahan’s Generation Z Dictionary,” the document arranges words alphabetically and pairs them with their definitions. The entries range from “slaps” to “jams,” to almost everything in between. (It’s also definitely worth noting that many of the words defined originally come from African-American Vernacular English, or AAVE, so they’re not strictly “Generation Z.”)

The list has racked up more than 535,000 likes and 150,000 retweets as of May 2nd.

One user even suggested new additions.

The dictionary was in such high demand that Mr. Callahan himself shared the full list.

He also used his newfound viral fame to ask for contributions to his school.

We’re giving Callahan props for trying to connect with his students (especially because a lot of educators don’t allow slang in their classrooms at all—which is often highly insensitive and ignores the fact that language is strongly connected to class and cultural background). It’s refreshing to see an educator make this specific kind of effort.

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