UCB Parents Advice about Teenagers

Talking Gibberish

Advice and recommendations from the UCB Parents mailing list. This page is brought to you by the UC Berkeley Parents Network

Back to Advice about Teenagers

My daughter, almost 15, and her friends talk "gibberish", a kind of English with sounds intersperced between syllables or consonants. They speak it very fast and it sounds like another language. Occasionally can I understand bits and pieces if I already know the context of the conversation. The primary sounds are a hard "g" followth by a "th" sound. Have other parents of teens heard this "language"? I know most of what she says is of no interest to me, but I also know that sometimes I would want to know what she's saying. My daughter is not entirely trustworthy and I'm not comfortable with her having this degree of privacy. I have told her it is rude to speak in the presence of others so that they can't understand, but this fact doesn't bother her at all. Comments and ideas would be appreciated. (July 1999)
It is rude. That's all. Save yourself for the big problems.
It sounds a lot like the secret language spoken to each other by a girl and her cousin in the movie "Slums of Beverly Hills" that came out last year. (not a bad movie by the way). My 3 sisters and I always had secret signals and words that we talked to each other with, so our parents wouldn't know what we were saying, but I had never heard that funny-sounding staccato that was in the movie. It's on video if you want to check it out!
Ginger (7/99)
Just means you need to learn the language!and the code breaker is... place the syllables ithag in between the first letter of all the syllalbes in a word. If a syllalbe starts with a vowel, use ithag in front of it. Example: WHithagAT ithagARE YithagOU DithagO ithagING Tranlsted means: What are you doing? GithagOOD LithagUCK!
Kathy (7/99)
I too have trouble understanding what my 14 year old daughter is saying a lot of the time. Part of the problem is that she talks "hecka fast". I often ask her to just slow down. It's especially a problem for the grandparents. But she wants to communicate with them so she makes a special effort to speak more slowly.

As for the use of idioms, I enjoy hearing which new ones crop up. Of course, when I was in school, like, we didn't , ya know, like use any cool like words that like our square old man ya know didn't grog. But like then we were just too far out.

It's been groovy
Later, babes.

UCB Parents Home Page UCB Parents Recommendations UCB Parents Advice

The opinions and statements expressed on this page are those of parents who belong to the UC Berkeley Parents Network and should not be taken as a position of or endorsement by the University of California, Berkeley.