Today’s teenagers talk like boomers… A slightly sobering look at the freshly chosen youth words “smash”, “bottomless” and “doer”.
Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, a youth word was chosen that was so cheeky and full of power that even adults across the country, when they heard this word, couldn’t help but roll over with laughter. Well, of course, not all adults cried, because not all adults are humorous or self-deprecating to the same degree; there are even said to have been some who didn’t think it was funny at all that the young people described an over-30 party – a party where only people over 30 romp around – as a “rotten meat party”.
That was in 2008, and in addition to the wonderful rotten meat party, which was voted number 1 in the first vote for the youth word of the year (and is one of the most beautiful, imaginative and yes, funniest youth words ever!), there was also the “Screen tan ‘, an elegant break in the pallor of computer freaks, and the stimulating state of being ‘hopscotch’, in short: the desire for beer.
The year 2008 wasn’t that long ago, but unfortunately it has to be said at this point: there used to be more tinsel in the youth word, too. Okay, “hard” instead of hanging around unemployed, that was cheeky and even a bit political – and thus rightly youth word 2009! Even with “guttenbergen” instead of copying, the third-placed word for young people in 2011 was evidence of a certain sensitivity among teenagers that not all authorities follow the rules of the game. In 2015, the young people between ten and twenty years of age, who are allowed to vote every year in the word election called out by the Langenscheidt publishing house, even took a critical look at themselves with “Smombie”: It describes the so-called portmanteau word, which consists of “smartphone” and ” Zombie” is formed, those people who no longer participate in the world around them because they are constantly looking at the phone.
Apart from the fact that there are now also smombies in the rotten meat party target group, the word for young people has also lost its wit and oomph. The list is a single “Niveaulimbo”, every new youth word an “epic fail”, only “Yolo”, “Yalla!”, “Babo”, “fly sein”, “isso” and finally the grotesque “I bims”! By 2020 at the latest, it should have become clear to the last youth center manager wearing a hoodie: the youth are like their youth word at the time: “lost”.
But so that everything here doesn’t appear in such a gloomy-everything-was-better light: There’s also something reassuring about the fact that young people are, as always, a bunch of lost smombies who dig around and actually like fame or at least a man or a woman of honour, but most of the time just mumbling to themselves, taking every suggestion from adults as wyld and shouting “sheesh” loudly if they are disturbed while drinking their Napflix… It doesn’t always have to be “everything”. swag” and “bam”, to be casual and cool, and there are certainly also boomers who feel that it was just too crazy for some young people last year to have to experience how “cringe”, their word 2021, from ” Tagesschau” spokeswoman Susanne Daubner was explained live on linear television.
“Smash” then, and “bottomless”
That was definitely a hard moment of shame, but how cringe is it when young people suddenly start talking like their parents?! When suddenly there is talk of “doers” in a very neoliberal way, i.e. people who implement things without hesitation? Or something labeled “bottomless” that’s lousy or shabby? And even if the freshly voted first place “smash” comes from a dating game and today has above all the meaning of “picking up on someone” or “starting something sexual with someone”, smash also existed in the eighties! Mostly in combination with hits, so: smash hits. But they were also quite helpful in picking someone up. And long before the first rotten meat parties.