Mama of 3. Founder of and Click Retreat, a photography and social media retreat for bloggers. TEDx: What?

More from this author »

Suburban Thug: A New Dialect Spoken by Mothers

I’m 32. But sometimes I talk like I’m 16. But not the way that 16-year-olds talk today. Maybe the way that I talked when I was 16. But not quite like that either. It really goes without definition at this point, so I figured I might get to defining it a bit better. Consider this your “Suburban Thug Compendium“.

Here are some quick summaries of the various words that creep into my day to day communication:

A term connoting excitement, amazement, or surprise
– “Snap! Way to go!”
– “Snap. I just ran over my kid’s Razor Scooter!”

As in “the end”, or “that just happened”. A word that adds additional intensity to the accompanying statement.
– I just finished that entire quart of Ben and Jerry’s. “Boom”
– I just shared a really powerful example or quote – “Boom”
– “Boom” our minivan just pulled up to the soccer game. It’s on.

Do you feel me?
Statements that have similar meaning:
– Do you understand where I’m coming from?
– Agree?

I feel you.
– I understand where you are coming from.
– Agreed.
– No further explanation required.

Fond friends and associates. May also be used to describe your children.
Also used as: “My peeps” or “my people”
– “I’m rolling with my peeps to book club tonight.”
– “I’ve got to take my peeps to swimming lessons this morning.”

Let me lay this on you . . .
A forewarning or preparatory statement. Things are about to get pretty serious.
“Let me lay this on you . . . I’ve got an idea.”
“Hey beezies – let me lay this on you, I think I’m going to start a Girl Scout Troop. Who’s in?”

May convey emphasis, surprise, dismay, agreement, or confusion.
(I’ve realized that this word makes it into about 75% of my sentences. It’s used in so many varieties that I don’t think I can begin to list potential meanings of the word)

– “Knock Knock”
– “Who’s there?”
– “Pest Control Man”
– “Dude. Let me lay this on you – I get my pest control on trade, I’ve got it all covered.”
– Pest Control Man/Kid (turns to friend and laughs). “Dude, she just said dude.”

For a more in depth examination of the term “Dude” I think DJ Waldow sums it up well.

And to prove to you that I am a straight up Suburban Thug, it never crossed my mind that DJ could have meant anything other than the kind of DJ that spins music with Reverend Run. I had assumed that DJ was a real live DJ somewhere at some point in his life. But in real life, DJ stands for David Jason.

Anything that is crazy (and sometimes a fruit consumed at breakfast time)
– “That’s bananas!”
– “You guys are driving me bananas!”
– “You are straight up bananas.”

A mixture of two words and a term used to identify friends and often used as a greeting between “gal pals”.
– “Hey beezy what’s up!”
– (plural form) “Hey beezies what’s up!”

Smack Down
Impending discipline or corrective action. Also used to convey intensity of work on my iChat status: “Putting the smack down”.

– “Do I need to put the smack down on you guys?”
– “That’s it, I’m putting the smack down (you better run)”
– “Excuse me, while I go put the smack down.”

Put some heat on that!
A call to action: “C’mon dude. Get your shoes – put some heat on that!”
An Affirmation: “Way to go! You put some heat on that!”

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due
I’ve learned some good terms from the peeps in my world and they deserve the credit.

Erin (@TM_Erin on Twitter and our Managing Editor)

Burlap Sack

A term indicative of rage or anger.
– “Don’t make me go burlap sack on you!”
Translated: Please don’t make me loose my temper, you’ll be sorry.

Acronym for “Extreme Girl Crush”. A term of endearment. Also a strategic meeting used for planning purposes for
– “It’s time to schedule our quarterly XGC”
– “XGC at the #rpatz movie!”

A Twitter hashtag to refer to our undying love and mockery of Robert Pattinson. The origins of this hashtag stem back to a certain set of Twitter users (@petit_elefant, @jet_set, @kamibigler, @jylmomif, @makeandtakes, @tm_erin and me – @todaysmama).

#rpatz displaying one of his core looks (is that angry or I want you?)

Breanne (@tm_breanne on Twitter and our newest TodaysMama team member):

What the what?
A statement of surprise or shock.
– “What the “insert expletive here”

Good Peeps
A term of endearment as in “I really like that person”.

Rachael: “Breanne, I really like your mom!”
Breanne: “Yeah, she’s good peeps.”

Frequent Statements Used Between my Husband and I
(most roads lead back to Will Ferrell whom by the way I would choose to have lunch with if I could choose one person in the world)

via Voicemail:
– “What the hell bro, did you just throw a burrito at me?”
(Jack Black in “The Anchorman”)

In an argument:
“Don’t you put that evil on me Ricky Bobby.”
(From “Talledega Nights”)

When changing a diaper:
“It’s a formidable scent… It stings the nostrils”
(Will Ferrell in “The Anchorman”)

The Wolf Pack Speech
“My wolfpack, it grew by one.”
(Zach Galifianackis in “The Hangover”)

I don’t think my mom and her friends talked like this. As a matter of fact I asked her and she confirmed that they spoke like respectable young ladies. She said it must be all the rap influence. And by rap influence, I mean the kind of influence Coolio’s Ganstas Paradise had on you during a high school stomp. Or possibly the kind of influence that Snoop had on you in the 90’s when trying to commit petty crimes (i.e. trying to steal a park bench from down town for your bedroom) or doing “drive by’s” of boys houses listening to said Snoop. (no guns involved).

photo taken from

As for my mom – I do know that they got together and watched shows like Magnum P.I. and that she once involuntarily gasped when he took his shirt off. She says that those were the days when men were men.

* look at his super secret mobile phone *

Please also note Tom’s “Daisy Dukes” below:

But my mom is down. She’s learning new words all of the time and drops them every so often to my delight.

Please add to my Suburban Thug Compendium! What have I missed? Feel free to chime in and leave a few definitions of your own. Word to your Mama!

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Comments (42)

  1. Pingback: More Suburban Thugs: Swagger Wagon « « TodaysMama TodaysMama

  2. Pingback: Welcome |

  3. CoolPlaygroundMommy 05/16/2011 at 1:39 pm

    OMG – this post had me ROLLING! I was cracking up. Loved it sooo much!!! Coolio, dude!

  4. Pingback: TodaysMama | Blog | Happy Birthday Today’s Mama

  5. Pingback: TodaysMama | Blog | Rachael's 2010 Recap

  6. Rachael 07/26/2010 at 5:30 pm

    lol! Just go with me back to the high school gym – I think all the ladies were chest bumping each other in mosh pits to this song! you were there. admit it. Go titans!

    And for the record – you are my peeps. You going to lift tonight? I'm sitting in front of my computer eating hot fudge.

  7. Bree 07/26/2010 at 5:24 pm

    kranz-you seriously crack me up…i'm laughing out loud & my children think i'm crazy..i must upload some Coolio Gansta Paradise to my new running play list immediately. i do love me some magnum pi though,

    dude-i would love to be your peep anyday of the week, that's just the way i roll..

  8. Jackie 07/26/2010 at 10:19 am

    My sis and I love to use the term “baby daddy.” We also like for our mom to use all of our terms and we laugh at her– I mean with her 😉

  9. Rani 07/26/2010 at 9:53 am

    ONe word on this post…BOOM!

  10. Rachael 07/26/2010 at 8:47 am

    AND (I hit post too soon)

    Man up: Have some courage or be brave

    and it's inappropriate counterpart: Sac(k)? Up (responsible people use this with their adult friends as opposed to their children)

  11. Rachael 07/26/2010 at 8:45 am

    ok – I have a few more to add.

    Bring it in: Give me a hug
    Like: OMG I'm so excited to see you! (pause) Bring it in . . .

  12. Rachael1013 07/26/2010 at 2:16 am


  13. Ameliamerritt 07/25/2010 at 10:55 pm

    It's not very urban but I say banana cakes a lot, as in, “Stop going banana cakes on me for a second and I will get you an otter pop.” I also like to call people “clown shoes.” Like, “Seriously, Clown Shoes? A right hand turn from the far left lane??”

  14. Kate Hayes 07/25/2010 at 10:27 pm

    Whenever our kids seem to be addicted to something, we call it “Kiddie Crack.” (To each other, not to them.) Smarties candy, for example? Kiddie crack. “Would Kellen like a cup of chocolate milk?” “No, but he wants some more crack.” The TV show, iCarly? Kiddie crack for wannabe 'tween girls.They just can't stop watching it. An intervention may become necessary.

  15. vanessa 07/25/2010 at 9:52 pm

    I love this post with my whole heart.
    essa OUT

  16. erinoltmanns 07/23/2010 at 6:52 pm

    I LOVE “shut the front door”. SO multipurpose!

  17. erinoltmanns 07/23/2010 at 6:51 pm

    Free ice cream to the person that can work “dope” into each meeting agenda from now on.

  18. erinoltmanns 07/23/2010 at 6:48 pm

    Tom in “Quigly Down Under”…? THE BENCHMARK by which all manliness is measured.

  19. DJ Waldow 07/20/2010 at 3:54 pm

    Dude. Great usage of “what the what!” I just got approved to speak at the next Ignite, August 18 – 11 Reasons Why Bottle Water Sucks:


    Oh, and check out “Dad Life” vid:


    DJ Waldow

  20. DaDa Rocks! 07/20/2010 at 3:28 pm

    DUDE!!! dude!! dude! – this list is so you and I only know you for like a moment at EVO!

  21. Breanne 07/20/2010 at 2:28 pm

    DJ! What the what!? How are you? I knew when we met at evo that you were good peeps, but after seeing your brilliant self in the clip, I mean, dude. PS all my love to baby Waldo –

  22. DJ Waldow 07/20/2010 at 1:45 pm


  23. David H 07/19/2010 at 2:11 pm

    Since I am very often the recipient of your referenced Thuggery, I thought i would add a few for the Suburban Thug Compendium.

    Ride – your mode of transport
    ex. My friend – “Dude, that 10 speed is dope!”
    Me – “I know! It's a pretty sick ride.”

    Homies – a sometimes synonym for Peeps, this term refers to your “crew” or circle of friends.
    ex. Me – “Rachael, BreAnne, Erin, and Jyl are all my homies.”

    Epic – not so thug like, but this word has replaced “rad” or “awesome” in the current generations vocabulary.

  24. Breanne 07/19/2010 at 1:40 pm

    Hood – your neighborhood or house. For example, Rachael: “Yo, yo, wa sup?” Breanne: “Just chillin in the hood”

    Now ladies, I would like to hear these references creep up in our dialogue the next time we meet…N. Y. C. baby!

  25. Breanne 07/19/2010 at 1:32 pm

    Reading this I can hear Warren G's song Regulators playing in my head. (play it on itunes while reading this…you will totally catch the vibe.)

    It's All Good – meaning it's no big deal, no problem
    Let's Bounce – time to leave, hurry up
    Ghetto – for example, my four year old said “Mom, this place is ghetto” to describe a swimming pool that was, well, ghetto.

    XGC on my TM and evo peeps 🙂

  26. erica_f 07/19/2010 at 11:20 am

    Looove this. My huz has quite the chest hair as well but I call it Golden Fleece b/c it's all redish-golden tinted.

    And now I am dying. For reals (meaning really, but not).

  27. Rachael 07/19/2010 at 11:08 am

    I'm telling you – if I had a formal gang, you would be a member. period. Maybe a co-leader.

  28. Rachael 07/19/2010 at 11:04 am

    lol! Did you just say gams? That's a whole post in and of itself!

  29. Rachael 07/19/2010 at 11:04 am

    Can I tell you that I thought I'd link to Urban Dictionary several times! And also a snoop video — but I thought younger thugs might be offended. I on the other hand was CRACKING UP!

  30. Rachael 07/19/2010 at 11:03 am

    Dude – I'm with you. My husband is all #MagPI with his chest hair. But his doesn't look permed like Magnum's — I call it “The Bat Patch” because the pattern reminds me of a the Batman insignia in the sky

  31. Carina 07/19/2010 at 10:58 am

    For the record, I think #rpatz is a child. I'm with your mom, beezy, that men who are men is where its at. #MagPI?

  32. The Worst Mother in the World 07/19/2010 at 10:57 am

    Very hilarious! Is it safe to admit that I visit way too much? You've inspired me to finally write my “the importance of a classic comedy education post.” I use the term whack…a lot. Often in response to kid requests or actions. That is whack.

  33. Sbreuner 07/19/2010 at 10:48 am

    Dude, I had no idea that Magnum PI was so hairy. Look at those gams.

  34. Meredithsinclair 07/19/2010 at 10:40 am


    I adore this post. Your suburban thug-ease makes me adore your even more.
    keep it rolling sister. you is good peeps.

  35. Brene Brown 07/19/2010 at 9:56 am

    You scare me. But in a good way. I swore I'd give up DUDE and SHUTTTTUP! when I turned 40. Didn't happen.

  36. sarahhubbell 07/19/2010 at 9:33 am

    Hilarious! One I just heard on Twitter from two different, seemingly unrelated people… “Shut the front door!”

    I had never heard it before, but apparently it means something like “Get outta town!” or “You're kidding me!” Is this new?

  37. Ginny 07/19/2010 at 9:18 am

    I'm totally guilty of embarassing my kids with a slip of “shut the front door!” instead ofthe saltier version …and I say “YO” a lot. Maybe a little too much 🙂

  38. Rachael 07/19/2010 at 8:52 am

    lol! Agreed — Bananas is questionable, except if you say it with a certain intensity. That word seems to be creeping out of my mouth more often than I'd like. I should replace it with something a little more gangsta. WWSD? What Would Snoop Do?

  39. Pingback: Tweets that mention TodaysMama | Blog | Suburban Thug: A New Dialect Spoken by Mothers --

  40. Melissa Berggren 07/19/2010 at 8:47 am

    This is so funny! I do the same thing, although our phrases differ a bit. Gotta say I don't think “bananas” is really thug-talk, but I feel ya.

    🙂 Thanks for the laugh. Especially love the magnum PI pics. WORD.

  41. Jyl Johnson Pattee 07/19/2010 at 8:29 am

    This list is so YOU! But…

    …did you just put out there that you say dude in 75% of your sentences? Because your percentage is way off! I'd go with high 80s or low 90s for sure! 😀

  42. erinoltmanns 07/19/2010 at 5:48 am

    I am DYING. And, admittedly, when you say “Let me lay this on you”, I think to my self, “OH HELL. What now?”