Teaching eighth-graders 'squad', 'fam', 'fleek', 'fail', and 'swag'

Glizdka

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 13, 2019
Member Type
Other
Native Language
Polish
Home Country
Poland
Current Location
Poland
"Steps Plus VIII" published by Oxford (page 24) teaches eighth-graders the words 'squad', 'fam', 'fleek', 'fail', and 'swag'. What do you think?

On the one hand, I think there's some merit to it. These words are very popular, and a teenager is likely to find themselves hearing them, especially on the internet. It's good to know these words.

On the other, I'd rather not hear my students say these words. I'm sure most non-teenagers would appreciate not hearing them as well. It's good to know them, but not necessarily good to use them.
 
Last edited:

probus

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 7, 2011
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Canada
Current Location
Canada
The odd one out is fleek. The others all seem to me to have entered standard English. I suspect that fleek is already fading out, but as a septuagenarian I might well be wrong about that.
 
Last edited:

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
I see no issue with squad, fail and swag. They're all standard words, although the third sounds rather outdated to me. I know fam is currently used as an abbreviation for family but I wouldn't teach it to my students. I have absolutely no idea what fleek means. I've never heard it. Mind you, I don't know or talk to any teenagers.
 

Tarheel

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
I can only guess at fleek. (Is somebody going to explain it?)
 

Tarheel

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Another word to learn and then never ever use.
:)
 

Glizdka

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 13, 2019
Member Type
Other
Native Language
Polish
Home Country
Poland
Current Location
Poland
I've checked with a teenager who tells me that fam also includes close friends.
The book suggests it's mostly just friends, not family. It even has an exercise meant to test if a student understands this.
 

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
The others all seem to me to have entered standard English.

Can I take it from that that squad, fail and swag have meanings other than those with which I am familiar?

I understand them to mean a military unit, not to succeed, and the loot from a robbery.
 

probus

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 7, 2011
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Canada
Current Location
Canada
This oldster thinks 1) my squad means my companions, either an habitual group or just a casual one; and 2) swag is a synonym for bling q.v..
 
Top