Words that make you go hmmmm

Every day we are adding words into the English language.

Trying to keep up with what people are saying and how they are saying it and what it all even means can be a little overwhelming.

Just ask Webster.

Here’s a few examples to try to work into your vocabulary if you want to sit at the cool table at lunch.

“On fleek” meaning on point, perfect.

As in “Girl….your eyebrows are amazing….they are so on fleek.”

“Obvi” meaning short for obvious.

As in “Your hair looks incredible.”


“Humblebrag” meaning trying to sound like you aren’t really all about yourself when the entire point of your statement is to point out how awesome you are in conversation.

As in “I think I need to get a hobby.  I just have too much time on my hands and I’m so organized and it’s totally embarrassing that my house is so perfect and picked up all the time.”

(Sounds like humblebrag to me). 🙂

exit sign

Yesterday I met a new word.

My son introduced me to it.

We were walking into the mall to get new school clothes and he turned to me and said, “Can we go into the sporting goods store?  I really need new athletic shorts and some new basketball shoes and a few t-shirts.”

“Oh….and I don’t really want any jorts this year.”

red white and blue


What in the world were jorts and why would anyone even have those on their back-to-school shopping list and had we bought them in the past and I somehow missed the transaction?

And at the risk of sounding like a mom, I asked the obvious.

“What are jorts?” I said.

“You know, mom,” he said as he ran and jumped to touch the top of the doorway. “Jean shorts.  Jorts.  Get it?”


I think it was the quizzical look on my face that made him pausing his jumping and running and occasional assessing his hair in the store window to explain.

“It’s like this.  You know when people wear shorts that are kind of long and right above the knees and they are jean?  Those are called jorts.” he repeated patiently with all the wisdom of a teenager who speaks slang to someone who just wants to go school shopping and then stop for a sweet tea at Chick-fil-A.

“And when the jean shorts are shorter and the pockets kind of hang out….those are called jorties.”

room makeover

“Oh,” I said with the light of learning dawning on my face.  “Jeans + shorts = jorts.  Jeans + shorter shorts = jorties.  I get it.”

And then I paused.

“But what about longer pants made of denim?  What do they call those?” I asked.

I could feel the eye roll across the mall.

“Those pants?  Longer pants?  Really, mom.” he sighed and checked his hair in the window.  “Those are called jeans.”


Of course.

Why didn’t I think of that?

It’s so obvi. 🙂

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  1. Image for Amber Amber

    Oh my word! Finally I know what fleek means, thank you. I've been too embarrassed to ask my teenagers because I fear if I make them roll their eyes anymore, they'll just get stuck like that. Side note: love that tiny star pillow

  2. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    Well...that was certainly obvi! On fleek? Jorts...really? You should see spell check as I tried to type those...ha! Thanks for the lesson in teen-speak! I'll have to ask my millennials if they know those words! ;)

  3. Image for Susan Susan

    I am an old dog learning new tricks! Just added fleek to my vocab. Last week it was FOMO. My married daughter explained why her husband would be the perfect choice to stay at home with their youngest while the rest of us went ahead to an event. "He has no FOMO, Mom." Translation = fear of missing out. She and I on the other hand, suffer from major FOMO! :). I suspect you do as well, Karianne:)

  4. Image for Norma Jean Norma Jean

    Fun post! Love that room, especially, the unpainted plank wall. Is this a newly decorated one? I don't remember seeing it before.

  5. Image for Mimi Mimi

    I am chortling over this entire post--or is it jortling if I'm wearing jean shorts? Teenagers are the absolute best at portmanteau words! As a junior high teacher, I increase my vocabulary almost every day! However, when I try out some of my new words on my own children (both in their 20's), they are horrified--"Mother!! Where did you hear that word?! Go wash your mouth out with soap and NEVER ever use that word again!" Oops...

  6. Image for Stephanie Ray Brown Stephanie Ray Brown

    Oh my we need to get our guys together! Same conversation... Same love of hitting doorways and lately ceilings! I could not Believe Jean shorts out and wearing white socks even in the summer! The things we moms love. Still would love for you to do blog workshop in KY we could call it Heaven instead of Haven. Heavenly to spend day with You it would be and quite a hoot too!! Enjoy these last days before school starts.

  7. Image for Becky Becky

    Well, I too learned something today. As of two weeks ago I am officially teenagerless ( probably not a real word) as our youngest turned twenty, so I am sure I will quickly be behind the times. This story kind of reminds me of a conversation with my daughter when I tried to explain to her that when I was young my sister and I were excited when we were allowed to wear culottes to school. Girls had to wear dresses to school until I was in the sixth grade. She honestly had a look of terror on her face at the thought of wearing a dress to school and then had no idea what culottes were. Yep, showing my age here. Enjoy those fun school shopping trips, you learn so much.

  8. Image for Regina Regina

    I had actually heard of "jorts," although my girls are no longer teenagers, so I don't have to take them back-to-school shopping with quite the same intensity as those middle-school/high school years! :) But "fleek" is a new one. I'll try to insert that into a conversation with my 20-year-old and see how that flies . . . LOL!

  9. Image for Chris Horne Chris Horne

    Oh my goodness! When my son lived at home I think everyone of my doorways had handprints above them. Brought back a good memory. He has two sons now so I hope they do the same to him and his wife.

  10. Image for Betty Betty

    Hi I loved this post...so true. My granddaughters gave me a vocabulary lesson about a month ago. I got the scoop on the new list of words to use. Of course I'm still trying to learn the old English language. Lol. Thanks for sharing. Joyously, Betty @ My Cozy Corner

  11. Image for Jane Jane

    You describe teens to the "T"!! I have never heard of jorts until now. Cute. I've noticed the abbreviation of words with our younger generation---I'm sure that's very much a part of the texting world. I wonder if this will hinder our kids when it comes to spelling. Ha! Oh goodness...the slam-dunking-the-doorways!!! And when my guys were younger there wasn't Eraser Magic!! :( Jane xx

  12. Image for Kris Kris

    So am I a really bad mom because my almost-12-year-old son wears jorts??? Or is it ok until you hit high school? This is too stressful for me--I have to learn a new language AND worry that my kids are wearing totally un-cool jorts.

  13. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    Miz karianne.....I hate to tell you this, but I was rolling my eyes at several points in this story....where do these kids come up with this stuff? hahahahaha, that's why God designed parenthood for the younger generation....because it's easier for you to get through those phases, Grandparents just get to have all the fun!

  14. Image for carol carroll carol carroll

    Sounds like a little "speaking in tongues" to me. Way over my head. Just young and innocent, sweet and pure.. Lord Keep'em... everyone..

  15. Image for Barbara Neubeck Barbara Neubeck

    ... great new words KariAnne..... I'm so out touch with teenagers these days... I have a hard time understanding the way my grand children talk on FB and in texts... hehehe..... Have a great day... Hugs... Barb xxx

  16. Image for Lanita Lanita

    Oh yes.....the refusal of wearing "jorts"!! My son introduced me to that a couple of years ago, too, and I was just as clueless as to what the word meant. I have to say, though, I haven't heard "jorties" before - that's a new one for me!! Thanks for sharing....gave me a laugh to start the day! Blessings, Lanita

  17. Image for Susan Susan

    Gotta love getting in on the cool slang of the younger generation...I enjoy checking out Urban Dictionary for a laugh now and then. Thank you for the much-needed smile today, KariAnne! ) I adore the plank feature wall...if I was brave, I'd copy it! Also love that wee pallet used as a shelf...very clever and on fleek! ;)

  18. Image for Linda Linda

    Pretty sue no matter what they are called, my girls won't be caught in them at all. I can't keep up! Good thing they love me so much. I am good for that "she's so clueless" laugh teens love to bestow on their clueless moms! Renovations in our old farmhouse have begun. Come over for a visit.

  19. Image for Sonia Sonia

    Oh my! Loved this! From a writing stand point, this was very well done. Would you please write a book for heaven's sake! Just do me a favor and release it in summer, so I can enjoy it when I don't have papers to grade. :-)

  20. Image for Cindy Cindy

    That's REDONKULOUS:D Oh how I wish that when I receive your subscription that there was some kind of notification that said... "Warning...today Ms. Thistle will make you spit coffee on your MAC!" Kids, you gotta love em'!

  21. Image for Stef Stef

    Oh, this is SOO funny and true! And Becky, why shouldn't "teenagerless" be a word? Obviously, you're free to create new words to confuse other people. Maybe you should call it t-less, that would leave some room for speculation to the poor kids. Sorry, this was too tempting...

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