Local teacher creates Gen Z dictionary to better understand his students

LOWELL, Mass. — Kids these days seem to be speaking another language. So a Lowell High School teacher created an urban dictionary for common terms used by Generation Z and it went viral.

What may seem like normal words, take on a whole new meaning for teens now known as Gen Z.

James Callahan, a sociology teacher at Lowell High School, decided to create an urban dictionary to define the terms kids use nowadays.

"Teenagers sort of have their own language and I want to be able to understand that and try to reach them at their level," said Callahan.

Callahan's spreadsheet went viral when one of his students shared it on Twitter. The post was liked and shared more than 500,000 times.

"It's been an interesting week. I'm trying to embrace it," said Callahan.

His dictionary explains that "being dead" actually means you're amused.

How about a snack? Nope, not food related but used to describe a good-looking person.

How about.. take an L? It's actually short for take a loss.

"It could help a lot of adults understand their children more," someone told Boston 25 News.

That's the goal for Callahan.

He hopes his Gen Z dictionary helps him better communicate with his students.

"So it's always kind of fun if I can use their words in my instruction, in my lectures, and the kids get a kick out of it, too, so I feel like it makes me a more effective and better teacher," said Callahan.

He says now that he's received so much attention from across the country, he's hoping people will not only use his dictionary but also donate to some educational funds like the Donors Choose website to help Lowell schools.