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SundayKittens's avatar

What's with teenagers and the word "beast"?

Asked by SundayKittens (5834points) April 28th, 2010

I teach high school and I am constantly hearing my kids use the word “beast” when describing something they like.
As in….“Oh, that dude is a beast.” or “Your truck is so beast”,etc.

Obviously, I know what a beast is, but I’m wondering where the hell that came from? A movie? A song? I’m pretty young so I get all the other references they make in their slang, but this one stumps me.
Is it regional (Oklahoma) or do kids everywhere say that?

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32 Answers

wonderingwhy's avatar

Milwaukee’s Best? that’s all we used it for back then.

rangerr's avatar

I’ve said it for a few years. I picked it up from my cousins saying it a while ago, and it just stuck. I’m not sure where it started. [I’m in VA.]
Along with rad, boss, sick and of course fuckin’ awesome.

SeventhSense's avatar

Just the latest slang in your group. Next week it’ll be diesel or snap or whatever. Don’t pay it no never mind.

Haleth's avatar

Woah, kids were saying that ten years ago when I was in middle school.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Ugh, I hear it so often here in Ohio that it makes me want to hurt people. :P

So, I don’t think it’s regional. I don’t know the origin, though. Kind of wish I did…

mrentropy's avatar

I use it to describe things that are large and/or powerful and/or amazingly ugly. I got it from the Dark Tower game, though.

autumn43's avatar

I’ve heard ‘I’m going to beast that test.’ from my daughter and her friends. I guess it could be worse. (We’re in MA)

SundayKittens's avatar

@autumn43 Hahaha I’ve heard that too! Maybe it’s been around forever and I’m just now noticing…but I taught high school last year and I don’t remember hearing it!

mangeons's avatar

I think “beast” is just something that got passed from person to person until it stuck and became popular.

I’m personally a fan of “legit”.

SundayKittens's avatar

@mangeons Legit is another one that even people my age seem to have beaten into the ground!
I thank MC Hammer for that one. Among many other things.

frdelrosario's avatar

What’s with teenagers and the word “like”?
What’s with teenagers and the word “all”?
What’s with teenagers and the word “sick”?

What’s with teenagers and homonyms?

What’s with adults and homonyms?

Americans are mostly illiterate and ignorant, using the excuse “language is an evolving, living thing” for the ridiculous ways in which they abuse American English.

SundayKittens's avatar

hmmmmmm….you’re right. Americans are the only group of people with teenagers that use slang!
If I weren’t so ignorant AND illiterate, I would have noticed it sooner….

Kayak8's avatar

@frdelrosario Right on the mark!

mangeons's avatar

@frdelrosario I agree with part of your statement, that people of all ages have slang and that there really isn’t always an explanation. But I don’t agree that we’re ignorant, slang has always been around, and always will. It changes and evolves, but it’s always around, it’s part of the language.

MarcoNJ's avatar

Uh, Beast is not just a teenage slang….as it’s been around for years. I graduated in ‘94. It’s quite the endearing term.
And no, it’s definitely not regional. I’m from Jersey….been hearing/using that word Beast for years.

DominicX's avatar


Your example illustrates what we in the linguistics department call “language elitism”.

Prescriptive linguistics is bullshit.

Blackberry's avatar

@SeventhSense Lol @ diesel. “That dude is so diesel”. I use the slang term beast in a joking sense because everyone else uses it. Some of my friends use it and we are early and mid-twenties. They use it for the simplest things “you just beasted that beer”. I think it’s just the connotation that a beast is rabid and strong and untouchable because they are so wild, it’s kind of like ‘owning’ someone.

SundayKittens's avatar

@blackberry So interesting! I’ve been all over the country and lived several places, but am just now hearing this regularly. It is pretty endearing, @MarcoNJ. Not as obnoxious as the other things I hear them say on a daily basis, at least…..

ChaosCross's avatar

@frdelrosario You make a fine point sir. But I am not sure if it is any longer the technical definition of illiteracy if the majority of the teenage population uses this kind of slang. The same manner in which “Ain’t” is not considered illiterate in the southern part of the U.S. because the people made it correct by using it so fervently.

Regardless, the majority of American people could really do themselves good by cracking open a dictionary once in awhile.

DominicX's avatar

Using slang =/= being illiterate.

I think some of you need to use a dictionary and find out what “illiterate” really means and then find out that the literacy rate of the United States is 99%.

MarcoNJ's avatar

I agree with @DominicX . Our vocabulary changes with the time. Stop resisting change people.
If we didn’t change with the times, we’d probably still be speaking like we were in Colonial times.

ChaosCross's avatar

@DominicX Well put, glad to see we are in agreement :P

squidcake's avatar

Yeah, it’s definitely used in California a lot.
Also listen out for “boss.” We use that a lot. I’m pretty sure they both stemmed from video game culture.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

I live in CA and that word has been used since the 90’s. It’s retro now.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
Nimis's avatar

As a noun? That’s been around from at least the early 90’s.

As a verb? Haven’t heard that myself, so not sure where they’re getting that.

For every one who’s answered, are you talking about the noun version or the verb version?

aprilsimnel's avatar

Mid-to late-80s teen, here. We used “beast” as a noun, too. Mrs Gorgon is a beast. That English test was a beast. That track practice was a beast.

But now, thanks to my Brit influence, I personally use “bastard”. Sometimes I intensify it with “ruddy”. That catcaller is a bastard. That train with no air conditioning was a bastard. Mike Bloomberg is a ruddy bastard.

sleepdoc's avatar

I have no idea. I work in scouting and it seems everything is beast. It gets used as a noun, adjective, anything.

ValerieTeacup's avatar

It’s legit, dude. Just use it more often, but don’t get annoying. – Proudly stated by a teenager

anartist's avatar

Not just kids.
The Daily Beast gets its name from an Evelyn Waugh novel.

@aprilsimnel In the 80s we used the word “bitch” as in “that test was a bitch!”
@frdelrosario the evolution of language is fascinating and slang expressions are one of the delights of language. What is with the prissy, ignorant [IMHO] remarks?

aprilsimnel's avatar

@anartist -We used bitch too. We used many, many colourful words for persons, places, things or events we didn’t like!

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