What is this Teenage Mumble?

What is this Teenage Mumble?
What is this teenage mumble?  I wonder, is this where the inspiration or idea for the game ‘Speak Out’ comes from.
For anyone not familiar with this game, the aim is to correctly understand the phrase your teammate is trying to say while they are wearing a mouthguard.
Did the creator get this idea from having a teenage son?
Maybe, like me, he too found it a struggle to understand what was being said, and thought what a great idea for a game!
I say this, as we play a very similar version to this every day at home, albeit minus a board, phrase cards, and the all-important mouth guard.
The concept is the same: guess what my teenage son just said.  Quite frankly at this moment in his teenhood, I generally have no idea what 95% of the sound that comes out of his mouth means.
If my teenage daughter is around, it’s great as she’s fluent in teenage mumble and translates word perfect for me.
The pressure to understand it right first time is enormous.  Saying ‘pardon’ more than once will only result in a grunt and mumbles of deaf & old age.
This always results in me deliberately pulling the ‘pardon’  funny card out the bag which he falls for every time, failing to see the hilarity of my joke!
However, it seems I too must mumble as when I ask, simple questions like: “‘have you got homework?” his answer is mostly ‘no’.
Yet at bedtime, he will suddenly remember he does have homework and then wonder why this triggers an explosive response from me, as it’s not his fault he’s just remembered.  I should be grateful he has!
There are times when disaster strikes, I can’t find my phone.  This leaves me no option but to yell out his name which 99% of the time will be ignored.
With plan B ‘unspoken act’ brought into play, the broadband is switched off and I sit back and wait for the stampede to begin.


As their Mother, I’m keen to keep the line of communication open and strong with my kids.  Sadly, they’re not that keen to embrace.
I feel it important to keep up to date with what they’re doing, who they’re seeing, how’s school? Blah blah blah, it’s never a long conversation, in fact, it’s usually short and to the point.
Their answers consist of nothing more than ‘fine’, ‘not your business’, or simply ‘why do you always want to know?’
So, after repeatedly failing the mumbling listening test, I took to the drawing board and thought I would keep a handy little dictionary close to me of popular phrases all translated for easy reference for when the mumbling is rumbling.
We now have our own little tune called ‘Mumble of the Teen’, which he even uses himself now! More commonly used in the car on the way to school, the mornings are when his mumble is at its best!
So to avoid writer’s cramp creeping in, I’ve listed below just a few of the many mumbles heard every day.

Mumble Dictionary

Everyone = No-one.

I haven’t lost it/Someone must have taken it = I’ve lost it.

Yes, I know *continuous eye rolling* = No idea at all will wing this somehow.

I am listening *looking at phone*  = I have no idea what you just said.

Yes, I am getting dressed = Crap, where’re my clothes.

I am going to sleep *looking at phone* = In a couple of hours when I’ve finished snapchatting.

Hang on *annoyance in tone*  =  What is up with that woman! I will be out when I’M ready.

Just Coming *adjusting hair* = One more selfie and I’m done.

I don’t have any homework = Only English & Maths which can wait until bedtime.

It’s not my fault *loud & dramatic* =  Yep its mum’s fault she should have warned me my pocket had a massive gaping hole/reminded me it was PE today/that I had homework/my maths homework was wrong!

Can you help me with my homework = Can you do it I can’t be arsed.

Did you ring me? = Why would you ring me when I’m with my mates?!? You know I won’t respond until ‘RING ME NOW’ text arrives.

You don’t understand =  What would she know!!  I’m 15 making me ‘Mr. Knower of all’.

Not much  = A lot, sharing the details would only lead to further questioning I can’t be arsed with.

Why would I lie? = I am lying through my teeth because if you knew you wouldn’t let me.

I love you, you are the best mum ever = guaranteed to diffuse the situation and gain total forgiveness.


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  1. Jo Boxall
    November 28, 2016 / 11:38 am

    Hahaha, love it. I think we have the same child Sharon….. we always said they shared a brain cell and took turns using it 😂😂

    • Shazzab
      November 28, 2016 / 11:56 am

      😂 some things never change eh!

  2. samant
    December 3, 2016 / 7:05 pm

    In my house I love you mum you’re the best mum ever translates as well bugger you I’m doing what i want anyway but i love you so that makes it all fine n dandy and you can’t tell me off !

  3. February 25, 2017 / 1:48 pm

    Totally brilliant! I am so convinced that I am going deaf that I have actually booked a hearing test! This is what teens do to you!

  4. Sharon Parry
    February 25, 2017 / 1:56 pm

    Totally brilliant! I am so convinced that I am going deaf that I have actually booked a hearing test! This is what teens do to you!

  5. March 9, 2017 / 11:41 am

    I know I’m being crazy but I keep thinking this isn’t going to happen to me!! There have been a few signs but to be honest, my daughter is so loud that I can’t imagine her mumbling. I know, I know – you thought so too Sharon. I’m keeping this post in my pending tray – just in case!!!! Thanks for supporting us in the first week of #TweensTeensBeyond. Nicky

    • Shazzab
      March 9, 2017 / 2:23 pm

      Lol its not my daughter who mumbles her way through, she is easy to understand, loud but clear! that pleasure is all my teenage sons!!! Its all about the mumble with my son 🙂

  6. March 10, 2017 / 11:48 am

    Now that my eldest teen is 18 and crossing the frontier into being an adult I thought the mumbling would stop but no such luck as yet. No.10 is a firm favourite in our house and the other top one is “I am so bored of repeating myself” which translates as I cannot be bothered to talk to you right now! Also as you will understand as a mother to teens it is the phrase I use the most too but with the correct meaning! Thanks for linking. Hope to see you again. #TweensTeensBeyond

  7. March 10, 2017 / 4:26 pm

    Thanks so much for linking up your fab post at #TeensTweensBeyond. My teens have evolved into communicating through a series of grunts now. I don’t know what they are saying but they seem to understand each other! Looking forward to reading more next week.

  8. March 11, 2017 / 5:26 pm

    This is so funny – why is it that teenagers start to grunt instead of talking properly? Is it a boy thing do you think? My kids aren’t teens yet and they seem very loud and very clear at the moment, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time! #tweenteensandbeyond

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