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Words that are often labeled as slurs aren’t always so black and white to everyone—there are shades of gray depending on who’s using the words and how they’re using them. Two people in the same conversation can have polar opposite reactions to same word: one taking offense and the other seeing it as a compliment or part of a shared slang that defines their culture. Here are several slurs that are popular at many Chicago schools or on social media.

Bad bitch

An attractive woman or one with a confident, bold attitude. It’s an especially popular hashtag on Twitter and Instagram, though many women are split over whether the catchphrase is demeaning or empowering.


A person of mixed race or someone outside the “norm” of black and white, expressed as someone’s “a foreign.”


A white girl.


Short for “suspect,” meaning suspected of being gay. It’s usually used in reference to how someone looks, dresses or acts.


“That Hoe Over There” or “Those Hoes Over There.” Teens often use the phrase to label girls as promiscuous, but some girls have embraced it as a badge of honor, similar to the way “bad bitch” is used. On Instagram, for example, some users tag photos of themselves as “#thotz” or “#thotnation.”




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About The Mash

The Mash is the Chicago Tribune's newspaper and website written for teens, by teens. The paper is distributed for free every other Thursday at Chicago-area high schools and is written largely by high school students.

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