A Cheltenham Lady’s guide to teenage speak, for all those phat-free mouldies.

Simon de Bruxelles
It is reputed to have given the world the word “chav”; now Cheltenham Ladies’ College is teaching it to talk teen, thanks to a pupil.

The A-Z of Teen Talk, by 13-year-old Lucy van Amerongen, has been a surprise Christmas bestseller among baffled parents who struggle to understand their offspring.

Teen Talk is a language in which “nang” is cool and “phat-free” isn’t. Middle-aged parents may have caught up with the word “minging” for horrible and “laters” for see you later, but few know why “book” is also cool or the reason a “fudge” is a very stupid person. For those still living in the “antwacky” – as in antique – world, “book” is what predictive text on your mobile phone will come up with when you tap in the word cool. And F, U, D, G and E are not good grades at GCSE.

Lucy came up with the idea for the The A-Z of Teen Talk after her parents complained they could not understand her conversations with her sisters Rosie, 11, and Amii, 23.

To those who wonder whether a girl from a posh school can really speak the language of the streets, she says that her book does not try to translate “gangsta” slang, just the words that ordinary teenagers are likely to use.

She spent a year picking friends’ brains to come up with a list of about 300 words and phrases used by teenagers, but which are generally unintelligible to anyone over the age of 20.

They include the word “chav” for the working classes, which is supposedly derived from Ladies’ College slang for “Cheltenham average”.

Lucy sent the typescript to five publishers and three made her an offer for the book. She received an advance of