you’ve survived the point-blank insults of childhood, you are
ready for the more sophisticated flair of adolescent insults.
Adolescent insults incorporate a much more colorful and
hormonally-based range of insults which, for the purposes of
this article, will be alluded to only. It’s safe to say that
the majority of insults are based on the twin engines of
adolescent angst: the discovery of, and subsequent personal
orientation to, sexuality and social status.
“slut” and “skank” make their tender emergence at this age, as
well as “geek,” “nerd,” “goth,” and “emo.” Some of these have
a dual function as a general categorical grouping, allowing
for instant social classification regardless of geography or
language. Should your family move in the middle of your high
school years, you will easily find your niche at your new
Adolescence is a time of transformation, a bridge between
childhood and adulthood. This is reflected in the level of
sophistication of the insults. While single-word insults are
still popular, some advanced youth begin to experiment with
phrases, even allusions, based on their area of expertise.
the phrase, “You snort more than an agitated anti-hero in an
Ellis novel” is an unlikely insult choice, except perhaps in
some exclusive lit-snob clique, the insult serves as an
excellent example of typical adolescent phrase-building. Here
we have a link between an undesirable, socially awkward
behaviour (snorting) and a more abstract notion of
undesirability, rooted in literature. This method of
connecting the tangible to the abstract marks the first big
step towards insulting at an adult level.
Of course, you can still be called an “absolute zero,” a
“loser,” a “brainless twit,” a “suck-up” and a variety of
other derogatory terms by those in the peer group who have not
yet taken the time to formulate and craft their technique.
stage in life, adolescent insults should be paired with a
number of physical gestures, including crying, stamping of the
feet, slamming of doors, abrupt opening or closing of windows,
over-articulation of certain phrases (usually paired with
over-large arm gestures), and, especially, sulking.
Teenagers, by dint of their transformative process, also like
to insult and challenge members outside of their direct peer
group, including their parents, younger siblings, and those
who they perceive to have a social defect of some kind. This
inclusive process, while rarely appreciated by any of the
other parties involved, allows teenagers a chance to develop
their insult skills. Language classes can help broaden a
teenager’s reach in this area; learning inappropriate words in
French class will only increase the breadth of their insult