There’s no doubt that we’re all going to come across a range of characters from different backgrounds as we find our way in the world. But what happens when you are met with the inevitable confusion of speaking with someone who seems just that little bit more clued-up on the latest Gen-Z lingo? Defined by Urban Dictionary as a ‘brother species to the chav’, the emergence of the contemporary Roadman comes along with a lot of unfamiliar language that those of contrasting backgrounds may be alien to. And nobody wants to be alienated. There shouldn’t have to be somewhat of a language barrier between those who actually speak the same language, right? Which is why, below, you can learn to decode at least some of the most popular terms in the up-and-coming Roadman slang that may otherwise leave you scrambled!
Example: ‘Allow the messy hair’ / ‘Can I change the music?’ ‘Nah, allow it’
Thrown about by Roadmen as a response or expression of dislike for something, to allow something generally means to ignore something or simply leave it alone and not worry about it. Pretty similar to the universally understood definition of allow meaning to permit something, in slang contexts, Roadmen are somewhat asking for permission to let something be. But just as the term is generally used as an expression of negativity, if somebody says to allow that, this often translates to a mentioned situation being unpleasant and the speaker, therefore, wanting to be excluded from it.
Example: ‘You’re being bait’ / ‘Don’t bait me out’ / ‘Ignore them, they’re just baiting you’
Ever tried to do something that you probably shouldn’t be doing? Then realised that you’re not being the most secretive about it? That’s bait. And if someone tells you to ‘stop being so bait’ you should probably stop making your actions so blatantly obvious. Because once you get baited out, or exposed, the results are never normally good. Alternatively, if you’re baiting someone, this is more synonymous to teasing or annoying them in order to provoke a reaction, similar to how the original meaning of bait means an incentive to lure someone or something in. Talk about confusing slang, this term pretty much changes its entire meaning as the tense changes.
Example: ‘You’re bare fit’ / ‘That’s bare annoying’
A quantifying expression synonymous to its more common English counterparts of ‘really’ or ‘very’ and generally followed by a descriptive adjective of sorts, if a concept is bare something then it’s got a lot of that quality about it. Unlike other slang terms, which are usually accompanied by clear negative or positive connotations, bare can be used in both contexts as it will be used to precede a description of an attribute – meaning that this term is usually bare easy to pick up on and use without messing up and seeming bare clueless!
Example: ‘What’s up cuz?’ / ‘Cuz I can’t be bothered’
Originating from the familial term of ‘cousin’, this term of endearment is often used to refer to anybody who a Roadman considers a friend or an alternative close relation. If you’re referred to as cuz, then you’re more than likely to have an established positive relationship with the speaker – yet some use this term as a more generalised greeting for people they may have never even met. While this context uses cuz as a noun, the same term can be used as a shortened version of ‘because’, cuz who wants to waste their time on that extra syllable?
Example: ‘You get me fam’
Yet another term of endearment originating from a word referring to relatives, this shortened variant of ‘family’ outlines a close relationship between a Roadman and the people they associate with, those who they can trust and treat like their actual fam. As a result of its emerging popularity, this word has become a generalised expression of friendship and is, therefore, another slang term that’s pretty easy to use with accuracy due to its derivative having an existing similar definition.
Example: ‘I’m gassed’ / ‘Don’t gas them up’
To be gassed is often used as an expression of feeling extreme happiness or overwhelming excitement in response to a positive situation. But this is another of those ambiguous slang terms that can be mistaken for a more negative contrasting definition. Because if you describe someone else as being gassed, you might be unintentionally insulting them as an arrogant individual, who’s been fed with too many compliments to the extent where their ego dominates. But to gas someone up is often complimentary and isn’t always a bad thing, so long as it doesn’t fuel their ego too much.
Example: ‘That’s so peak’ / ‘Peak for you’
Whereas the surface definition of peak, meaning the top of something, may lead you to believe that this term is met with predominantly positive affiliations – you couldn’t be more wrong. Unless you’re talking about someone who has peaked, in which case, you’re more than likely referring to the best version of someone, but even so, this is often accompanied by some sort of following downfall. But peak as a descriptor is associated with bad luck, however, it has ended up being effectively used as a replacement for any sort of negative adjective and still universally understood by Roadmen.
Example: ‘They are peng’ / ‘That looks peng’
Luckily for those who may be getting a little confused by the ambiguity of certain Roadman slang terms, this one has extremely straightforward positive connotations of attraction. If something or someone is described as peng, it’s undoubtedly complimentary. While it is predominately used as a descriptor for physical attraction and how good looking someone is, peng can be used as an adjective to describe an appeal to any of the senses – whether that’s how peng a meal tastes, a song that sounds peng, or a peng sunset on a peng beach. If you’re looking for an even more intense description of positivity, this can be adapted to a superlative form of pengest as a means of outlining the ultimate degree of something’s appeal. Either way, this word is definitely praising in any form.
Example: ‘That’s safe’ / ‘They’re safe’ / ‘Yeah, safe’
A term loaned from Jamaica in accordance with the emergence of Multicultural London English – wherein terms, as well as accents and other features of different cultures’ speech patterns, are incorporated into the English Language, safe is similarly a slang expression of positivity. However, it’s definition isn’t always as obvious as its counterparts due to it being used in a vast range of contexts. Describing someone or something as safe ultimately means that they are recognised as a decent person, whether that is because they can be trusted, are a friend of a Roadman or are in general, a cool person. As well as this, Roadmen are often known to use this term as a greeting or even just to signify agreement with someone else. Regardless of the topic, you’re probably more than likely to be able to incorporate safe into conversation so long as the context remains positive.
Example: ‘They’re a wasteman’
This one is probably a little more self-explanatory than other Roadman slang terms. But no, it’s not someone who’s job is disposing of rubbish. In fact, a wasteman is pretty rubbish in themselves. Describing someone as a wasteman is never going to be good, not when the first half of the word is already associated with something of excess without a purpose. And that’s pretty much what a wasteman is, a derogatory term used by Roadmen to describe someone who doesn’t really do anything positive with their life and likewise, doesn’t have any sort of prospect or aspiration. Even though that’s a more specific definition of the insult, it’s common for a wasteman to be defined by anyone with negative attributes such as stupidity or arrogance. It’s safe to say nobody wants to be called a wasteman.
Now that you know your ABCs of Roadman slang, you can fit right in with the tracksuit-wearing, luxury-craving Roadmen, whose lifestyles are becoming all the more popular as time progresses. You’ll never have an awkward silence due to a misunderstanding of the emerging lingo again, but even if you aren’t fluent just yet – there’s nothing a quick search on Urban Dictionary can’t fix, right? Tell them to allow it while you try to translate. But don’t make it too bait, they might think you’re a wasteman and that would be bare peak, fam. You want to be peng, but be careful not to get too gassed. Got it? Safe, cuz.