At the start of every school year, students come into the classroom with new words in their vocabulary. Words that they act like they have always used but in reality they just heard in a rap song that hit the top of the charts last month. Words that apparently make students cool for saying them and make teachers uncool for questioning why the students are saying them.

Words like “finna” (courtesy of Gabriella) and “booty” (courtesy of Felicia).

Now, I could explain the meaning of the words, or I could provide a line-by-line dialogue of how my students have used them so far followed by my personal translation. I chose the latter…

Gabriella: “Boyyy, that’s not right. I ain’t finna pick up that trash!”

Translation: “Mr. Morrow, that’s not fair. I am not going to pick up that trash!”

Felicia: “Maaan, y’all be doing too much! That’s booty!”

Translation: “You teachers are always nitpicking and getting us in trouble for everything! That is ridiculous!”

Gabriella: “Are we finna do it big, or what’s up?”

Translation: “Are we preparing to do something cool, or is that not the plan?”

Felicia: “You ain’t for real. OMG! That’s booty!”

Translation: “You are not serious. Oh my gosh! That is not even right!”

Gabriella: “I ain’t finna write that! Shooot!”

Translation: “I am not going to write that! You must think I’m crazy!”

Felicia: “I mean, I ain’t even…that rule is booty!”

Translation: “It’s not even worth me talking about it. That rule is stupid!”

Finna. Booty. Finna. Booty. Finna. Booty.

Over and over and over again.

Every. Other. Word. All. Day. Long.

Well, you know what ladies? I’m finna jump in front of a cement truck if I hear the word “finna” one more time. Now, that’s booty!”

-WMM

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