Top five slang words - for conversing with young people

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Just because you're the kind of mature, sophisticated chap who buys Esquire magazine (and if you don't, please refer immediately to the "subscribe" box to the left), that doesn't mean you don't want to be able to get down with the kids. Here's Nikesh Shukla, author of Coconut Unlimited, a new comic novel about three Asian boys in an all-white secondary school, with some "greezy" slag.

Let’s say you’re a badman and you’re cotching in your yard, watching PhoneShop or something, and someone says someone else is either "hench" or a "wasteman". You think, wow, I should learn that word so I can drop it in a sticky situation to show I’m down.

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1. Peng

You see someone and you think she’s attractive, she’s fit, right? Peng goes the extra mile. It’s for the exceptionally good-looking girl. Really hot. She is PENG. It’s used for emphasis. For example, if we’re talking Mad Men here, Betty Draper is fit…but Joan Holloway is PENG.

For extra points, add "a leng" on the end. "She is looking PENG A LENG."

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2. Wasteman

A "wasteman" is usually someone who has done nothing with their life; someone who has lived off their parents, never gets off the sofa except to get more Pringles and spends all their life playing Fifa ’11. A waster. A waste of space. A wasteman. For example, if we were discussing royalty and how it seemed like Prince Philip has never had a job or done anything useful with his position of power, we might say, "That lazy jobless Prince Philip…tsch, what a wasteman."

3. Hench

Hench isn’t about strength; it’s about looking built and muscular. I’m chubby, but with the right black hoodie I could look hench. It’s sometimes bad form to refer to others as hench — usually it’s a declaration of one’s own body image — eg. ‘This black hoodie makes me look hench."

4. Par

When someone insults you, that’s a par. When someone ignores you, that’s a par. When something bad happens, like someone puts sugar in your tea by accident, that’s a par. Usually, the word is used to just draw attention to the fact you’ve been wronged in some way.

"I was chatting her up, but all the while she was interested in my mate."

"Man, you got parred."

5. Greezy

If something is pleasing or good form or a happy occurrence, it’s greezy. Greezy is an adjective to describe the good thing itself. "Our holiday in the Costa Del Sol is gonna be so greezy!"

Nikesh Shukla is the author of Coconut Unlimited (Quartet Books, £10)

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