Slang Word of the Month: ‘Tea’

‘Tea.’ A three letter word that was once just a simple hot cup of water with herbs, is now a commonly

English teacher Steve Lavelle mistakes the word ‘tea’ as a verb. Illustration by Avalon Allen.

known slang word referring to gossip.

According to Merriam Webster, the word’s popularity and common use is owed to the drag culture. With all of the hustle and bustle in the drag world, there is loads of gossip to go around, requiring drag queens to create a slang term.

The most common usage of ‘tea’ is by saying “spill the tea,” meaning “spill the gossip.”

However teenagers’ prone laziness in this century has given the alternative spelling of ‘tea,’ simply using the letter ‘T.’

Though many teenagers are aware of ‘tea’ as a slang word, a special HHS staff member is not.

“Tea is used as a slang word when you say I ‘TEA-D’ you. It means you are pouring a hot cup of tea over someone’s head,” English teacher Steve Lavelle said.

Rated out of 10, Lavelle gives this word a very poor score with a negative three.

“My feelings toward the word are ambivalent because tea is a boring drink,” Lavelle said.

Lavelle also adds that he rarely uses the word even in a normal context because he never drinks tea.

The first usage of ‘tea’ was in the 1990s. Lavelle, however, claims he heard the word long before.

“I was in my mother’s womb and she was having a tea party with friends,” Lavelle said. “I heard the phrase, ‘pass the tea, please,’ so I was born with the word in my mind.”

For a slang word, ‘tea’ has stuck around for a long time. Many question how long it will take for the word to wear off.

“As long as it takes to dry the tea on your shirt!” Lavelle said.

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