So when you’re writing YA fiction, like I am, and your setting is anything close to contemporary, you’re going to have to deal with slang. One basic bit of slang I’ve been researching is the current lingo for “friend.” The current crop of friend addresses includes dude, bro, brah, and bruh. NPR did an amusing piece on this that resulted in a “Bro Map.” Even the Oxford English dictionary added (with bizarre spelling choice) bra, which in turn informed an amusing commentary from Jezebel.
What’s most challenging about all this for a writer is that it still doesn’t tell me what kids are actually saying these days. Plus bro and even dude-bro seem to be used in a derogatory fashion to describe the khaki-shorts-and-pink-button-down crowd at your local frat house. Luckily, I have an ace in the hole: a teenage son. My resident expert informs me that bro and dude are most common at his school, and that’s good enough for me.