Urban Dictionary

Common Sense Media says

Words you won't find in Webster's are mostly mature.

Age(i)

2
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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Although some of the terms are completely innocent, many describe violent sexual acts, use swear words or are otherwise inappropriate for younger users.

Violence

The site features 10 definitions for the word "violence" -- and several definitions for made-up violent terms, like "violence porn" and "violent f**k."

Sex

Many of the terms include sexual references -- and there's a whole section featuring user-submitted definitions of the word "sex."

Language

Words like "d**k" and "s**t" appear in definitions and instantly in live chats.

Consumerism

The site contains ads for T-shirt companies, a college, and other businesses. Users also can order mugs, magnets, and other items based on any of the dictionary entries. There are also street slang dictionaries and flashcards.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some definitions encourage drug use, saying things like "substances like marijuana ... and LSD, to name a few, can all be used responsibly."

Privacy & safety

You're encouraged to use a username when submitting a word or chatting, but kids could accidentally enter their real name.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this online dictionary of slang terms can delve into areas of sex, drugs, and violence. But it also has its finger on the pulse of of-the-moment expressions and can be humorous and thought-provoking. The content can also be shocking -- the site's guidelines say
it will "publish racial and sexual slurs" because "people use slurs in
everyday speech" -- but will reject racist and sexist entries. (Editors
are encouraged to approve terms that document but don't endorse
discrimination -- which can be a fine line). The site's usage terms say
the content "is frequently presented in a coarse and direct manner that
some may find offensive" and suggest the site isn’t for users under 13.
However, kids can easily find a number of edgy definitions; the terms
are listed alphabetically, and there's also a search function.

Parents say

Kids say

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The Urban Dictionary gets points for encouraging creativity, and some of the tamer terms are funny or feature earnest definitions. However, while the site might help increase your tween's interest in words, the risk of your child running across some made-up monikers that you won't want repeated is pretty high -- so supervision is recommended.

Online interaction: Users can instantly chat live -- via text or video -- with other users. There's no language filter, and conversations can get heated.

Families can talk about...

  • What is a slur? What kind of words and terms -- involving gender, race, appearance or other things -- should you not say to offend people or hurt their feelings?

  • If you hear someone else use a term that you think may offend people or hurt their feelings, is it OK to repeat it -- or is that just as bad as saying it? Is there a difference between talking about discrimination and actually discriminating against people -- and how do you not cross that line?

  • Why would you not want to video chat with a stranger? What kind of things could happen that would be different or not as safe during a chat if you're able to see the person you're chatting with, instead of just typing back and forth?

Website details

Genre:Educational
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Urban Dictionary was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 11 and 13 year old Written bySokrr November 14, 2010
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Stupid and innapropriate

Half of the definitions are about sex and drugs. 75% is made-up nonsense. Users post the most random things, and it is almost never appropriate.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byCassandraRose October 7, 2010
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

Have you ever heard the term TMI? That's what this site is . . .

I have occasionally use this site when I wonder the *real message* behind popular songs. I wouldn't recommend this site for young teenagers. Although some may find it to be funny, almost every entry I've read is very vulgar. It could be a great education for parents, though, if they hear their teenagers mention a term that they don't recognize. Warning though, I have often discovered that I was better off not knowing the real meaning behind the words.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byserradella June 29, 2010
AGE
16
QUALITY
 
Once again, Common Sense Media has horribly misrated something. This website contains VERY mature sexual terms and slang. There is CONSTANT profanity everywhere on the site! There are TONS of references to marijuana, alchohol, and many other drugs. Another problem is it's all user generated, so anyone can add any definition at any time, it IS checked by people, but that's only so that they make sur that the definitions are REAL. Yes, the definitions are real, so in a disturbing way it can help teens figure out what their friends may be talking about, or something else like that.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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