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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this website.
Although some of the terms are completely innocent, many describe violent sexual acts, use swear words or are otherwise inappropriate for younger users.
Violence & Scariness
The site features 10 definitions for the word "violence" -- and several definitions for made-up violent terms, like "violence porn" and "violent f**k."
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Many of the terms include sexual references -- and there's a whole section featuring user-submitted definitions of the word "sex."
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Words like "d**k" and "s**t" appear in definitions and instantly in live chats.
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Products & Purchases
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."
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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.
Is It Any Good?
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.
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