noun (plural youths /juːðz/)
Old English geoguth, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch jeugd, German Jugend, also to young
Youth was once the ultimate state, envied and romanticized by those who had left it behind, with youths themselves celebrated as the possessors of beauty and potential. But that time has passed, with the Oxford English Corpus telling a sorry tale of the state of today’s youth: unemployed, disaffected, nuisance, and drunken are some of the most common modifiers, while almost all of the verbs associated with youths are violent or threatening, with attack, smash, vandalize, intimidate, and assault all scoring highly. And youths cannot simply meet—they congregate, gather, and even plague: intimidating gangs of baseball-capped youths congregating around the newsagents a shopping parade plagued by nuisance youths. Teenagers fare equally badly, commonly being the object of verbs such as kill, stab, arrest, and molest and described as troubled, rebellious, spotty, or pregnant.