Mall rat

mall rats are not critters lurking in dark corners of shopping malls, although one may be forgiven for thinking that given the term.

mall rats in action, pic: internationalfilmguide.com

Pre-teens, teenager, or young adults, who spend entirely too much time hanging around and wandering through the great American indoors, also known as  shopping malls, are known as mall rats.  These kids stroll around the mall for hours with their girlfriends (or boyfriends if they have any and they are game), often not buying a single thing.  The mall is their meeting place, especially on a Saturday afternoon.  Mall rats often have the ulterior motif of finding a boyfriend at the mall.

Mall rats are most often female and you will know them when you see them, they generally are quite made up and wear whatever brand of clothing is currently in.   There is a mall-rat hierarchy, those who can afford the higher-priced clothing rank higher than those who wear the cheaper, less desirable brands.

The term is not very friendly but not as bad as it sounds especially when adult family members, e.g. mothers refer to their kids half-jokingly and affectionately as mall rats.
“My Jessica has become quite the mall rat recently.  She used to play soccer every Saturday but no she just wants to go to the mall and hang out.  Teenage girls, I tell you!”.

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