How To Speak Slang, The New English

Adding new words all the time

I miss the English language

The experts say that English is a living, growing creature, adding new words and shedding old ones like dead skin cells. When is the last time you used “snood” in a sentence? Snood: 1. An ornamental hairnet or fabric bag worn over the hair at the back of a woman's head. I guess the experts are right, there are words we don’t need anymore and new words we do need. Speaking with a teenager may get a little bit frustrating if you don’t know the language, so let's dig in.

WW and his pal Gaye

I overheard an introduction one day as I was walking into work. Here in North Florida we have a large construction company by the name of W.W. Gaye. They do a lot of work for the University of Florida and I happened to hear a couple of workers introducing themselves, the conversation went something like this: ”Hi!” said the first guy, “I’m W.W.”, then, looking at his comrade, he pointed at him with his thumb and said: ”He’s Gaye.” Chuckles all around and soon they went to work.

Before I left for work that day I took my jacket “out of the closet . What a shame, now my “pants” know out that my jacket is “gay ” and I’m guilty of “outing” my own jacket. My jacket was embarrassed to be “outed” but now is safely “back in the closet”, at least until next winter. My “pants” have nothing to brag about tho,’ it seems in the latest jargon “pants” is synonymous with rubbish or crap, sorry, I’ll try to remember to wear slacks from now on. Oh, and “gay,” at one time “gay” meant happy, then it meant homosexual but now it may also means stupid or pathetic. Quite a burden for one jacket to bear, it’s happy, homosexual and pathetic all at once. I could have told you that my jacket is “blue” but “blue” has connotations of something pornographic, maybe I should lie and say my jacket is “green” ? No, sorry but “green” is something that is beneficial to the environment, and frankly my dear, my jacket doesn’t give a damn about the environment.

Rex Harrison as Henry Higgins in the Sound of Music sang "The cold blooded murder of the English tongue"
Rex Harrison as Henry Higgins in the Sound of Music sang "The cold blooded murder of the English tongue"
Berry Wall, "King" of dudes
Berry Wall, "King" of dudes

Hijacking the language

Somehow our language has been hijacked and I’m only now learning that I no longer know how to speak English. When I went to school (back in the dark ages before cell phones or internet) there was an era in history called the Gay 90s, referring to a frivolous era in the 1890s. I’d be afraid to use that as a term now for fear of being misunderstood, what the hell are the gay 90s now?

I admit it; I have a “beef ” with what’s happening to the language. I suppose you thought “beef” was what’s for dinner, or possibly the meat from a steer? No old timer, a “beef” is a problem with another person or issue. It even turns out that I have a “beef” with beef. At least there’s always “chicken” , but still I have a “beef” with the way we raise chicken too. Oops, gotta be careful how I use these double entendre words. “Chicken” : I thought this was a farm animal that was very tasty when boiled, broiled or fried especially if it’s organic. In today's slang, it is actually a very young person who “cruises” older people. “Cruising” means to search public places for a sexual partner, and now you know why you need “cruise” control in your car. If you happen to be a “chicken” you just might be picked up by a “chicken hawk”, no, not a bird, but an older male who cruises for “chicken.”

Chicken and Twinkies

After all the writing I’ve done about food and kitchen and recipes I still learn something every day. You probably already know that if you leave an over-ripe banana sitting on the counter you will very quickly have a problem (notice I didn’t say “beef”) with “fruit flies ”. Betcha didn’t know that “fruit fly ” is also slang for a woman that likes to hang around with “gay” men. Honey, do we have any Raid®? The GLBT community (that’s an acronym for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender) has been a “fruitful” source for new meanings for old words and “fruitful” is also slang for the cleavage between a woman’s breasts. Have you ever enjoyed a “Twinkie”? Well, you’d better stop now, a “Twinkie” is now a term for a young gay guy less than 25, usually blonde with lots of attitude. The weather is warming now, time to break out the “grill ” and do a little barbecuing. Sounds like a good plan but now a “grill ” is a gold or diamond plate that is molded for your teeth. It is decorated with diamonds and/or gold and isn’t worth much for cooking a steak.

Occasionally I go looking for things to sell on eBay, dolls are popular, if you have the right one, so I keep an eye out for “Barbies” I probably need to start looking in different places, in today's slang, “Barbies” are ditsy drag queens. If you think popular movie icons are safe, think again. Remember “Auntie Em” from the Wizard of Oz? Nowadays an “Auntie Em” a lesbian of any age who acts or looks young and masculine. Nothing is sacred!

The Gay 90s
The Gay 90s
Homer, the couch potato
Homer, the couch potato

Happy Slapping and Hot

Some of the terms used now are rather self contradictory, how about “happy slapping”? It’s difficult to see how we might be happy about being slapped but now “happy slapping” means slapping or punching somebody unexpectedly and recording it with a camera phone. I found no mention of what to call it if your victim punches you back but I doubt if that’s still happy.

Florida is called the Sunshine State and we do have our share of nice weather, sunny, breezy and “hot” well, there you go again, “hot” means physically attractive, sexy or beautiful. Spend an hour or two on a muggy Florida day in the sun, mowing the lawn, and I can promise you, you will be “hot.”There is some doubt if you will achieve any additional level of attraction to the opposite sex however, “hot” you will be. “Ice” now there’s something that comes in handy when you’re “hot,” put some in a nice tall glass of tea for a bit of refreshment. Trouble is brewing once again “ice” is now jewelry, especially diamonds and it will do absolutely nothing to cool your tea. Spend too much time in that Florida sun and you might become “ill,” that’s bad, right? No, there’s no need for a doctor, “ill,” is slang for something generally approved of by people, what we used to call cool. The opposite of “hot” you ask? “Minger” means ugly and unattractive, at least “Minger” is made up rather than hijacked.

No More Booty in the Bible

American Slang a YouTube series

Translating the Bible

Here’s another neologism for you: “Nonism”: Definition: The concept of being against all things. It must be hard to be opposed to everything, Existentialism gone awry? The word “Nonism” was formed so that the common “anti everything” attitude in modern society can be expressed.

Even the Church is getting into the act; in a recent re-translation of the Bible the word has been removed. “Booty” will no longer be used to signify treasure. “Booty “is out and plunder or treasure is in. How about the rest of us, I always wanted to get hold of some hidden pirate’s “booty,” I think I’ve changed my mind, no more pirate’s “booty,” for me. The other changes in the new translation appear to be taken to be politically correct rather than to enhance understanding; I had no idea that God was concerned with being politically correct. There’s an interesting debate about the word changes in the Bible in the links section. It’s tempting to say this new translation is “bad” but in slang, “bad” means good, unless you’re in Church, where “bad” is still bad. Perhaps “Judge not” might just be the better option.

Most if not all of these new meanings are coming from young people, but we can always learn how to use the lingo, yes? You can look up slang at the Urban Dictionary or if you’re flummoxed by the abbreviations the kids use to text, try Chat Slang. Sooner or later many of the terms seep into the general lexicon and are used by we old timers too. Nice try Grampa, but as soon as you learn the new words the kids have already moved on. Maybe it’s our turn to rebel use an old idiom to confound and confuse the kids. Groovy man, Far Out and Outta sight!

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Comments 18 comments

Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Groovy hub man.


chefsref profile image

chefsref 5 years ago from Citra Florida Author

Far out! and thanx


damian0000 profile image

damian0000 5 years ago from Belfast

Great hub, very interesting and funny at same time :-)


chefsref profile image

chefsref 5 years ago from Citra Florida Author

Thanx Damian, I had fun writing this one


FitnezzJim profile image

FitnezzJim 5 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

This was hilarious, but,

On a more serious note, by far the worst thing about how the English language has changed is that it affects how we understand the US Constitution.


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 5 years ago from Hither and Yonder

"I say someone done her in." -- My Fair Lady.

As Mr. Henry Higgins found out, slang is a problem in any generation. "Oh why can't the English teach their children how to speak!"

Thank you for the fun read.


chefsref profile image

chefsref 5 years ago from Citra Florida Author

Hey Fitnezz, Thanx for stopping by, I think we need to scrape away our political biases to understand the Constitution as much as the changes in language

Ivorwen, I hope people enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it

Thanx for stopping by


Jillian Barclay profile image

Jillian Barclay 5 years ago from California, USA

Good Morning, Chef Lee,

Remember the first time I saw an online chat. Many years ago, my kids were on a free online poker site, and I sat down to play for a few minutes. I can't remember whose seat I had taken, but they all laughed when I said, "I think they are cheating, because everyone is talking in some strange sort of code." "What code, mom?" "Look!" I said. "LOL and LMFAO. What are they telling each other?" The kids thought I had stepped out of the Stone Ages.

Language has always changed, although today more than ever before. My granddaughter keeps me up to date on the kid level, but think I will try to remain oblivious as to the more grown-up changes. With my luck, I will get too confused...

I was dumbfounded by many of these!


Fay Paxton 5 years ago

Cool hub, Chef. I can't refudiate a single thing you've said. :)

voted up


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

Oh, slang is the best. Great Hub!


chefsref profile image

chefsref 5 years ago from Citra Florida Author

Thanx Simone, Yeah this was fun to write, but boy, do I feel old!


Lincoln of Estuary 5 years ago

There're great sites on the Internet listed under "London Slang." On one of them, the rhythm method is refered to as "Vatican Roulette."


chefsref profile image

chefsref 5 years ago from Citra Florida Author

Thanx Lincoln

I looked over some of those sites and all I can say is Wow!

London slang is a new language and I am not fluent


sugz profile image

sugz 3 years ago from Quakeville... Christchurch, New Zealand

Hehe well done..

Damn slang gets evrywhere ay.. you've even inspired my warped sense of humor.. thank u :)


chefsref profile image

chefsref 3 years ago from Citra Florida Author

Thanx Sugz

Glad you stopped by


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 18 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Oh my....I don't know WHAT to say! In fact, I see it's best if I say nothing! Well, except this is quite interesting although perplexing.....and I'm afraid I'm never going to be able to keep up....Just call me an old fogey!....at least until the change the definition for that TOO!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

Interesting, well writen and funny hub. Some of the meanings of words have even changed more since this was written..eg. "Ice" is now the drug of choice in many countries and becoming a big problem.


chefsref profile image

chefsref 18 months ago from Citra Florida Author

Hey fpherj48 and Jodah

Thanx for stopping by and commenting.

Yeah slang is evolving rapidly and I've given up trying to keep up

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