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.
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!
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!
Urban words reference
- What words will be changed in two new editions of the Bible? | The Hot Word | Hot & Trending Wor
Philology, etymology, and word origins Discover new word, their origins and definitions Have you ever pondered the meaning or history of a word? Use Hot Words to learn the secrets of words, and how they came to be.
- ChatSlang.com - The Chat Slang Reference
An online chat reference with meanings of acronyms, abbreviations, emoticons, and other chat slang used in IM, e-mail, and text messaging.