If there is one thing that impresses my friends (and by “friends” I mean mostly my son and my nieces and nephews because I don’t get out much), it’s when I use hip slang words appropriately. When I use slang words inappropriately, my hipness factor plummets and I generally mingle with adults my own age or older.
The difficult thing about slang is that it, like the language and the weather, is always changing. “Cool” used to mean, well, cool–good, nice, nifty. Then “hot” came into vogue, so something that used to be “cool” was now “hot.” If you said something was cool, you were definitely not “hot.” It gets very confusing.
To further illustrate my point. I found some slang words the date back to the 1800’s and some slang words used today. Okay, to be perfectly honest, I read about these in my new favorite magazine, the AARP Magazine. The only way you can get this magazine is if you are 50+ and a member of the American Association of Retired Persons–but you don’t have to be retired: just older than 49, willing to pay the annual membership fee, and eat dinner at 4:30 pm. The magazine is a gold mine of articles to keep you entertained until your 8:00 pm bedtime.
Here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to use a slang word in a sentence and you have to guess if the slang word came from a time when fussy babies were given “soothing syrups” made of opium, morphine, and chloroform to help them calm down (1800’s in case you were wondering where to find some of this stuff); or if the slang words comes from today. I’ll reveal the answers at the bottom of the post.
Are you ready?
1. I didn’t mean to merk (kill) the guy, but he really got on my nerves when he ran his truck into my house. I mean. I just got my carpets cleaned.
2. What the heck is this clitchy (sticky) stuff on your floor boards, Man? Did you take that Roller Derby team home again after they partied?
3. I told you she was a knark (hard-hearted or savage person). Sure, I’ll take you to the ER. I don’t think that kitchen knife is sterile and it looks a little close to your jugular. And all you said to her was that you thought the meatloaf was dry?
4. You don’t mind if I dip (leave abruptly), do you? My coup to take over control of my local chapter of the Justin Bieber Fan Club is finally happening and I can’t miss it. I just got the call. Sorry.
5. I never get time just to moss (relax) ever since I became an adult.
6. I’m telling you, it’s the freaking ziffs (young thieves) you have to watch out for. They sneak up on you and, before you know it, they’ve got the keys to your car and you’re paying for their college.
Answers: 1-today, 2-1800’s, 3-1800’s, 4-today, 5-today, 6-1800’s
How did you do? Aren’t words fun? More fun than math in my book!
Just a warning. If you like the slang words from the 1800’s, the only people who will appreciate them are dead people. That may not be a problem for you. At least they won’t give you any flack, which is more than I can say about my son and my nieces and nephews.