It appears President Bush needs to brush up on his slang.
Someone posted a comment yesterday that referred to her “peeps” which prompted a comment by another reader puzzled by the meaning of the word.
I thought it might be a good time to introduce a little urban linquistics since most of us are pretty far removed from the hipster generation. I still say things like “Don’t bug me daddio,” which went out with “Tippee Canoe and Tyler too.” The dangerous thing is either phrase can be recycled while we were having our afternoon nap and emerge with a churlish new meaning, vulgar even!
My fascination with the evolving state of the English language began several months ago when a reader sent me an e-mail accusing me of being “the bomb.” Well, I got pretty huffy. I don’t pretend to be Einstein, but there’s no need to be so blunt. The bomb to me meant a catastrophy, a complete melt down.
Looking for consolation, I read the e-mail to my 20-something year old colleague. She said I should be pleased, honored even. Apparently “the Bomb” has morphed from a catastrophic blunder into “a good thing” as Martha Stewart would say. Well, Kaboom. I’m packin’ powder I didn’t know I had.
The whole exchange got me thinking how much the English language is continually evolving as the younger generation develops its own “code-speak.” Words seems to adopt meanings that are often the total opposite of the original definition…so be very careful.
Today, “bad” means good and “fat” is a great compliment though the spelling has changed. When kids call someone “Phat,” it means “hot and tempting.” Well, blow me away. I wonder if it’s possible to be phat and fat at the same time.? That would be cool.
It’s all so confusing. I strive to be very modern and used to throw around terms like “totally tubular” to prove my language savvy. Now I”m informed that went out of style with Bill Clinton. So I’m a little slow on the draw, and my politics a little rusty.
Recently I overheard my co-workers calling each other “dudes” and thought I would try it on for size.
“Hey, Dude, cool homily,” I told my priest after mass. I tried to high five him but he ducked like I was gonna strike. I looked around to see if anyone was impressed with my new cool repartee. They weren’t. In fact, people kind of stepped back to let me out. Maybe I used it out of context. So I rushed home and looked up the definition of “dude.” It means “lady killer” and “lounge lizard.” Ooops!
But I have a new phrase I really like. I overheard my 20 something neighbor said he was “keeping it real” to mean he was on top of things. He also says thing like “I’m down like four flat tires” which means “count me in.” Now where’s the logic in that?
I suppose Shakespeare’s 17th century admonition “Thou clay-brained cuss, thou knotty-pated fool, thou obscene greasy tallow-catch” would be translated as “You dorky doot la . (A doot la is another word for idiot) in today’s hip world. If you dare, you can check out www. urbandictionary.com for more enlightenment.
Oh, and your “peeps” are your peoples, your buddies, the people you hang with.
So, tootaloo for now, or chow, or as we used to say at Ole Miss “Catch you round the Grill.”
Doot la Jones