Monday, July 14, 2014

Hooked on Slang

While we were in London two weeks ago, my husband and I were hoping to hook-up with a couple of local friends who were moving there for business. I said as much to my teenage daughter. 

She gave me a look and after a moment said, "Grownups use that word different than teenagers."

Indeed, we do. 

We certainly weren't planning to "swing" (or "wife-swap") with that other couple. Eeeewwww! To me, "hooking up" means "getting together" or "connecting with." To my daughter, it means something entirely different. She suggested "meet up" would be more appropriate (and decidedly less intimate).

But, it really isn't just a grownups vs. teenagers thing. It is, of course, but it's also bigger than that. Each generation creates its own vocabulary of slang for a variety of reasons: to feel cool, to communicate (in today's world, to text) efficiently, to put some distance between itself and the enemy.

That would be the parents.

Anyway, I can't really be too impatient about it all, because I'm sure I bewildered my parents with my favorite slang phrases in the 70s, just as they probably bewildered their own parents in the 40s. 

To prove my point, here's a century's worth of slang to marvel over:

1900s
Bats in the belfry
Dyed in the wool
Face the music
More than meets the eye
Get off my back
How's tricks?
Keep your shirt on
Let the good times roll
That's the ticket
Slumming

1910s
Two left feet
My back's against the wall
Get something off your chest
Business as usual
The facts of life
Ain't it the truth?
For the hell of it
Get this show on the road
Never say die
A stuffed shirt

1920s
23 skiddoo
The cat's meow
The heebie jeebies
Ditto
Fair enough
No dice
Take a bow!
Par for the course
Bonkers 
Makin' whoopee

1930s 
A monkey's uncle
Good clean fun
Back to square one
Dig you later
Drop dead!
How do you like them apples?
No skin off my nose
Okey-dokie
The bees knees
Get-up-and-go

1940s 
Cool
The hot seat 
Smooch 
Are you kidding?
Get a load of this
Hubba hubba
A rain check
It's not my scene
The party's over
Two cents worth

1950s 
All shook up
Slip me some skin
Don't rock the boat
A drag
Get with it
No comment
Right on
What's shaking?
Jailbait
Hipster

1960s 
Daddy-o 
Groovy 
Hippie 
The Man 
Sock it to me
Gotcha
Fab
Bummer
Boobs 
Drop-out

1970s 
Have a nice day
Mind-blowing
Murphy's law
Pump iron
Deep throat
Brain drain
Boogie
Rock the boat
Farrrrrrr out!
Can you dig it?

1980s 
Bodacious 
Chill out
Dweeb 
Gag me with a spoon 
Gnarly 
Yuppie 
Dude
Wannabe
Where's the beef?
Yo

1990s 
Dis 
Get jiggy 
Homey
My bad 
Phat 
Wassup? 
Get a life
Bummed out
Tude
Flame

2000s 
Peeps 
Sweet! 
24/7
Noob 
Rents 
Bling
Meh 
Clusterf*ck
Spam
LOL 

And, what about the slang of the 2010s? Sorry, my daughter and her BFFs are still working on it. 

Def.

If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to order a copy of my new book Lovin' the Alien at www.lovinthealien.com. 

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