Explaining Ancient Expressions to Teens

Explaining Ancient Expressions to Teens

A little while ago, I wrote a piece about the meaning of modern teen-speak expressions like “on fleek” and “goals”. I might have crinkled my eyes a little at how ridiculous and nonsensical these expressions seemed to me. I may have to take the judgy crinkle face I made back now that I am thinking about some of the expressions we used back in the day. All I can say is that it is a bit of a lottery win that I can even come up with a list, because if you remember the 80’s – you didn’t have as much fun as I did. However, the point of this informative and somewhat frivolous piece is to help teens understand us geriatrics by teaching them the ways of their parents. Teens: here is a short guide to understanding what your parents mean when they say: Totally Tubular – this is what you said when something was great or interesting. It was not used to describe toilet paper rolls or sewage pipes. Gag me with a spoon – girls said this when they didn’t like something. It was most effective when accompanied by open mouth gum chewing and a tornado eye roll. The boys however tried to gag themselves with spoons just to see if they could. This activity spawned the expression Barf Me Out. Gnarly – boys used this term to describe everything from their sheared off skin from a bike accident to a perfectly executed wheelie on their banana bikes. Grody to the max – everybody under the age of 20 used this expression. It was used to describe something mildly gross or unpleasant with some additional emphasis. It really wasn’t to the max of anything, it was just fun to say. Let’s blow this Popsicle stand – when we were just to cool for one place, and we pretended we had somewhere cooler to be. We didn’t. Sometimes it failed and the person who said it walked out alone. Righteous – I can still picture Sean Penn saying this in a state of pot induced wonderment. If you don’t know who Sean Penn is, use the Google. Valley girls– This is more of a cultural phenomenon than an expression, and it is really hard to explain. The way Valley Girls spoke swept north america like a wave, with teen girls imitating it. The closest I can come to describing it is imagine if beach Barbie could speak, and then give her an attitude. Catch You On The Flip~side – The flip side refers to the B side of a record. For a modern explanation, picture saying goodbye to your friend and then flipping over your iphone. Now you are catching...
How Fiercely do You Hate Your Nickname?

How Fiercely do You Hate Your Nickname?

Why, Why, Why do people feel the need to assign nicknames to each other? It might surprise you to know that people you call by some bizarre version of their actual name grind their teeth every time you say it? Granted, our parents chose our birth moniker and most of us hated our given names as kids. We either complained that our handles made us different and got us teased, or the flip side, our names were boring. Nobody ever loved being called Griselda I am sure. But even worse some jackass kid starting to call her Grizzly in grade two and it stuck. For all eternity. There are a few varieties of nicknames. There is the bastardization of your name, which is most common, like Barbie for Barbara, Mike for Michael, or Dick for Richard (or Richard might just be a dick… there is always that possibility). The other type is more often assigned by your family or friends early in your life. Thus there are full grown adults still called “Pooper”, “Snotball” or “Shorty” at family reunions. Has anybody ever asked Pooper if she appreciates being reminded of the unfortunate corn incident of 1983? The most common one however is people changing your name to shorten or make it cute. I wonder if my friend Elizabeth chooses to go by Becky or if it was foisted on her by her friends? Last I checked, she signs her name Elizabeth and doesn’t wear a headband that says “Sure, call me Becky”. You can understand a nickname more when your name is Friedlplatz and you are from lower Bavaria so nobody in North America can pronounce it. Freddy it is. I have been called Maggie, Mags, your Magesty, whatever. Hate them all. I don’t mind endearments though. Sweetie, Honey, Love, they are all fine. I also kind of like it when store clerks call me M’am. I earned every wrinkle and fat roll befitting my age so I feel that calling me “Miss” is kind of disingenuous. I clearly passed “Miss” 30 years ago and am now full on “M’am”. The first 20 year old that calls me “Dearie” though is going to get a punch in the throat. I think that most people might not be as enamored with what ever nickname you use for them. Maybe “Big Cheese” isn’t what your fat friend appreciates being called. If you address your best friend by a loving nickname that they approve, then do it. Call them Binky or Poopsie and they will still love you. I have also heard that Doctors really don’t like being addressed as “Doc”. They spent 7 to 10 years in post graduate school, they...