Every generation has its own set of popular words or slang that the kids say to each other. My parents grew up in the 50’s and said things like hip, knuckle sandwich and quite possibly Daddy-O.
I’m an 80’s kid to the core. I started high school in 1980. I was in 8th grade and our high school didn’t start with 9th grade as most schools. We were sub-freshmen or subbies as the seniors liked to call us. I graduated high school in 1985 and then went straight on to the University of Georgia until my graduation in 1989. I spent the entire 80’s trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up.
My generation said things like totally when we agreed with something. We invented the word yuppies and every sentence had the word like in it and it had nothing to do with Facebook. I still catch myself using the word like when I’m talking, especially when I’m telling a story. I’ll say, “And he was like yeah I said that. And then I was like WOAH Dude, really?”
I listen to my son Jake and the rest of his third grade friends. And some days, I just don’t get what he’s saying. I’m a writer who plays with words all day long. You’d think I’d be able to figure this one out.
It appears that most of the words we take for granted to mean what the dictionary tells us they mean are really just an acronym. The letters really stand for something else giving the word a whole new meaning.
Here’s some examples:
COOL – I didn’t realize I was insulting him when I told him he looked cool the other day. Apparently cool really means: Chubby Old Ostrich Lover
JERK – I must admit, their breakdown of this word was pretty good. Jerk really means: Junior Educated Rich Kid
Not everything was an insult or used the letters to turn it into something else. The biggest compliment you can get is for someone to call you sexy. I can tell these kids aren’t using the word in the true sexual sense but they like to say it so they get the chance to add the words ‘and I know it.’
One of Jake’s favorites is to say the word epic. Everything is epic – it was an epic battle, an epic football play or an epic movie. I asked Jake what he thought the word epic meant and he said it was something amazing. Well that explains it. Now I know why my cooking has never been called epic. There’s just so much amazing that can happen when every recipe starts with ‘remove box from freezer.’
What other words have you heard your kids use?
These are just a few of the highlights I’ve heard from spending too much time with an 8 year-old boy. But if there’s one thing I have learned, if your kid calls you cool, it’s not a compliment.
Photo credit: Seven words