This is a Journal entry by Asteroid Lil - Offstage Presence

Lil's NaJoPoMo #5 - Slang

Post 1

Asteroid Lil - Offstage Presence

There are times when you feel conspired against, when paranoia seems justified. This is one of those nights. Ladera's wifi went down just at midnight, and nobody on the graveyard shift knows how to reset a router, let alone knows where the router is, let alone knows what a router is. So I can't publish the journal I had planned. Or read other researchers' journals. Or check my email. Or browse the news.

Worst of all, I find that the new kindles are cloud-based. With the old ones, you turned on the whispernet and all your purchases downloaded automatically. With the Fire, only the book covers download. You actually have to click on the cover to get the content. So I have no wifi and nothing to read!

Well, on with the show.

Something Icy said got me thinking about slang. I would like to know whether teeners still have their own slanguage -- those with children should be able to answer this. It seems to me that the internet and the fact that family members can and do "friend" each other on Facebook and other such watering holes should make slang transparent across generations almost immediately. Also, I wonder whether there is something about textspeak that militates against creative wordplay, out of which slang words are usually born.


Not long ago, I was talking with an aide, a woman in her late twenties, and I finished my thought by saying, "...but I guess they put the kibosh on that." And I saw a brief flicker of incomprehension in her eyes. Oh no, I thought, I just used dated slang! I have proof of oldness: I speak that variant of English known as "out of fashion." When I was still in high school my mother would frequently criticize my hair and tell me I looked like the Wild Woman of Borneo. I assumed this was a quasi-goddess creature from south-east Asia with an origin myth about unmanageable hair, but it turns out the source was closer to home. In ~her~ youth, my mother evidently saw a movie called "The Wild Women of Borneo." A poster of the period (the 1940's) shows white women with lush figures, langorous poses, and long hair. Anyway, I still use the expression. Nobody has really understood me till now, when I have explained all.


"To put the kibosh on" has a mysterious history, by the way. Its first recorded appearance is in a London newspaper from the early 1800's, in an article concerning the trial of some young street sweepers. They had been protesting a new law that curtailed some of their commercial activities. The account replicated the boys' pronunciation as well as reporting what they said verbatim, and they used the phrase "put the kibosh on" exactly as we do today. Nobody knows for sure what a kibosh is, but there are some entertaining theories. The most plausible etymology I found was proposed by an Irish author; he suggests that 'kibosh' is a corruption of a Gaelic phrase that means 'cap of death.'

I like that. It fits. It makes me think of the cloth that an English judge traditionally would place on his head before pronouncing a death sentence.


Lil's NaJoPoMo #5 - Slang

Post 2

deb - I'm in love with my soup maker & I don't care who knows it

No internet is an extremely frustrating position to be in. But nothing to read? smiley - yikes Glad my kindle is the oldest of the old ones!

Deb smiley - cheerup


Lil's NaJoPoMo #5 - Slang

Post 3

Witty Moniker

My current office mates are rather amused by some of the idioms I use in my speech. Most of them, I realized, I picked up from my mother who was born in 1921. Some of them I have to explain to them, and they aren't that much younger than me.


Lil's NaJoPoMo #5 - Slang

Post 4

Sol

Oh, I am pretty sure da kidz have slang. There was a thread on Mumsnet for Mamas to try to keep up with it I stumbled across. I've just been having a look for it, but I can;t find it. It was a lot of fun though.


Lil's NaJoPoMo #5 - Slang

Post 5

Sol

Found it!

http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/teenagers/a1745256-Teenage-slang-translation-thread


Lil's NaJoPoMo #5 - Slang

Post 6

Sol

Oh! Oh! And then Reddit dissects the Mumsnet thread! Priceless!

http://www.reddit.com/r/unitedkingdom/comments/1glufy/mumsnet_discuss_teenage_slang

(OK, I'll stop now).


Lil's NaJoPoMo #5 - Slang

Post 7

Amy Pawloski, aka 'paper lady'--'Mufflewhump'?!? click here to find out... (ACE)

[Amy P]


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Lil's NaJoPoMo #5 - Slang

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