What’s Your Slang?

Have you ever noticed how you use certain words over and over again? And sometimes your fashion trend for certain words changes over time? My brother made up a word once that still sticks around my family today….’rockulous.’ It was a favorite of his in his late teens/early twenties, a slang for ridiculous but with a bit of harsher tone to it to emphasize his point. It is interesting to me how we use language and certain words over again and again. My top five personal words of choice these days – call them slang or otherwise – are:

1) People – I love to use this term when talking to a group, like ‘Let’s go people’ or ‘People, what’s up?’ It’s a great general term to capture the crowd and it’s good to use it with some emphasis. Don’t confuse this with “peeps” – that’s a much more informal portrayal and could be deemed offensive.

2) Ridick – I am really enjoying this short-hand term for ridiculous these days. Ridiculous is such a mouthful and this version saves time. Or maybe it’s just because it has the word dick in it that makes it seem somehow more adventurous or dangerous. Either way, it’s working for me.

3) Shag – I must give the Brits great credit for coming up with this fantastic word. (Finally, something they got right, but it’s just never caught on in the American colony. He he.) I never heard it used frequently until I lived overseas in some other British colonies, but it just rolls off the tongue and it’s fun to spit about. So many ways to use it…’You need a shag,’ ‘Just got shagged,’ ‘I’m shagging myself,’…oh well, that’s never a good one…but you get the picture.

4) Sawa – (saw-wa) You’ll notice this is not technically English. It’s Kiswahili from Kenya which means ‘OK.’ It’s the greatest word that you can use for everything and it sounds so much better than o-kay. Yeah, most people here won’t know what you are saying, but you’ll sound cool.

5) Pole, pole – (po-lay, po-lay) Another leftover from my time in Kenya but something I find myself still saying, even if under my breath at times, so I don’t look the fool. It means slowly, slowly. Now be warned – you can’t just say it once. It must be said twice. But it’s a gem to use in all sorts of situations. Most recently, I casually said it to myself when a family member seemed to be getting riled up in temper. It’s kind of like – slow it down and calm yourself. It could be considered a staple language term for Africa, where time and things move at a much different pace. Enjoy. Pole, pole.

So what are you saying and kicking about? Please share. I’m always on the lookout for some new slang terms!!

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kat
    Apr 03, 2012 @ 22:24:16

    JPW – just plain whacked
    A nice way to say someone or something is crazy, but I also think it should be added to the dsm-v

    Reply

  2. ro
    Mar 29, 2012 @ 08:31:20

    I call my husband Hubs on FB and twitter etc, I’ve noticed lots of my friends have adopted the term.

    Absolutely love Redick…for exactly the same reasons lol!

    Love saying, “That’s rich.” I don’t know why, it’s on my list of slant I like to use but don’t frequently get to.

    Really??? Really?? Nice. Seriously. (ending w head shaking back and forth)

    Reply

  3. edna
    Mar 26, 2012 @ 06:44:44

    Pole pole is awesome-makes us Kenyans be just calm about being late for dates-arriving even 2 hours late-loool-am sure you will never forgive us for such manners-:)

    How about Fantab!…..means both fantastic and fabulous-some people used to say fantabulous but i found it mouthful n cut it to this word that i use for my team n when something excites me!

    Reply

  4. maggieat40
    Mar 24, 2012 @ 23:20:52

    Thanks for sharing. I really like the Jail Yen Yen. You say it like it’s spelled, right? And I get the ‘so,’ you are so right about that one!

    Reply

  5. CHeryl
    Mar 24, 2012 @ 23:06:47

    Jail yen yen: it’s from my time in Thailand and literally translates to cold heart. But it’s meaning is “stay calm”. I say it to myself whenever I feel like screaming…

    Hamsterdam: it’s what my daughter used to call Amsterdam when she was a little girl. Now whenever I’m travelling there we (my husband, daughter, and I always say that.

    So: Used as “that is so Pete” emphasis on the so. Seems everyone is using it these days.

    Reply

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