Friday, June 7, 2013

Favorite Youth-isms

When I was a teenager, everyone said “bitching” and “Oh, brother!” My Pops forbade me to use either term and, of course, that made it nearly impossible for me to stop; especially “bitching.”

For those of you too young to remember, that started out as a surfing word to describe a great wave or ride. I grew up in the San Jose area, so many of my friends surfed because Santa Cruz and waves were just over the Los Gatos foothills. It didn’t take long for that to be the only way to describe something that was cool; except for “boss”. I almost forgot that one; for a couple of years, everything cool was really boss.

Red and I got to talking about that last night, while sipping wine – Bloody Marys were a bit too heavy in the heat – finding old and new neologisms (which I prefer to call Youth-isms because older people rarely come up with a new term, right? Let’s be honest.)

Kathy: Actually, I got hooked on “groovy,” too.

Red: You know what I always liked? (I shook my head) Da’ bomb! What a fantastic way to say something or someone is great.

Kathy: (chuckling) I still say it sometimes. People stop and stare for a second. 

Red: I guess they would! That’s so old it creaks. But I know what you mean. I’d like to be able to say “my bad” but I’m afraid someone will call the geezer police. 

Kathy: Oh, come on. That’s not that old!

Red: Yes, it is. Time is just passing so fast for you now you don’t realize a couple of decades have gone by since players started tossing it around on the B-ball courts. 

Kathy: (hanging her head) – Geez. So what’s the latest and greatest?

I settled back, sipping on an glass of iced Reisling, while Red brought up Google on her iPhone and began to rattle off a few.

Red: Let’s see…there’s BT dubs for the by the way…and YOLO for you only live once.

Kathy: I kind of dig that. YOLO baby. Uh, huh!

Red: (laughing hard) You would! That one was named the worst slang of 2012.

Kathy: I don’t care – I’m going to be YOLOing it all over the place.

Red: Ok, how about these two – Totes for totally and Obvi for obviously.

Kathy: I like totes. Yeah, that’s totes!

Red: You’re so totes cray! (doubled-over, holding her belly and laughing and spilling her wine)

Kathy: Huh?

Red: Cray is short for crazy. 

I stuck my tongue out at her but soon we’d reverted to our own childhood, talking like we’re still teenagers ourselves. It was all good. That lasted until we ran out of wine, at which point we just chilled for a while. I don't care how old you are, you know what that means!


  1. I loved 'Valley Girl' (the song) with Moon Unit Zappa being all "grody" and "to the max." Ah, the 80's still make me nostalgic...

  2. Oh, yeah! Grody was a great word. Used it all the time. Thanks, Sonia!

  3. Oh Kathy, I am just the worst at this...things are still "the bee's knees," "the cat's pajamas," "far out," "groovy," "funkadelic" and on and on and on! I like language. I like slang, I like funky little phrases that are playful so I keep using them whether they are "still the thing" or not. I refuse to let society dictate "how I roll!" LOL!!! I think I have thrown out "gag me with a spoon" a few times in the past year. Oh yeah, I am an old fart but in my mind I am still one "bitchin' babe!" For sure!

    Hugs, Ardee-ann

    1. Well, you used bitchin' correctly, so you can't be all that bad! I forgot to drop the g.

      I have young nieces and nephews and my daughter's still under 30, so I listen to them and I'm always amazed. None of them tease me when I use the old phrases, which I still do too. But I have to say I do like "BT Dubs" and "YOLO."

  4. You know....'Dude' is still around

    1. I know, Dude! Somethings just rise above it all. How long now? About 50 years, I think.

  5. YOLO? Oh my goodness, have we become so lazy that we can't say four little words, and it has to become an acronym?

    Haha, thanks for the laugh Kathy xo


  6. I don't think this is about laziness - but coolness. That's why the young do most things - to be cool. I like YOLO a lot, as more of a banner thought than walking around saying it - because I'd have to explain it to most of my contemporaries anyway - :-).

    Thanks for stopping by, Eden.