On slang – I’ll show you mine if you show me yours

The Winner TacoEvery group of friends and colleagues has their own slang – words they use to signify things that are peculiar to that group – and it’s something that fascinates me.

As a child, my friends and I would describe something particularly good as an “Eggy one!” (nope, me neither – I still don’t quite know where it came from), although it was obviously very uncool if your Dad started using it…

At university it got worse. Regardless of the slightly archaic language of Cambridge in use in everyday life (bedders? plodge? P-hole?), we developed our own. Toilets became the “lageteria”, andanything that reached the pinnacle of awesomeness was referred to as “the Winner Taco”, in reference to a popular Spanish icecream.

And it still goes on. Within Sunday Driver, we have a habit of referring to a kurta, a traditional Indian shirt worn by several members of the band, as a “Norris”. Coined by Matthew, our old tabla player, this is nouveau cockney rhyming slang: Norris McWhirter = kurta.

I’ve shared a few of mine, and I’m intrigued to hear yours. What are the words that have become common parlance in your social group. Where did they come from, and why do you love them (or hate them)?

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8 responses to “On slang – I’ll show you mine if you show me yours

  1. Schweppes – This was the word we used (when my mother was in earshot) to refer to my dad, after he left my mum many years ago. We used Schweppes because the advert said “Shhh – you know who”. It stuck for years and even my mum started using it too which was quite funny. We don’t use it anymore, and my dad has been back for years now too.

  2. Just thought of another thing our family say. When some one can’t get their words out or starts to stutter, we say “g g g g g I’m sick of the Americans” which kind of means “come on, spit it out, say what you mean” which came from a home movie and my 70-something grandmother from 1980’s http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGGw9h9wG-0&feature=player_detailpage#t=497s

  3. Studying physics at uni seems to throw up hundreds. My group of freinds uses NBFA a lot. Which stands “Not Bad for Astrophysics”. Its become a slang phrase to use whenever things go wrong, or when you’ve ended up way off. Just because astrophysics is prone to wild approximations and considers 100x out as “pretty close”.
    So yeah, we have lots of very nerdy slang 😛

  4. One of my closest friends and I say “McFish Fillet” to mean that something is unsurprising and common. It derived from my own usage of the four questions from a Passover Seder, which I would say, in Hebrew and owing to her not knowing Hebrew, she misunderstood and then her English mish mash of what I said was further misunderstood by a boyfriend of hers who was not a native English speaker. So it went from “Ma Nish Ta Na” (That’s my best transliteration) to “Ma Hish Fa La La” to “McFish Fillet”. 🙂
    I love this post and inadvertently stubbled on it from Shakesville. 🙂

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