Talking the Talk

I was reading an e-mail newsletter this morning, and I came across an article called “How to Pimp Out Your Dorm Room. What caught me was the use of the phrase “pimp out.”

This is an expression used mostly by young people (or those no-longer-young-but-trying-to act-look-and-sound-like-they-are people – you know the ones).  Now I never had a dorm room, since I did my secondary education in a somewhat unconventional way (and that’s a story for another day), but I’m pretty sure it would be the 18-to-22-year-old who is decorating a dorm room.  But pimp out?  This is good?  How did that happen?  How did “pimp” even come to be commonly used in the vernacular?  In fact, when did it become a verb?

And those questions opened a Pandora’s Box of evolutionary affronts changes to the language and a bunch more questions.

– When did “bad” become good?  Probably about the time that the word “like” became a punctuation mark.   My new car is, like, totally bad.

– How did “dope” become an adjective (I think) and a complimentary one at that?  I always thought it was an illegal substance or an idiot who would use the stuff.   Like, fer sure, man, your new ride is dope.

– Ride? I guess that makes some kind of sense, but if carried to an extreme… Bitchen Big Jimbo’s Totally Rad Used Ride-a- Lot?  It could be right next door to the real estate office where you could find yourself a new crib.

– And how did “sick” come to mean cool?  Yeah, and those fuzzy dice are totally sick. (Well, OK, the fuzzy dice probably are totally sick.)

– I can’t decide if being called a “cougar” is a bad thing or a good thing.  I guess if you’re still young enough to attract a boy toy, it might be a bad thing to be cruising for one, but if there’s no chance in hell, maybe it’s a good thing?  OK, so you can call me a cougar.  Just don’t be callin’ me no phat hootchie mama.


(And no, this isn’t me!)

I could go on and on. But then this might get lame. So I’m off to see my peeps and do me some chillaxin.

Later, Dude.  And Dudettes.

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20 Responses to Talking the Talk

  1. Jamie Dedes says:

    Clever! Clever! Wonderful to read, Pattiken. Thank you … I’ll be chuckling for awhile … and I do groan over the same things …

  2. Eksqwizit says:

    Lol I enjoyed the subtleties in this piece lol. Recently, my colleague and I were surprised to read that the word “conversate” is in the dictionary. Yes times change as do languages, people, culture etc. It can be a beautiful thing if quite difficult to deal with. Thanks for the laughter lol. And yes, lol will be there somewhere lol

    • PattiKen says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed it. I guess I’m not surprised to learn that “conversate” is in the dictionary (And interestingly, spell check here on WordPress doesn’t seem to know it’s a valid word). Turing nouns into verbs seems to be a common occurrence. I was curious about how fast new words are being born, and looked up how many new words were added to the Webster’s dictionary in 2009. The answer was 100, but even more intriguing were the first sentences of the report:

      “Plan to spend your staycation watching vlogs and webisodes? Or perhaps you plan to signal a flash mob for a quick bite of shawarma. If you’re not entirely certain what all that means, turn to the latest edition of the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, which has added about 100 new words that largely reflect changing trends in American society.”

      And so there you go. Thanks for visiting and for your comments. I hope you’ll come back.

      • Eksqwizit says:

        I pass by often and do enjoy your work. I wake up every morning to Jamie’s posts and some of yours as well. I have not had time to reply much. Thank you for livening up my days. I appreciate all bloggers who choose to share a piece of themselves with me. Have a good night.

  3. Tara R. says:

    Don’t forget that ‘the bomb’ means the best.

  4. G-Man says:

    Oh Patti…
    You’re the Bee’s Knees!!!
    The Cat’s Ass!!
    The Whip!
    Hmmmm… I…Never mind, won’t go there.

  5. suzicate says:

    Fabulous! You crack me up! I never thought I’d reach the age of not being cool, or being on the other side of the generation gap, but time fooled me once again!!!!!

    • PattiKen says:

      Time is sneaky that way. I distinctly remember 30 as being really old, and obviously pretty much done with all the fun stuff. Now “old” and “done” are a moving target.

      Glad you dropped by and got a chuckle. I hope you’ll come back.

  6. moondustwriter says:

    Fo shizzle dawg

    when did we stop speaking English???

    moon giggle

  7. Nara Malone says:

    Laughing. Cool Post. Is it still okay to say “cool”?

  8. souldipper says:

    Hi PattiKen – Your name appeared in a few of my favourite ‘bloggy hangouts’ so it was inevitable I’d be over to peek at your posts. Jamie made it impossible to put the trip off one more minute. And what do I find? Conversation For Dummies. I’ve finally found a tutorial with which an older (childless) aunt can discern what my nieces and nephews are saying on Face Book. Not only am I back in the family, I’ve just learned they don’t hate each other.

    • PattiKen says:

      Welcome, souldipper. I’m not sure I did you any favors. Sometimes, it’s easier not knowing what they are talking about on FaceBook. Though it is good to know they don’t hate each other.

      Glad you dropped in. I hope you’ll come again.

  9. JeffScape says:

    Hah! Love it.

    Although “bad” is once again usurping its original, proper meaning. It needs a suffix-term or something now in order to mean “good.”

    Like… “bad ass,” I suppose.

    And I think “ride” has been around since… the 1800s.

    Dope post. 😉

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