A slang word is on its last legs, gasping for air when someone over the age of 35 seriously uses it in a sentence, then does a little smirk after they say it like, “Hey, look at me, I just said a word the kids use, aren’t I cute?”
The said slang word has officially crossed over to “slang” heaven.
Thanks a lot, over 35-year-olds!
When a slang word has run its course, please do me a “solid” and don’t try to revive it. “Bling” is dead! “Bling-bling” or “blaaang” or whichever way you want to “spit” it, it’s dead and has been for a “mad” long time! Please stop trying to bring it back, “homies,” I beg you. Let it go. And while you’re at it, “no diggity” has a tombstone right next to “bling!”
“Ice” is dead. Yes, diamonds do resemble bits of ice, ice cubes, crushed ice, icicles and block ice, we get it cool rappers. But it’s been over-used to describe jewelry waaay too much. Let it rest in peace already.
“Da bomb” is dead. Stop using it. Nothing is “da bomb” anymore. Sure, you see an attractive man or woman and think, “Wow, they’re ‘da bomb,’ ” but really, don’t say it out loud. Plus, it’s not politically correct in our current events climate.
“Guesstimate” is dead too. Either use the word “guess,” or “estimate,” but not this Frankenstein monster of a word. It should be no more. And its monster cousin, “ginormous,” is also deceased. Use the word “gigantic” or “enormous,” because “ginormous” just sounds like a venereal disease, people!
“Getting jiggy with it.” Dead. No one is jiggy-ing anymore.
Phrases like “talk to the hand” and “you go girl” all have plots at the “Slang Cemetery.” Please visit and place flowers when you get a chance.
Slang words are one of those things in our society that are “dope” one minute and “wack” the next. The key is to use the slang word “eeeaaarrrly” and not get stuck in the “wack” period. That’s when you’re a “winner.”
But for the losers, I’d like to help you out “right-quick.”
Using slang early may be tricky, because using it too early causes confusion. If you’re at a party and you want to describe it as being “lethal,” no one is going to understand you. Let the word breathe for a while and go back to using it in a couple of weeks. You’ll see that using the word “lethal” in its proper time and place could possibly set it up for longevity.
A lot of the slang we use now historically comes from music. For example, jazz “cats” referred to each other as “man” who found “chicks” at “swinging gigs having a ball” and asked the “dames” if they’d like to “rock and roll.” Later, if the “baby” could “dig it” and the “hep cat” was “sharp” whose “chops” were “bad” and could really “blow” his “axe,” and maybe had a little “bread,” she might say “jake” to his invitation and everything would be “cool” and “fly.”
So it’s no wonder slang still comes from music, but it’s the timing and placement of the slang that dictates its likelihood of being accepted.
Hip-hop is one of the biggest suppliers of slang. It’s a genre that has gone through plenty of transformations, and its jargon has morphed too.
The current slang from hip-hop that will expire is:
“That’s what’s up.” “What’s good” is following, and then “that’s the jump off.” They are hopping around on their last legs. Trust me.
The trick of the game is to be on top of it, so you’re not caught with a smirk.
Keep your ear to the “streets.” One shon, peace in the Middle East.
Reach Yohanna Figueroa at firstname.lastname@example.org.