Speaking Your Own Slanguage

Do you ever get the impression you were raised by strange people? Do you and your friends use strange vocabulary?

My family and friends and I tend to have our own language; we were also big fans of “sniglets” back in the day. I’m not sure how, exactly, we became so hard to understand without a cheat sheet, but I was asked a few times this week “what did you mean?” so here’s a sampler from our personal dictionary.

bukie: (n) (Pronounced: BOO-key). This was my father’s pet name for my brother when he was small. It was sometimes shortened to “bouk” and I’m not sure how it is spelled, but YOU try to spell it. It would be spelled “bookie” if that wasn’t already a word that has an entirely different meaning and pronounciation. It has since been used on pets, usually other people’s dogs. Apparently it only applies to small, annoying, cute things that poop a lot.

craptacular: (adj) Something that is remarkable for its inferiority.

soybomb: (n) Someone who foolishly intrudes on a performance (or an intense, private conversation)–ineffectively, but memorably nonetheless. Source: In 1998, some white git launched himself onto the stage during Bob Dylan’s performance for the Grammays. What he was about isn’t clear: he was just some shirtless dancing dude with “Soy Bomb” written across his bare chest.

cubed: (adj) An update of the old word “square”…incredibly unhip. L7. Dingleberry. Your mom.

A Dave or Sammy fight: (n) Pointless argument about two approximately equivalent annoying things.

defenestratocast: (v) To throw a guitar through a window. (Cribbed from Rich Hall a thousand years ago, when Sniglets were actually funny.)

me me me: (n, adj) When it’s all about you (a catch-up e-mail to your friends after an absence; self-involvement is thus forgiven). Also: selfish, thoughtless behavior. Also: a side project musical group formed by Blur’s Alex James.

dehermitize: (v) When a person comes out of self-imposed isolation and engages in social activities.

deja-poo: (n) Sudden realization that you’ve heard / experienced all this crap before.

poodoo doll: (n) A souvenir I bought in New Orleans that looks exactly like a poo in a casket. Stick Mr Hankey with pins, your enemies get constipation. Or something.

grampage: (n) When a senior citizen starts beating / raping / killing people. Example: James Brown, Robert Blake, Phil Spector.

darly: (n) (Pronounced: DAR-lee). This is sort of a contraction of doll, darling and maybe sweetie. I don’t know of anyone else who uses it. I call anyone I like ‘darly’ at some point or another, probably because ‘darling’ and ‘sweetie’ are only cool if used in the AbFab sense, e.g., together, i.e., “sweetie darling”, and then only with a dose of irony attached. ‘Darling’ and ‘sweetie’ used solo sound too granny or precious to use solo. Like the word ‘precious’. ‘Precious’, ‘cunning’, ‘adorable’…these are all crazy lady words, used to describe Precious Moments figurines or embroidered holiday dog sweaters. So I use ‘darly’. It’s a love word. If I ever blurt out ‘darly’ to you, you’re a friend (or more) of mine. And it is a noun, not an adjective. Ever.

funemployment: (n) The practice of actually enjoying one’s unemployment. This is always a temporary state of affairs.

doddle: (n) A cinch, something extremely simple to do. It’s probably British.

dweezil: (v) To name one’s child inappropriately, usually referring to rock musicians. See: Heavenly Hiraani, Peaches and Tigerlily Geldof-Yates, Moon Unit Zappa, Apple Paltrow-Robinson.

halfwitticism: (n) That knock-knock joke wasn’t funny the first eight times you told it.

fivehead: (n) A big forehead, usually found on balding males. Examples: Reese Witherspoon, Michael Stipe.

glip: (n) The squeak noise made in poorly ripped MP3s.

D O H A B: (n) Dropped On Head At Birth. Probably lifted from a Power Station documentary, after a comment made by drummer Tony Thompson.

glitterpunk: (n) “Torn between two lovers, feelin’ like a fooool…” It’s hard to be both Sid Vicious AND Marc Bolan. But some try.

Gothism: (n) A belief, made especially popular in the late 20th century, that openness when dealing with depression contributes something valuable to the public.

halford: (v) The ability to hide one’s obvious homosexuality. Obviously, can only be used after someone finally outs themselves.

hootie: (n) A bland person with horrible musical taste.

diddums: (phrase) (Pronounced: DID-umz). I have since learned that Brits use this, and I’m going to try to refrain from listing all the Britticisms I was raised with, as no one believes it and it sounds pretentious. It sucks, because I love having been brought up with a very British vocabulary, but my rampant and unrepentant Anglophilia makes it sound WAY pretentious. Which I hate. I really did grow up saying ‘suss’ and ‘flat’ and ‘lift’ and so forth. But I grew up in Savannah, which is a strange sort of place. I think the Britticisms stayed down here because of the relative isolation Savannah enjoyed (until highways and basic cable television). It’s surrounded on three sides by water, it’s an hour away from any town that could reasonably be called ‘sizeable’ and five hours away from any metropolis of any decription. And that’s modern day travel time. Before highways, it probably took weeks to get here. So our ‘native’ language, imported when Oglethorpe came over from Mother England, wasn’t infiltrated much until recently. I think cable television was the biggest erosion factor. When it was just PBS (more British programming) and local channels, the exposure to other dialects, outside of clearly fictional television series, was minimal. Anyway, diddums is used mostly as a sarcastic and unsympathetic reply to a complaint, or as a playful remark to a friend crowing about a minor achievement. “Damnit! He ate all my Captain Crunch!” “Aw, diddums?”

tump: (v) This applies only to liquid-filled containers, and it’s what you do when you knock them over. You tump them over. Don’t ask.

infuritainment: (n) Anything that has entertainment value based solely on its most annoying qualities. See: game shows, reality shows.

Jerrytown: (n) A collection of Deadheads who don’t have anything to do anymore but show up and hang in parking lots at other crappy band’s concerts.

Jimmy Hoffa Conversion: (n) Technical term for a situation where something you have relied upon suddenly and magically vanishes without a trace.

King Fecalis: (prop. n) Because he is the opposite of King Midas, everything King Fecalis touches turns to feces. If he is in a band, he is not permitted by other band members to tamper with the mix. Do not allow King Fecalis to make plans for a social outing. You will be hit by lightning or attacked by rabid wombats.

limpbizkorn: (collective n) A generic term for testosterone-poisoned crappy rock bands.

johnandyoko: (adj) When two people are so in love or co-dependent that you begin to think that they are one person.

sursie: (n) (Pronounced: SIR-see). This is the consolation prize you get after your parents have had a fun time holidaying elsewhere without your annoying little rugrat ass. They come home, dole out hugs, and then distribute sursies from their coat pockets. I suspect it’s short for “surprise present”, and it did mutate into meaning a lagniappe of sorts, a little something extra. (Which is what lagniappe means.)

britneys: (n) Synthetically enhanced breasts. Source: obvious. Vaguely related to Cockney rhyming slang “bristols” (titties), from “Bristol cities”.

bubblegum: (adj) Used to negatively descibe trendy pop songs that are just too happy, shallow, and myopic.

buckwheating: (v) Inability to enunciate properly. Also: fargling, from the Weird Al video that made fun of Nirvana’s “Smells Like teen Spirit” where Yankovick actually put marbles in his mouth.

“But…(pause)…it goes to eleven.”: (phrase) An all-purpose evasive non-answer when you are stumped by some simple technical question. From Spinal Tap.

bukowski: (n) Someone who is belligerent and drunk. Can be used, if judiciously, as an adjective.

Captain Obvious: (prop n) The person who always points out the things we already know. Often hangs with Agent 21.

Agent 21: (prop. n) The member of your group of friends who just turned 21. Usually forced to go buy alcohol when the group runs out. Usually done for revenge for all the times you bought booze for them when they were under 21.

caraoke: (n) The practice of singing along to the radio while driving.

carmony: (v) Two or more people singing together inside a vehicle.

chimneyfish: (n) One who smokes a lot and drinks a lot, often at the same time.

pocket dragon: (n) A cigarette lighter.

deathstyle: (n) Habitual overindulgence in the bad habits of a rock’n’roll lifestyle, especially smoking.

crappy coaster: (1) (n) What a CD is called when there is an error burning data/writing to it. (2) (n) A CD by a band that sucks. See also: any unsolicited AOL software that arrives at your domicile.

nimnul: (n) It sounds vaguely Yiddish to me. Like “nimrod” plus “null” (nothing). By Biblical Accounts, Nimrod was “a mighty hunter before the Lord.” According to the Old Testament, he established a great kingdom and founded a number of important Babylonian and Assyrian cities. Nimrod was also two different Marvel Comics characters and the name of an album by Green Day. But where I grew up, a nimrod was a dork. In one particular 1940s cartoon, Bugs Bunny sarcastically referred to the hapless hunter Elmer Fudd as “Poor little Nimrod.” Although “nimrod” had already been used mockingly for a number of years, Bugs’ popularity probably gave this “idiot” sense a huge boost, and it is now used in contexts that have nothing to do with hunting. As for the Yiddish comment, because I went to school with a lot of Jewish kids, I understand a lot of Yiddish. I don’t always spell it correctly, as I suck at German. Oy vey iz mir. What a kakameimey idea. He’s got some chutzpah, acting like he can just cut in line like that. Stop kvetching, no one cares. Nobody knows what the hell they are doing, it was a real mischigos. I think he’s a little meshugginer, he was wearing a crocheted potholder on his head yesterday. if I don’t have a little nosh soon, I’m going to starve. Let’s fress, I don’t care if the food is trayf, I’m not keeping kosher, I’m a goyah. Maybe we could get a geshmak babka from the bakery. Ess, ess, mein kinder. I was like to plotz, I ate so much. I don’t know from (whatever). I got bubkes, nada. Nobody knows the tsures I’ve seen, nobody but The Jesus. I had to schlep a huge bag up three flights. Don’t be so farbissener, she won fair and square. (Recognize that word from Austin Powers, now? It means ‘bitter’.) He’s a little momzer sonuvabitch is what he is. He ate the whole megillah. (Now you know why Hanna Barbera’s Magilla Gorilla was named that.) What a mishmash of Yiddish. This shiksah thinks she knows, what a dumkopf. A leben ahf dir! A sof! A sof!

bollix: (v) Obviously derived from the British “bollocks”, but here it’s used as a verb. Use: You really bollixed that up.

copacetic: (adj) When everything is finer than fine.

couchsurfer: (n) Homeless or under-employed musician who lives for a few days/weeks on one friend’s couch then moves on to others. See: Chumbawumba song of the same title.

ambinoxious: (adj) The ability to tick people off left and right.

ambisexual: (adj) Of undetermined sexual orientation. Examples: early David Bowie, Placebo’s Brian Molko.

arsefication: (v) Making a mess of a job or the act of saying something stupid.

artattack: (n) The act of feeling an overwhelming desire to create art.

woo girls: (n) Those annoying drunk chicks, usually bro hos, who shriek “WOO!” at concerts. It has its own hand sign, the reverse rock fist. (Fold your thumb and pinkie down.)

rock fist: (n) The devil’s horns, the “you rock!” hand sign. Also used by surfers, with a waggling motion, to mean “hang loose, brah”.

audient: (n) Singular of audience. A pitifully small turn-out at a rock ‘n’ roll gig.

clownmunch: (n) Laughable musicians who wear greasepaint on their faces, or their retarded fans. Synonyms: Juggalo, Juggalette. I never utter the synonyms. Also: a person that is stupid in your eyes, or someone that makes you angry. Derived from “buttmunch”. Examples: Insane Clown Posse, Slipknot, Greasepaint band members

Barkie Bag: (n) Leftovers (“doggy bag”) that you bring home from a restaurant for your pooch or for your musician roommate. See also: roach.

roach: (n) Someone, usually a musician or artist without a good day job, who is comfortable with freeloading off other people’s dinner plates or from leftovers.

bassgod: (n) Person who is extraordinarily talented on the bass guitar.

guitarzan: (n) A person who is remarkably proficient with a guitar. Synonyms: guitargod, guitarstud. (Source: Ray Stevens)

bear: (n) A musician who leaves the recording studio only to sleep or use the bathroom. Synonym: Studio hermit, phantom roommate.

beelzebug: (n) Satan appearing in the form of an intermittent electronic / equipment problem you can’t locate.

craptop: (n) P O S laptop computer.

P O S: (n or adj) Piece Of Shit. I owned a Ford P O S named “Red Sonya” once.

beer fairy: (n) Malevolent invisible elf that takes all your money, all your smokes, and then clubs you repeatedly in the head.

Berk Bastardly: (prop. n) Having its origin in the evil cartoon sub-genius Dirk Dastardly, it has now come to represent every lecherous man at a bar who (but for want) would be twirling a waxed mustache while staring down your blouse.

bert: (n) A unibrow, word derived from the Sesame Street character. You can debert with a nice pluck or wax job.

B F E: (n.) A place out in the middle of nowhere. Acronym for Bumfuck Egypt.

Meowleluia Chorus: (prop n) A game in which you sing the word “miaou” to classical or religious tunes either solo or in groups. This really impresses the guys at the fast food drive-thru.

nillas: (n) Caucasian people, usually young males, usually bros, who labour under the delusion they are a certain type of African-American, and who thus adopt certain fashions (a.k.a. “ghetto”), speak in Ebonics and profess an interest in rap music, or funk. Actual African-Americans are embarrassed by them. Synonym: wiggas (but I HATE that word).

puffdaddy: (v) To take a preexisting project, such as a presentation, ad copy, or design, and even though it really doesn’t need improving, you make a few changes, make it worse, and then pass it off as entirely your own work.

rockasaurus: (n) Senior citizen that loves rock-n-roll or plays in a rock-n-roll band, especially one who refuses to retire and who cavorts in an undignified manner whilst clad in tight pants. Examples: Tom Jones, Mick Jagger

bibe: (n) A bisexual vibe. Example: Brian Molko, metrosexuals.

Shemp: (n) Band member considered most expendable/least talented. Synonym: Ringo.

bogarting: (v) Hogging the combustible comestibles.

borked: (adj) Broken, defunct, not working, screwed, fukt, dysfunctional, buggered, shafted, knackered, duff, murphed, farkt.

magic smoke: (n) The stuff inside expensive electric things that you can smell if you accidentally zorch them.

zorch: (v) The verb for the state of a thing or situation after it gets borked.

farkt: (adj) See above. Also: farqued, fucked.

breastaurant: (n) A bar or restaurant with scantily-clad waitresses. Example: Hooter’s.

wooga: (n) (Pronounced: WOO-gah). Used for fat pets. Also: woogums. Use: Who’s a big wooga? He is! He’s a big wooga!

schmurgles: (plural n.) It’s a combination of snuggles, cuddles and smushes. Affectionate contact with loved ones, like your wooga or darly. Non-sexual.

rumorf: (n) This is the idiot who starts every chat session with “a/s/l?” (age/sex/location). The next question is invariably “are you male or female”, translated into Luser as “R u M or F?” Geddit?

abbeverate: (v) To offer a drink or provide a drink.

swag: (n) Supposedly it is an acronym for ‘Something We All Get’. Usually this is promotional stuff like freebie CDs and pinback buttons and stickers, left-over little goodies from shows or business meetings, etc.

Trustafarian: (n) A wealthy collegiate hippie who sports grimy dreadlocks, never showers, smells like gorilla hork, and can afford to consume enormous quantities of drugs thanks to their rich family. Will commit at least four years to fashionable reactionary political causes.

Ugly Lights: (n) The bright lights they turn on in the concert hall, bar or nightclub when it’s about to close to get everyone to go the hell home already. The usual antidote to a mild case of beergoggles.

umfriend: (n) Someone you’re sleeping with who isn’t your girlfriend, boyfriend, or significant other. See also: justafriend

justafriend: (n) How jerks refer to the person they are obviously dating when said person is out of earshot.

Velvis: (n) An Elvis Presley painting done on black velvet.

vonTrapping: (v) When you break out into song in a public place, like in The Sound of Music. “The BANK is aaaaaliiiiive, with the sounds of MUUUUUsic!”

weefreaks: (n) The very short children at the all-ages concert. It’s cruel to stand in front of them.

acrapulate: (v) To collect a large amount of useless junk over a period of time. I have acrapulated an entire room full of toys, art supplies, and other stuff. It makes moving a real bear.

agnorant: (adj) Arrogant and ignorant.

bumcakes: (n) Sort of an all-purpose word. It can be used as a mild expletive or be a nicer way of saying “arse”. Variation: buncakes. See: Spinal Tap. (“Big bottom, big bottom! Talk about buncakes, my gal’s got ’em!”) While we’re being fifth graders here (ha), I read a blog today that taught me a new car game. It’s called “Anal Cars”. You just add “Anal” to the car names you see. You get fun things like “Anal Dart”, “Anal Probe”, “Anal Hummer”, “Anal Explorer” and so forth. It’s almost as amusing with the word “Butt”. (“Butt Mountaineer”! “Butt Wagoneer”!) It’s akin to that Chinese restaurant game, where you add “…between the sheets” or “…in bed” to whatever your fortune cookie’s fortune says. Hilarial. I can imagine frustrated fortune cookie makers trying the darndest to come up with incorruptible cookie fortunes.

Fun for the whole family! Give it a try!



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