Fri 28 Jan 2011
I love slang. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always liked keeping up with the latest lingo. Our daily conversations are usually rich in slang. I think all Baby Boomers like slang because we grew up with such a rich selection of slang words & many of them have become part of our daily lexicon.
Well believe it or not, Gen Yers also have their own slang. Actually, theirs is probably richer than ours because it contains a whole new language that they invented which is what they use for texting. These are abbreviations of words that make it simpler to write when texting. I think everyone who has been texting has used these code words because they are short & to the point. Codes like LOL, LOTFL, B4, etc.
When I used to shadow my Gen Y staff, one of the things I enjoyed the most was to hear them talk amongst themselves & utilize their slang. At first, it was if they were speaking gibberish but with time, I got to understand it & know what the words meant. The Millennial slang words often are derived from the world of Hip/Hop very much like the way our slang came out of Jazz & Motown. These are words invented in street corners that sound cool & go viral quickly. Many of them stick & become part of our everyday language & cross all socio-economic groups.
As you can imagine, as new words are introduced & become part of our daily conversation, they get added to all the English dictionaries such as Oxford Dictionary of English, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. In the January/February issue of the AARP Bulletin, Betsy Towner highlights 50 of the latest slang additions in her Power of 50 series. Although I have provided a link to the publication you may have to register to look through the magazine but the list is worth it. The Power of 50 always appears on the last page of the magazine.
Here are some of the slang words that made it to the dictionary:
- Automagically. I love that word. My Gen Yers used to say that a lot at work when they were asked to do something without instructions on how to get it done.
- Chillax. Another good one although by now it’s been around for a while. Combination of slang word Chill plus Relax gets you Chillax.
- Frenemy. A friend who you fight with a lot.
- Tweet. Self-explanatory by now.
- Pimp. Think of the reality show “Pimp my Ride”. It means to make something flashy or showy
- Staycation. This has become popular these last couple of years as the recession has made its dent on the economy. You hear it mentioned a lot on radio stations. It means taking a vacation & staying home.
These are my favorites but there are 44 more in the article. Share the list with your Gen Yers & watch them roll their eyes & tell you they already know them. They’ll probably tell you the words are old & no longer cool. But it’s a fun way to connect with them & let them showcase their lingo just like we did with ours when we were their age.
Happy Friday, everybody