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Slang from the Past!

While we were working with our local newspaper on this story they just published about us (click here for more behind the scenes info on this story), one idea that came up was to do a “hot and not” list of our slang lessons. That is, a list of recent lessons on cool slang and a list of older, out-dated slang lessons.

The idea was ultimately scrapped, but not before I spent a couple of hours creating just such a list. While I am proud to say that we never actually did a lesson on “gettin’ jiggy wit it,” here are six slang lessons that either because of the context or the ever-changing nature of slang, are now rather amusing.

6.old G” –  First off, the quote in this lesson comes from rapper Jadakiss. Um, who? But furthermore, I think even old Gs realize it’s not 1992 anymore and have quit talking about how gangsta they are.

5.dope” – While this term is still commonly used (although not around anyone’s grandmother, of course), what dates this lesson is one of the example sentences that was used: “Mark bought a dope CD yesterday. It’s by this group called the Gorillaz. Have you heard of them? I think they’re from England.”

4.  girlie men” – This one probably hasn’t seen much use since Hanz and Franz were on SNL, but the kicker here is that the quote for this lesson comes from none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger,  of Terminator and now Governor of California fame.

3.wife beater” – I’m glad this one went out of style. I haven’t heard anyone call an undershirt a “wife beater” in several years. It used to be kind of sketchy to walk around wearing a “wife beater.” Now it’s probably sketchier to use the term “wife beater” to talk about anything other than a criminal.

2. off the hook” – This phrase truly died only recently when Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele starting using it in interviews frequently. Nothing kills slang like someone who is completely and totally uncool using it to try to be cool.

1. the three R’s” – I’ve come to learn that some crazy stuff happened before I started working here two years ago, but even I am surprised that this phrase became an Ebaby! lesson. I mean, most of our out of date stuff comes from the ’90s. I don’t know how far back you have to go to get to when this was a cool phrase. Maybe you could ask Donald Trump, who gives us the lesson’s quote.

So there you have it, the “not” list. The “hot” list isn’t nearly as funny. That’s probably why this idea never made it into the newspaper. But nonetheless, here’s what I came up with.

5.bail out” – If you wanted to read a newspaper after October 2008, you needed to know this one.

4.Joe six-pack” – It’s hard to believe it’s been less than a year since the US presidential election launched an unknown plumber into fame. Give this one 5 more minutes and it will be in the “not” pile.

3.such as” – While not really slang, this one counts as “hot” because it was inspired by the incredible and viral misuse of this term by Miss South Carolina.

2.dialed in” – Maybe it’s just me, but I hear this one all the time now.

1.watered down” –  And finally, in the age when any band that was popular at any time can come back and make money on a tour with one or even zero original members, this one comes to us from Rage Against the Machine, who reached their prime back when most of the “not” list was in style and remained dormant until last year.

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