Yo, Yo, Yo

my slang addressed

If you need the backstory, first read Dana’s excellent entry and then you can read the continual backlash/debate over on three way action. If you don’t feel like going elsewhere to read (but do read Dana’s entry, it rules), here’s the basic rundown:

Over the past couple of months I’ve been hearing quiet email complaints cursing me for my use of the word “yo.” One visit to the forum will show you that it’s become pretty popular lately. And apparently it’s popping up in other journals and forums as well. Of course I didn’t make the word up, but the trend has been credited to me. It’s flattering, really, to think that catchphrases and slang can catch on like that through this community. But I mostly just wrote back to these people and quietly apologized for their own personal hells that they have created (by reading). It wasn’t a public outcry before. Now it is.

And I don’t want to become the Wayne’s World of journalling. Or Beavis and Butthead. I don’t want to be Dana Carvey. Kinda. No, it’s okay.

But in my defense, my life is filled with slang. Filled with catchphrases and slang. Some have worked out, some have bitten the dust quite quickly. You might just be hearing “Yo” all of the time, but I live with Slap Happy Pappy. I’ll explain. Here’s a list of slang you could hear just about any day if you hung out in my apartment enough. Perhaps it’ll fill you in on the Squishisms. Perhaps it’ll help you out, like that day poor Toni couldn’t understand the email conversation going on between me and stee. But I want you to see that I really don’t originate most of the stuff here. It’s pulled from lots of people and places and things. Okay, here’s a list of the slang– the good, the bad, and the nevergotanywhere.

  • “Yo.”– The big one. Apparently. I don’t even use it that much. And I use it here and in email much more than I write it. Ray often tries out sentences with the word “yo” and asks if he used it correctly. Obviously I had nothing to do with the creation of this word. I don’t even remember when I started writing it. Seriously.
  • “Science is Tight”– This is from Mr. Show with Bob and David. One of my favorite sketches, mostly for the line, “Damn. His science is too tight!” which I’m not even sure if that’s how it goes anymore. That’s just how I remember it now. We laughed so hard and then started saying it to end an argument. Someone makes a good point and you know you’re wrong, instead of saying, “You’re right,” which is a pussy way to end an argument, you just say, “Damn. You’re science is too tight.” You could also say, “Check out my tight science, yo.” That’s when you’re bragging. I don’t know. I’m really a weird girl.
  • (nod your head yes. shake your head no. nod your head yes with big eyes. shake your head no with a squint. big eyes quick nod. slow shake of head with grave face)– this is done in my apartment probably seventeen times a day. Completely ripped off from Eddie Izzard. If you haven’t seen Eddie Izzard’s “Dressed to Kill” do something about that immediately. It’ll make your stomach hurt. I’m in awe of him. 
  • “jag”– (also said as “ya jag”) Pittsburghese. Eric’s from Pittsburgh. He doesn’t say jag without lots of irony. It’s a funny word. You might hear Dennis Miller use it every once in a while, too. Used in place of “jack off.” Must be said in full Pittsburgh accent for full effect.
  • “every girl’s your girlfriend”– Kids of Widney High reference.I’m starting to sound like I’m explaining the lyrics to Paul’s Boutique, here.
  • “punk rock”– to steal, or take advantage of something. Like, pulling quickly out into traffic when it’s not your turn. “Punk rock the left here.”
  • “froggy’s gone a courtin'”– one of Eric’s that never took off. Supposed to be like when someone’s getting his schwerve on with another. Oh, I used more slang. Uh, when one person is trying to get the affections of another and said person is suddenly missing. “Where’s Trejo?” “I don’t know, but I think Froggy’s gone a courtin’.”Yeah, it just didn’t catch on.
  • “Nickelito”– as in, “I’ll be nickelito”, also “nickeltito.” Another creation of Eric’s for playing pool. When you make a nickel ante.
  • “JOHNNY!”– said in huge exasperation like a fifties poodle skirt girl wishing her boy would come home. “When you comin’ home, Johnny?!” Said when you miss your sweetheart, who is going out of town, or when discussing future distance. “I just booked my flight for next month.” “JOHNNY!” “I know.”Best used when it’s late at night and you can lean up and scream into the moon.

    Not to be confused with “Aces, Johnny! Aces!” which is when you’ve got your gangster voice on. Another topic completely.

  • “what’s the haps, peeps?”– oh, god. I’m so glad we’re over this one. This was when Eric was in full Casper mode and wanted us to call him Daddy. He’d say it all the time. It was usually met with laughter. But then, like most of Eric’s catchphrases, it slowly caught on.
  • Manson Lamps– from The Sopranos. When Richie was staring at Tony once, Tony said, “Quit giving me those Manson Lamps.” Hysterical. Been changed sorta to mean that weird glint in the eyes that girls have when you know they’re just crazy bad girls that are CRAZY. You know that look. All wide eyed and glistening. Crazy girls. Stay away from the Manson Lamps. They boil bunnies.Boil bunnies is a reference to… never mind. I can’t go back that far.
  • Something McSomething– Fill in whatever you want. I remember thinking we made this up after a night of watching Trejo and Eric play Fifa on the playstation. Someone was Kicky McSwerve or something like that. Then everyone was Drinky McStoleMyBeer or Snappy McInTheWrong, and then suddenly it was on last season’s “Friends.” It has morphed into more elaborate names, like Baron Von LoudClumpyShoes for our upstairs neighbor, or Hungry O’Eatsmefood.Which leads to…
  • “I don’t want to be all Johnny Beatsme.”– I think that this may have originally come from Swingers, when Trent says he was up for some afterschool special like “Jamie Eat Something.” It’s when you don’t want to be an afterschool special or a bad person. Kind of like those children’s books with Little Miss Knows It All and Mr. Normal. “I’m not trying to be all Jimmy KnowsItAll or Sally GivesMeShit here.” It’s the new one around here right now. We’re very good at it.
  • “My Own Fruit Pie!”– taken from Bobby Hill. Said with complete despair. Throw your hands up.
  • “Beyonce”– lead singer of Destiny’s Child. When you’re trying to be a good strong independent woman. You’re trying to get your Beyonce on. Thanks to Allison on this one.
  • “Nice (something), trash“– another Allison creation. “Nice hair, trash.” Must be said with Alabama accent.
  • Jujubi– the latest creation, created at midnight last night. Pronounced Hoo-Hoo-Bee. The best name in the world. Must be said in song, by changing the words to fit the word “jujubi.”
  • y’all– I broke down. After fifteen years in the south, you will too. I still say you guys, so whatever. They’re interchangeable. Y’all just sounds better when you’re stressed. “Y’all!” Must add “gah” noise with the back of your throat right before you say it.
  • “That’s no way to live.”– another Allison one. “Y’all, that is no way to live.” Can be said like this: “So, yesterday Ray found these stickers in this disgusting men’s magazine that we get from an old tenant who obviously liked porn and had erectile dysfunction, and this sticker is of a squirrel with giant testicles and he laughed and laughed and laughed and slowly put it on the front door of the house even though I was screaming and begging him to stop and he just put it on there and now I’m staring at giant squirrel balls. Y’all. That is no way to live.” Can also say, “That ain’t right, yo.”
  • “arrgh.”– Say it like a pirate, but like you’re dejected. The dejected pirate is a long story, but the sound still remains.
  • “dap”– Okay. So Eric and Jeff did a sketch. The sketch had dap. Dap is when you hit fists, like when you give a high five. This sketch had several types of dap. I had people giving dap to me for like, two years. He’s still known as the dap guy. It’s like dating the wiz. Nobody beats him! (that is a Seinfeld reference. I’m trying here, people. I’m used to just writing and going on.)
  • “Jackass”– this was Ray’s before the show. He’s currently trying to change it to “jackhole” but I don’t think it’s catching on. Said with a shake of the head and a quiet drawl. “Jackass.”
  • Pink Panther– when someone leaves the party without saying goodbye because that would take longer and they wouldn’t get to leave right away. “Did Brently and Anna Pink Panther out of here, or are they still by the beer?”
  • “Fantastic.”– said slowly and in the voice of our friend Marc. You kinda have to know marc for this one.
  • “crazy-busy”– or crazy-whatever. Said for emphasis.
  • strummy strummy la-la– my description for eric’s type of music. alt.country or alt. anything, really. Strummy men singing about girls and dogs and beer.
  • “I’m just sayin'”– I heard this credited to me once, but I really don’t know if that’s true. I can’t remember where I picked that up.
  • “A fucking donut! A fuckin’, fuckin’ donut.”– another Eddie Izzard thing. Said when you start talking gibberish. You must see the show to get that one.
  • (fall asleep)– comes from a very old story (an entry is around here somewhere about it) where there’s a pill you take that makes you fall asleep when you say the wrong thing to your boyfriend or girlfriend. “I wanna work there. Every girl’s all pretty.” “What?!” “Zzzz.” “You’d better be asleep.”
  • “The pop in”– people that come by unexpected. “Hate the pop in!” Seinfeld’s a big influence around here.
  • “Musical Genius!”– said to end any music argument with Eric. He once claimed that LL was the only rapper that could make a greatest hits album because he’s a musical genius. Chuy and I laughed and laughed and laughed.
  • “Bring it.”– You have seen Bring It On, haven’t you? Best. Movie. Ever.
  • “The Lettuce” also, “The Scrambled Eggs”– blankets in our house. Name is determined by color of blanket. When heaped in a pile, they mostly resemble that food.
  • “Nunny”– Eric’s mom’s word for a nap.
  • “My seven, MY SEVEN!”– said in excitement. We watched the high rollers room in a Louisiana casino once and Chuy watched Pai Gow. We asked how you play. He said that’s all he learned from watching it for twenty minutes.
  • “dude.” “rock.” “rad.” “man.” “totally.”– I lived in California when I was a kid. Some things never leave
  • “Huzzah!”– said in excitement. Like you’re at a Renaissance Festival, holding your stein of mead. Huzzah!
  • “Biz-natch”– This is really Chuy’s thing, mostly because he’s held onto it the most, but it’s like a new form of Pig Latin. “I’m goin’ to the Stiz-nore to pick us up some Biz-near. Y’all need anything?”
  • For a while there was this incredibly annoying thing where you’d pretend you were Michael Winslow (the guy from Police Academy that made all of the noises) and make sounds for other people in the room. I’m very glad that’s over.
  • “Old Timey Whistling”– Oh, this will soon be over, I’m hoping. Eric has picked up this new scary whistle that sounds like ghosts. I don’t know. He does it. Once you try and do it, you can’t stop. It’s instant fun.
  • when you’re pacing, trying to remember something, you start marching and singing a Sousa song. That’s Mr. Show as well.
  • “Did you just say chicken?!”– an old one between me and Chuy. Said when you don’t understand what someone’s talking about. Then we break into crazy giggles like big ladies on the Jerry Springer show that have to collapse on each other and say, “I can’t believe you just said that!”
  • “Y’all want some chicken?”– Kids of Widney High. Don’t get them confused.
  • “Crazy Liza”– the most brilliant card ever created. Chuy has these poker cards from the Rio in Vegas that have this incredibly scary horribly painted up Liza Minelli on them, and she’s the Queen of Hearts or something. Whenever that card comes up me and my friend Brian do the Crazy Liza face, sing the Crazy Liza song and then just laugh for about an hour. God damn, I miss that. Y’all send me a Crazy Liza, okay?
  • “hot as balls”, also “cold as balls”– Eric’s thing, but he gets a kick out of it when I use it. “People, it’s hot as balls in here. Fix it.”
  • “For real, for real” or “rightrightright?”– said when you understand and want someone to continue talking. Stoners say “oh, right on.” We say “right, right, right.”
  • “I said Asswine!”– when no one laughs at your joke but you want everyone to know that you just made a joke and you want to be acknowledged.
  • “Scoliosis, Scoliosis”– represents a bad sketch. The capper for the worst improv show Monks ever did.
  • “we’ve got the funk of forty thousand years here, people”– from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” but said when your house has a bad smell.
  • “I’m not trying to build a house on your nuts or anything”– Eric’s thing. I don’t know. When you’re complimenting someone but not trying to look like you’re gushing.
  • “Yeah, that’s some good work there, people. Nice work.”– Said in Chief Wiggum voice. Eric’s only impersonation. Said to end a conversation.

It’s a wonder I have time for real conversation with all of these inside conversations going on. For real.

When I was a kid my mother would always know when I had made a new friend because my voice and speech patterns would change. I’d be sticking my tongue out more or develop a lisp. “Which one of your friends does that?” she’d ask. It annoyed her because she thought I wasn’t being independent. It ended up being a good thing, I think, as I’m a rather good mimic these days, and I love the way people talk. I like listening to different rhythms and slang and such. I guess what I’m saying here is that even though I have a strange, fast way of talking, it’s a mix of the people I love.

Strangely enough last night I had a dream that I was speaking at a web conference, not unlike Journalcon, and I was talking so quickly and so crazy that people were frightened of me. I guess I should have seen this coming.

Leave a Reply