Tuesday, May 16, 2006
A Rose By Any Other Name...
This morning I've been thinking about language, how it evolves, and how I feel so out of the loop.
Take the word "gay" for instance. Once upon a time, it was widely used to describe happiness or light-heartedness.
When I was a teen it started to become commonly used as a term describing homosexuality. Kids used to snicker at my friend Gaye. When she went to college, she changed her moniker to Gigi.
Nowadays, listening to my 14-year-old nephew and his friends, "gay" seems to be simply used as a descriptor. As in, "That's soooo, you're soooo, she's soooo gay!"
My nephew is a happening dude.
Ok, that really made me sound like an old fart.
Anyway, he prides himself on being "up" on all the trends, although the closest he's been to an urban area is in the back seat of Grandma's station wagon.
So when he visits us, hubby and I learn some new meanings to old words every time.
On his last visit, the nephew spent 30 minutes gelling and messing around with his all-over 1-inch coif. He came out of the bathroom and preened.
I'm so pimp!
I looked at him blankly. "Wha???"
"Pimping? Like Huggy Bear?"
Who's Huggy Bear?
I explain to him about Huggy Bear and that old 70's series Starsky and Hutch.
No, that's not what the word means! It means cool!
Hubby came in and I tell him that our nephew is "pimp".
"You mean like Fly Guy?" Hubby asks.
Who's Fly Guy?
Hubby explains about the Blaxploitation satire movie by Keenan Ivory Wayans called I'm Gonna Git You Sucker.
I mention that both Huggy Bear and Fly Guy were played by the same actor, Antonio Fargas. We muse for a few minutes on what made him such a great "pimp" actor, and how Snoop Dog just didn't cut the mustard as Huggy in the craptastic Starsky and Hutch remake.
Nephew struggles to keep up with this nutty conversation and fails.
God! You guys don't even know what "pimp" means!
You are just sooo gay!
Ouch. Going to go find me some Geritol now...