Slang of the 20th Century From Flappers to Rappers _From Tom .ppt

					Slang of the 20th Century:
  From Flappers to Rappers
       (From Tom Dalzell’s Book)

       A Reference for
    The Catcher in the Rye
             Some Opening Notes:

• A) Slang changes quickly
   – 10% retention rate every 10 years (Eble, 1987)
• B) But slang is reincarnated over and over again
   – The same terms are seen every generation
   – Often w/ different meanings (drag, fat, bimbo)
• C) Used almost exclusively by the young
• D) Every generation “slangs” what is important to them
  – Studying their slang is a way to understand a generation
           Some Opening Notes:

• E) Why is slang used?
  – 1) It conceals meaning from parents
    • But do kids use slang in front of them?
  – 2) It identifies you as part of the tribe
  – 3) It defies authority (talking like a rebel)
  – 4) It makes one feel special & important
  – 5) It excludes other peer groups
                I. From 1900-1919
• Before the end of WWI (1919) there was little use
  of slang
  – Why: Mass media was not a “national” phenomenon
     • Terms could not be shared or spread by the youth culture
• College students used slang “locally”

• But there was one NATIONAL exception . . .
             I. From 1900-1919

• 1) 23 Skidoo
  – Three meanings: OK, Good, See You Later
  – This was the 1st National Slang Term (1905)
  II. 1920-30s: From Flappers to Jazz
• 1920s captured by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  – Times were good and decadent
• The early 30s were depression years
  – Times were tough
• The late 30s were swing and big-band
  jazz (the gangster rap of the age)
  – Strong slang influence from blacks
     II. 1920-30s: From Flappers to Jazz
• 2) Half-cut, fried, jammed, juiced, pie-eyed,
  polluted, plastered, shot, tanked
   – Drunk (most popular reference of the age)
• 3) Bat, brawl, buzz, rag, toot, wrestle, egg harbor
   – A dance party
• 4) 5 Things: Gob stick, dog house, gobble pipe,
  skins, git box
   – Instruments: clarinet, bass, sax, drums, guitar
• If you got all 3, you are swanky or tasty
 III. 1940s: From the War to Babies
• 1941-45 saw WWII
  – Much slang was based on male war interactions
• After the war, America experience good
  – “Happy Days Are Here Again” #1 Song
• They seemed to name everything
  – Not many stayed around
    III. 1940s: From the War to Babies
• 5) Drooly, pappy, swoony, BTO, PC,
   – An attractive man (big-time operator, prince
• 6) 5 Things: Moss, blinkers, flops, schnozz, pillars
   – Body Parts: Hair, eyes, ears, nose, legs
• 7) Fatal pill, go-away kiss, lead pill, check out,
  blotto, in the drink
   – WWII Terms: Bullets and dying
• If you got these 3, you are a real hep cat (most
  popular term)
      IV. 1950s: From Cool to Beat
• 1950s were “Happy Days,” at least on the
  – But there were always Fonzies
• Young were restless (rejection of parents)
  – Salinger’s Catcher, Brando’s Wild One, Dean’s
    Rebel, & Elvis’ Jailhouse Rock
• The Beatnick movement also exploded
  – Wore black, drank coffee, & read poetry
  – Terms: Hipster, like, daddy-o, cat, & dig
       IV. 1950s: From Cool to Beat
• 8) Bad news, beast, bomb, hack, kemp, wedge
   – Cars & Hot Rods (many terms)
• 9) Cut the grass, don’t tense, fade out, get bent
   – Insults: Shut up, take it easy, disappear, I hate
• 10) Squaresville, deadsville, dullsville
   – A bad place to be
• If you got all 3, you are cool (#1), creamy, fat,
  mad, hairy
      V. 1960’s: From Surf to Dope
• Breaking away from the conservative 50s
• Rock Peaked:
  – Motown, British Invasion, Acid Rock, Hippie
    Rock, folk, & Woodstock
• It was the most politically active &
  individually expressive decade of the
  – Anti-Vietnam, Feminism, Civil Rights, Free
    Love, Free Speech, Black Power, etc.
      V. 1960’s: From Surf to Dope
• 11) Barf, blow, beets, flash, heave, ralph,
   – To get sick
• 12) Category: Hang ten, stoked, bitchin, dude, bro
   – Surf Terms
• 13) Reefer, gage, mary jane, spliff, jay, doobie,
   – Marijuana
• If you got all 3, you’re bad, boss, freak, suave
  VI. 1970-80s: From Disco to New Wave
• 70s and 80s share a lot in common
• Politically inactive, pop-culture driven, no
  wars, no meaningful direction
  – Called the “Me Generation”
• Really big with 1 or 2 word exclamations!!
  – Basic! (right) Be real!, Bite me!, Cool Beans!, Eat
    me!, Go for it! H0! (great), Heard that!, Not!
  VI. 1970-80s: From Disco to New Wave
• 14) Boff, boink, grind, do the nasty, deed, or wild
   – Sex
• 15) To chill, hang, veg, jell, kick it, ease
   – To do nothing
• 16) Category: Fer sure, Tscha, grody, totally, to the
   – Valley girl: “Gag me with a spoon” As IF
• If you missed these, you are beat, gnarly, harsh,
VII. 1990-2000: Modern Generation
• Times have been good
  – Strong economy, no world wars, high
    college rates
• Three Major Influences
  – Pop culture (TV & Movies)
  – Computers/Technology
  – Hip Hop
                  VII. 1990-2000
• 17) Biscuit, burner, heater, joint, steel, toast
   – Guns
• 18) Category: Later, Peace Out, “How you doin’,” “Wha’s
   – Greetings
• 19) Bones, Franklins, G’s, jacks, yard, clout
   – Money
• 20) Break, bust, chat, comp, freestyle, kick, rip
   – Rap or sing
• 21) Been there, done that; outta my way man; cowabunga;
  hurl; take a pill; babe-osity; Not!; schwing; party on!
   – Bart & Wayne (pop culture icons)
• If you got all 5, you are “Phat,” “Tight,” or “the Bomb”
                Closing Thoughts
• A) Many words are cyclical and reincarnated
  – 1930’s gave us:
    • Suck, sweet, mellow, not!
  – 1940’s gave us:
    • Brutal, cap, fly, scrub, tasty, groovy
  – 1950’s gave us:
    • Clue, hang, kill, nerd, trip, turn on
  – All have been reincarnated at least 3 times
  – Thus, each generation is not as innovative as
    they think
                       Closing Thoughts
• B. Every generation “slangs” the same 8 things
   – 1) girls/guys
   – 2) drinking
       • In 1737, Ben Franklin counted 228 terms for drunkenness (1st slang list)
   – 3) greetings
   – 4) sex
   – 5) popular people
   – 6) unpopular people
   – 7) money
   – 8) drugs
• Are these the most important topics for the young?
• Looks like you, your parents, & your grandparents were not that
  different after all
             Closing Thoughts
• C. What causes “slang” to change?
• Answer: When mainstream America starts using
  – Why Hip-Hop vocabulary changes so quickly
• D. Slang is here to stay
  – And NO, you will not understand the next
  – Isn’t that the point of slang?!
Later Dudes!

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