I love language, which is handy as I am a writer. I love new words and new expressions; I delight in an ever growing vocabulary. Moving to the East Anglian Fens introduced me to a whole swathe of new words, some examples of which are mizzling; a cross between a mist and a drizzle, and docky; a morning break or lunch where your money was docked for taking that break. Something could be better-er or worse-er. I would never argue it was good English, but it is a charming, rather quirky local expression.
I was in a bar the other night chatting about some of the modern street slang, a chunk of which I have to confess I had never heard of before. Some of it comes from TV shows I have never watched, but the slang is permeating its way into common usage.
Slick – buff – reem, is good or brilliant as in, a new video game is slick
Jel meaning Jealous, from the TV show, The Only Way is Essex.
Bang tidy equates to looking good from the TV show, Celebrity Juice.
Yard is a house.
There are others that are less savoury like “bang your back door in” which I will let you figure out for yourself and “bangers” which in my day referred to sausages, but now means something entirely different!
Words and expressions constantly change and there is a joy in introducing someone to a new collection of terms. A little while back I mentioned Cockney Rhyming Slang to my friend and publisher, Laurie Sanders, of Black Velvet Seductions. It was amusing to get her reactions and indeed try to explain some of the terms. Rhyming slang has the effect of obscuring the meaning of what is said from outsiders. It isn’t clear whether this is intentional, to hide one’s meaning from the law, or to exclude outsiders, or whether it is just a form of group bonding. The way rhyming slang works does tend to exclude those not ‘in the know’, as the substitution of one word for another often relies on reference to a key phrase, which, for the slang to be understood, must be known jointly by those communicating; for example, to get from ‘Hampsteads’ to ‘teeth’, one must be aware of Hampstead Heath. Other example you can find here.
I know in some ways folk can find it a tad irritating when new expressions come along, but there is something totally “Fab and Groovy” about when old expressions come back into regular use by a new generation.