Speak Up

Take your frazzledrip and shove it and I don’t care that “The Weeknd” sounds like a TV news show. So I’m out of touch, so what? Keeping up to date on the words and phrases of the day is an impossible tradition for each generation and as they say, you can’t know everything.

It’s very easy to feel uninformed, irrelevant and outdated like an old glass of milk.

Frazzledrip is a QAnonish conspiracy that drew the attention of none other than our most disgraceful member of congress, the Honorable Marjorie Taylor Greene, who represents the great state of Georgia and recently was greeted with a standing applause by fellow Republican House members.

Frazzledrip is a conspiracy theory inspired by a video that doesn’t exist, specifically that there is a dark web snuff film that featured then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and longtime aide Huma Abedin sexually assaulting and murdering a young girl. They also cut off and wear the girl’s face. Frazzledrip is an outgrowth of the Pizzagate conspiracy that claims the Clintons are running a child sex porn ring out of a Washington, D.C., pizza parlor. So no, Frazzledrip is not the newest energy drink.

The Weeknd? No it’s not a misspelling or a TV show but it is the performer headlining Sunday’s Superbowl. His real name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye and he has sold more than 75 million records and doesn’t that make me out of touch, big time?

Usually if I ask my son about some puzzling word or mysterious performer he tells me I’m five years late so that when I do catch up it’s time to fall behind the times with the next trend. But my son will some day be in my shoes and some day his son will look at him funny when he asks a question as foolish as the one I just posed.

Well mutatis mutandis is all I have to say. Don’t know what that means all you condescending millennials? Well don’t fret because mutatis mutandis is used only 4 percent of the time, on average. It is derived from the Latin and means “things having been changed that have to be changed” and is usually used in law, philosophy and economics and was first used in 1525, along with other words like absurdity, akin, angular, annihilate, baster, bridegroom, brigantine, capitularch, coffin, collude, confluent, disclosure, discontented, drachma, handy and king’s ransom.

Here are a few things that are just this side of Greek to me.

“Bumble” is going public and expects to raise as much as $1 billion and it is not a kind of tuna, but rather a novel dating app that lets women make the first move.

“GameStop” is a store that caters to gamers, that much I knew, but in mid-2019, a user of Reddit (if you don’t know what Reddit is, just Google it) posted a picture on an online forum depicting a single $53,000 investment in the video-game retailer GameStop. The investment soared to $48 million, sending shock waves through the stock market that are still being felt.

“Tik Tok,” known in China as Douyin, is not a digital clock but it is a video-sharing social networking service owned by Chinese company ByteDance and it is the latest worldwide phenomenon.

Every generation has its secret language to get over on earlier generations. Does you millennial daughter have a “girlypop” and is the answer “yeet”? Did you get your “norts and jorts” and parents beware of “pregame” festivities before the “darty” and that is not what you might think. If your kid calls you a “headass” don’t get overly concerned. And if the child has a “fomo” try to tell him or her not to worry and if you find your offspring has been “wig snatched” it’s time for a talk.

My parents got over on their parents with their own unique vocabulary that certainly left their parents rolling their eyes and in the dark.

There might have been talk in the 1940s about an “Able Grable” and how the “Ameche” was “above my pay grade. The “anchor clanker” coming home on leave is looking for a “bird” and hopefully he won’t raid the “Bobbysox Brigade.” So the “chucklehead” puts on his “cheaters,” stuffs a few “clams” in his wallet and goes on to “cookin with helium.”

The ’60s, my generation, popularized some of the best slang of the 20th century.

We might have got together wearing our “freak flag” and made sure we would “hang loose” in case the “fuzz” was following and wouldn’t that be “far out” or maybe a “bummer.” The guys hoped to collect their “bread” and get together with a “foxy lady” and the guys would greet each other with “some skin” before wondering what was in their “bags” and commenting on “digging” a girlfriend’s “bippy.” And then later, I might want you to “lay on me” your thoughts about the war while asking you to p lease stop “bogarting’ the popcorn at the movies or the joint and not to be so “heavy.” And when it was all over, it was time to “split.”

The language of the ’90s got old real quick, in no small part because of the speed that information flies through the Internet and becomes obsolete so quickly. People got together and called “wazzup” and friends talked about having a “chillax” while they were “buzzin” and how they hoped none of them were “pwned” by some “biatch” or “dissed” by a friend.

Music also changes lightning quick. As far as my kids are concerned, I might be listening to Duke Ellington, whoever he was. Last year, Billboard listed the 50 favorite songs of the year and thankfully, one was by a band I remember, though they are all in their late 90s, The Rolling Stones, who sang “Living in a Ghost Town” and another old friend on the list was Bob Dylan, who set aside his walker long enough to record “Murder Most Foul.”

The rest might as well be aliens, including Halsey, Jessie Reyez, Zebra Katz, Sada Baby, Lil Mosey, Surfaces, Arcangel, Sech & Romeo Santos, Remi Wolf, Conan Gray, Chika, RMR, Mallrat, Gorillaz and DaBaby feat. OK, I am old but kids, you will get there on day, too, so hold off on the judgment and the sarcasm.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Phil Garber

Phil Garber

Journalist for 40 years and now a creative writer