- Slang /slaNG/ noun: A type of language that consists of words and phrases that are regarded as very informal, are more common in speech than writing, and are typically restricted to a particular context or group of people.
- The origins and functions of slang is quite interesting. Slang works very much like memes, in that if a slang word doesn’t gain popularity moving from a subculture to the dominate culture it will die out. On the other hand, slang words or expressions that do make it to the dominate culture will be very difficult to kill off. “Cool” is a spectacular example of a recent (in the modern era) bit of slang that made it mainstream and doesn’t look to be loosening its grip on contemporary vernacular any time soon. Lots of words make it to the big show temporarily, but quickly fizzle, primarily because of competing synonyms. Slang with origins in surfing tends to nibble around mainstream language, but ultimately falls short in moving from the surfboard to the boardroom. It’s not unheard of, but would be uncommon to read or hear “rad” or “gnarly” upon closing a major political or business deal. How and why one piece of slang achieves mainstream status over another is tough to say, but trying to force it is usually a recipe for failure. In the immortal words of Regina George, “Stop trying to make Fetch happen”.
- One could make the argument that the beginning of language overlapped with the beginning of slang. I would also venture to guess that one of the earliest uses of slang was a phallic reference. In the book A Mind of Its Own: A Cultural History of the Penis, author David Friedman is able to trace penis slang all the way back to the Ancient World and leaves no reason to doubt that penis slang goes all the way back to pre-historical times. And so, in the rich tradition of penis euphemisms and slang I thought it useful and pertinent to share some of the
idiotice xamplesgems used throughout the ages. (Pecker, Johnson, Prick, Dick, Cock, Rooster, Lil’ Billy, Wang, Octagon, Snake, Python, Cobra, One eyed monster, Trouser snake, Tramp killer, Lil’ Buddy, Lil’ Friend, Half-mast, Tool, Drill Hammer, Screwdriver, Screw, Nail, Joystick, Elevator, Floppy Drive, Hard Drive, Hardware, Gearshift, The worm, Bookworm, Wand, Sword, Boomerang, Hot pocket, Shaft, Cyclops, Knight, WMD, Weiner, Hot dog, Popsicle, Lollipop, Kielbasa, Stick, Ice Cream Cone, Morning Wood, The Colonel, The Lieutenant, The Tank, The Battleship, The land mine, The rifle, The grenade, The machete, The water gun, Gun, Banana, Carrot, Zucchini, Cucumber, Pickle, The Major, The seaman, The key, The shotgun, Water hose, Twix, Snickers bar, Bag of tricks, Nuclear missile, 3======>, Arete, Stick-Clip, Daisy Chain, Figure 8, Friend, GriGri, Piton, Prusik, Tube Chock, Ascender, Hollow point, The member, Chairman Mao, Mallet, Pyramid, Elephant, Fuck Truck, The mustang Cane, Rod, Staff, Plug, Cigar, Nebraska State Capitol, Turtle Head, Undercover Brother, The lightsaber, Katana, Sniper Rifle, The sticky grenade, Straw, Remote Control, The silver bullet, Drumstick, Bone, Mast, The machine, The goods, The hardware, Junk, Bulge, The sequoia, Bushwhacker, The lawnmower, Hoover tower, The Washington monument, The Lincoln memorial, The pocket monster, The pocket rocket, The mongoose, The ground squirrel, The trombone, Dong, Torpedo, Sausage, Philly Cheesesteak, The pendulum, Toy soldier, Antenna, The titanic, Zeus, Ares, Flute, Meat Stick, Taco Hammer, Weiner, Bearded War Hammer, Piss Pump, Chode, Meat Thermometer, Pizzle, Egg Roll, Jim and the Twins, Karl Malone, Whizzle, Baby Arm, Ding-Dong, Gut Stick, Trump Combover, Moon Pie, Ruthless Dragon, Frozen Vegetable, Rickety Fence, Mandle, Moose Tail, Iron Chef, Fern Gully) Penis slang is so ridiculously unoriginal and generic that I literally just made up the last ten examples, and also slipped in ten random climbing terms directly following the penis arrow. It’s unlikely that any of them raised an objectionable eyebrow. I kind of want to make friends with a urologist just to hear how people refer to their Rickety Fence on a day to day basis.
- Contemporary Pop Slang has a pretty short life span, but can often be used to separate generations based on utterance frequency. Boomers, X’ers, Millennials, Zeds, and the upcoming Alphas use different types of slang to communicate with their contemporaries. Younger gens will often object to the preceding gens use of “their” words. This often serves as a restrictive measure for the longevity of a bit of slang going mainstream. In order to give some bits of Contemporary Pop Slang a chance to persist past their expiration date, I thought I could share and promote a few terms, that have been doing some heavy lifting in the Z patois and may have earned the right to become cross generational. It’s important to note that a generational class is seldom if ever the author of a bit of slang, in-groups are merely the conduit by which slang moves.
- Bussin’ basically means that something is really good. Bussin’ usually applies to food, but it has achieved a further reach into nearly anything that is enjoyable. This article bussin’!
- No Cap, this isn’t exactly new, but it’s resurfacing in a new direction. “Cap” dates back to the early 1900’s and indicates an exaggeration or lie, so accordingly “no cap” simply means “for real” or “honestly”. This article bussin, no cap!
- Slaps is another word that is just recycling through. In the 1700’s “Slaps” was used to mean excellently, and in the mid-1800’s it meant first-rate. By the early 2000’s it was back in business working for the music industry as a way to describe a catchy song, and has since expanded to refer to most things that may be considered excellent or amazing. It’s like bussin’ only better. This article slaps, no cap!
- Every subculture has slang, and climbing is no different. We tend to use a lot of climbing slang on this site for obvious reasons, but sometimes it’s helpful to think about and share the meaning of terms, even slang terms in order to make sure everyone is on the same page, or at least reading from the same book. I asked some friends to share some of their favorite slag terms to see if I could compose an adequate description in non-climbing based jargon.
- Send the Gnar. To ascend a rock face or make it to the top of a rock is referred to as a send. Gnar is an abbreviation of gnarly, which gained popularity in 80’s surf culture. Gnarly meant something that was tough and rugged, but quickly morphed into a way to describe something good. You now see Gnar used in all types of extreme sports, including snowboarding and rock climbing. So, for climbing, to send the gnar is to make it to the top of something tough, rugged and ultimately good.
- Chossineering. Chossineering is a conjunction of two climbing terms, Choss + Mountaineering. Choss is considered to be rock that is unsuitable for rock climbing due to being overgrown, unstable, or too soft. The word choss is a colloquial form of the word chaos, which is pretty fitting because when climbing on choss, it can be chaotic. Mountaineering is simply the sport or activity of climbing mountains, so then Chossineering is a form of chaotic climbing due to poor rock conditions.
- Beta = Instructions
- Flapper = A massive chunk of flesh torn from the hand or finger
- Pumped = Buildup of lactic acid in the forearms
- Bomber = Very safe/Very good/Bussin’/Slaps
- Whipper = Big Fall
- Crux = Most challenging part of a route
- Approach = The hike to the base of a climb
- Rack = A climbers gear
V5 – 5 Points 1 Topic