Monday, 11 January 2021

Old slang revisited

It was back at the end of last September that all the dailies published articles about how the slang of my generation was incomprehensible to the under-30s. Words not recognised included "sozzled," "bonk,"cad," "wally," "plonk" and "boogie." (Really, who do these young people blame it on?)

It turned out to be a very small sample of only 300 respondents in that age category, out of a total sample of 2,000, so maybe this was not very representative. Columnists such as India Knight of The Times seized on it though, as exemplifying the loss of all light-hearted, fun words and their replacement with dreary ones like "woke", "gaslight" and "ghost"(as verbs). "The grim-faced removal of things that bring joy."

Jilly Cooper said she felt like writing a "plonkbuster" called Sozzled, the word least recognised by millennials. 

                                                                    Credit: Allan Warren

Even more revealing are the under the line comments, as you might imagine. I have a feeling that this vocabulary reflects a time which might have been more fun for the sozzled cads and wallies than it was for the poor females they wanted to bonk. An image of Terry-Thomas, the gap-toothed would- be seducer was immediately conjured up.

                                                                        Author unknown

Of course slang words change and tend to be generation-specific. That's a necessary part of each new generation of young people coining words to define and describe their experience of life, which must be different from those of their parents.

Are there words whose passing you regret?

 

Words of the week: Insurrection, Sedition, Coup

No prizes for guessing why! An insurrection is an uprising against a sitting government; sedition is speech encouraging insurrection and a coup is a successful insurrection that overturns the government.

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