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Slang, Lingo Change Across Generations

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Slang, Lingo Change Across Generations

Graphic by Mark Shaefer

Graphic by Mark Shaefer

Graphic by Mark Shaefer

Jonathan Brake, Staff Writer

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“I stamp.” “On movahs.” “Aye moe.”

Students hear them every day in the halls of RHS during normal conversation. D.M.V. slang, although normal to the D.C. metro area, is like a foreign language to those who are not accustomed to the lingo.

Many RHS students use slang to feel more local. Some common slang includes: “I stamp,” “on movahs,” “sick-boots,” “brick” and an RHS exclusive: “bald-head.” Each word has a different meaning and can be used in completely different contexts, but many teachers, parents and even students don’t know what many of these words mean or how to use them.

“It took a while to understand what they meant, but it was easy to learn the slang because we have a lot of slang for everything in Nigeria,” said freshman Jimmy Sorunke, who moved to Montgomery County in 2017.

“Bald-head,” a word that does not have one set meaning and can be positive or negative, can mean an actual bald head or that a person is acting like a savage.

Seniors Anthony McClean and Norvel Clark have introduced several slang words that are popular among RHS students in the past, but they are most popular for their recent introduction of “bald-head.”
“Slang catches on because it’s the new hot thing, it’s like a fire song. Everyone wants to hear it,” McClean said. “Norvel and I were the creators of “bald-heada�� at Rockville.”

“Bald-head,” a word that does not have one set meaning and can be positive or negative, can mean an actual bald head or that a person is acting like a savage. “On movahs,” “I bar that,” and “I stamp” are ways to swear on something or someone. “On movahs” is to swear on the life of the mother of whoever says the phrase. “Sick-boots” is a lesser used phrase that means to be upset about a certain event. Then there’s “brick,” which means a long period of time, a long distance or a large amount.

Slang words are made up from generation to generation to have a secret language and create a barrier between adults and kids.

“Generations come up with new slang to have a more exclusive way to talk to their peers and teens use slang because it makes them seem cooler. I think using slang makes me cool,” junior Hailey Suthard said.

Slang words are a part of culture that is ever-changing, and different words are created for different areas around places as small as cities to around the world to create a sense of identity.

“Generations come up with new slang to have a more exclusive way to talk to their peers and teens use slang because it makes them seem cooler.” – junior Hailey Suthard

In the 1950s many slang phrases became popular for describing the world around them. For instance, “big brothera�� was used to describe the government overstepping in people’s lives following the release of George Orwell’s novel 1984. “Blow off” was used for beating someone in a hot-rod race, “cut the gas” was used to say “be quiet” and “bug” was used to say “to bother.”

The 1960s was also an active decade for slang words. The most well known were “pig out” used to say eating a lot, “cat” as another word for guy or man, “lay rubber” meaning to leave tire marks on the street and “solid” to show someone understands.

No matter the decade, every new generation creates words to better capture their social experience.
“A few years ago YOLO [you only live once] was big, and when text messaging first came out, we used acronyms like BRB [be right back],” math teacher Ashley Merwin said, “and those were all invented because of our time.”

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Slang, Lingo Change Across Generations