Language Through the Ages

Language Through the Ages

Chelsey MacDonald, Reporter

We have all became accustomed to using or hearing slang words. They are all always being used all around us. Mostly it is teenagers that are using these slang words, leaving the adults in a state of confusion when they are heard. The slang we use today is far different than the slang in the years past.

Let‘s start by analyzing the slang in 1920’s through 1950’s. The slang phrase “bee’s knee’s” was once a very popular and heard often on the streets to talk about an extraordinary person; if that was said today however people would have no clue what you are talking about. The word “hipster” was once used in the 1940’s and was used to talk about Jazz musicians. Now days it refers to someone who is up to date on the latest fashion trends and wears the newest and fashionable clothes on the market. When we say “handcuff” today, most people will think of the things police officers carry around; however, they were once used as another word for an engagement ring. The word “horn” was also a very popular word back in the 50’s. When someone said horn they were not talking about a trumpet or a French horn, instead it meant the telephone!

No on to the hippie age 1960’s through 1980. A very popular phrase “bum rap” would be used if the speaker thought there was a false accusation. One slang word that we still use today is “cheesy” although it had a different meaning back in the 70’s. It meant that something was cheap; Today “cheesy” is used to as a way to say corny or lame. The slang word “dope” was also used back in the 70’s although it was another word for information, unlike today’s “dope” which means drugs or something very cool. Jail also had a slang word which was “can” this slang is also used today as a word for bathroom.

Slang has changed a lot over the past years. As history begins to unravel even more, the slang will continue also. We can only hope that someone will still be able to teach everyone else.