Is Your Slang Out Of Date?

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I’m listening to one of my favorite groups, Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks, with their tight rhythms, catchy lyrics, and such amazing harmonies.

I use the word amazing, as it’s a current term used to describe just about everything. When I read posts from my pals on Facebook, amazing is one of the most over-used adjectives, along with like and awesome.

I’m guilty of using all three.

I was talking with one of my millennial friends a few weeks ago, when I was reminded about the verbal patter used within different age groups.

“I like your groovy shoes, “ I complimented.

“Do people still use the term groovy?” She was clearly making fun of me, but her inquiry hit me hard, reminding me of our massive age difference.

As a writer, I’m always curious about these temporary terms, making me wonder why words seem to populate sentences for a while before they disappear.

For example, whatever happened to neat, bitchin’, ding bat, golly, and scuttlebutt? When did they go out of fashion?

Did linguists retire these words to an early grave? Did a group of dictionaries have a service as they buried these words underground?

The use of language seems to be a verbal fashion statement, and one that evolves over time.

My older sisters and brothers often used words like nifty, boss or cool…. Before them, people used words like hoosegow, thingamajig, and doohickey.

Where did those words go? Are they even in the dictionary anymore?

Someday, awesome, amazing and like will be retired, but until then, I guess I’ll continue using them when my verbal skills are at an all-time low.

Bitchen, boss or cool just won’t cut it.

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About Author

Mary McGrath is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in a number of publications including:Chicken Soup for the Soul (Jan. 2019), Newsweek, Wall St. Journal,,, LANG Newspaper Group, and Good Housekeeping, Please find her work at

1 Comment

  1. I sympathize with your broken bone. I am also dealing with a broken bone – tibia plateau fracture, which is a pretty complicated problem. I try to remain positive, but sometimes it’s just not very easy. I broke my first major bone at 47, so I knew what to expect. But it’s not fun and I champion your challenge.

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