Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Diversity of Cultures...Right Within my Own Family

My three oldest nephews are in town for a few days, from Vancouver:  19; 16; and almost 13. I've been looking forward to their arrival for weeks already; it's always a highlight of my summer, even though they're here for such a short time.  They're great guys, and there's little I like to do more than talk with them, listen to the music that they're listening to, and pick their brains for whatever's going on in there.  The whole clan of us will be spending the weekend at my parents' cottage this weekend, celebrating my Dad's 75th birthday (and Geoff's birthday, too, on the same day...though I fear his birthday will be a little overshadowed this year because of my Dad's biggie).

I always laugh at myself (usually silently) when I'm with my nephews, and this time is no exception.  Though I think of myself as still young, and though I can relate to many of their experiences (which I mostly keep to myself - I'm not an idiot!), I must be such an old fuddy duddy to them, and yet I find them a refreshing burst of information on what it's like to be a teen these days.  I love listening to the way they talk, their use of language; it's like a whole other culture that I need somehow to absorb in a few short days.  Here's some of the vocabulary that I'm struggling to add to my brain's databank - some of it promises to be as hard to learn as Amharic will be when we go pick up our kid(s) in Ethiopia.
"sick" - as in, "that's sick."  Maybe it's spelled "sic" - what do I know?  Maybe it's not meant to be spelled at all - their thumbs move so fast that they probably just use some shortened, one-symbol representation that's supposed to stand in for the word or the phrase or, what the heck, the whole sentence!  At any rate, "sick" is an expression to be used in the context of something being really terrific, as in "that dinner was sick, Auntie Ruth." Well, at least they liked the dinner...or, at least, I think they did.  Using this word is a bit counter-intuitive for me, give that in my day "sick" meant either illness or something perverted.  So...a bit of a mystery to me, but whatever.  I'm down with it.
"chillaxing" or "chillaxin'" with the dropped word ending - both appear, in fact, to be a combination of two words:  chilling and relaxing.  The meaning thereby becomes obvious.
"dude" - used in reference to other people of any age, and of either gender.
"stoked" - in my day, the word for this might have been 'pumped' or 'excited about.'
"solidified" - as in, the eldest is now dating a girl and the relationship appears to be exclusive.  They have solidified.
"dope" - another word for "great," though this one seems to be on its way out of popular culture.  I'm not sure how it differs in meaning from 'sick,' but there does appear to be a proper place for each.
"hang" - seems to be used interchangeably with chillaxing.
I'll get it eventually.  Like, whatever.  All I know is that I'm stoked about the dudes being here, including the one who's trying to grow Aussie surfer hair and maybe some strange facial hair configuration.  I think the whole chillaxing thing's pretty dope.  These dudes are totally sick. 

1 comment:

  1. HI Ruth,

    So nice to be able to read what's going with your blog.
    I was on holidays it was great drove down to the Ocean with two old friends we laughed a ton and talked and talked. I must say I sure missed my internet connection I am more addicted than I would like to admit.
    I love "solidified" the best what a good one.
    Glad you are enjoying the time. I am sure your nephews are also having a great time. My uncle was my best listener when I was a teenager and we are still really close to today.
    Have a great rest of the weekend.