College Slang Book Spells Out Lingo
If you think an awkward turtle is an uncomfortable reptile, then you're probably not very obama. For reals.
Or for those didiots (stupid people) who don't follow today's slang: If you don't know to put your hands together, wiggle your thumbs and say "awkward turtle" when a moment becomes cringe-worthy, then you're probably not very cool. Really.
Fortunately, UCLA's latest slang dictionary comes out today, and a close study of the book can turn even the biggest newbie into a total G (impressive person).
This year's book, the sixth edition, marks the 20th anniversary of the dictionary. Though edited by linguistics professor Pamela Munro, the dictionary was compiled entirely by UCLA undergraduates and aims to define slang words and expressions used by UCLA students and college students at large.
"All the words come from students," Munro says.
Some of the entries, like University of Social Connections (University of Southern California), are specific to UCLA's culture, while others, like muffintop (flesh that hangs over the sides of pants that are too tight), can be heard on many campuses.
Students in Munro's slang-focused classes collected the words for the book and discussed the best ways to define them. "The kinds of things that go in our dictionary are a reflection of the culture of who is in our class," Munro says.
Parents and others who aren't in college are often shocked when they see words like booty call (call or message to someone to request sexual contact) or crossfaded (drunk and high off marijuana) throughout the dictionary, but Munro says they should just chillax (calm down).
"I think the kind of people who are really shocked are people who don't really think very much about real life," she says. "I think that when people go away to college for the first time, they're exposed to a whole lot of stuff that most people who were serious college prep students didn't get a whole lot of experience with in high school."
She adds that just because students know what it means to have beer goggles on (to be so intoxicated that everyone looks attractive) doesn't mean students are constantly shwasted (extremely drunk).
"I think that maybe parents and older people, when they see this, they get the idea that this reflects college life, but I don't think college life has ever really consisted of only these activities. It's just that people are fascinated by them," she says.
But Munro concedes that even after 20 years of editing the dictionary, she can still be surprised by many of the words. "I'm a pretty naive person myself," she says.