Local Twitter Slang, And All That Jawn
October 28, 2011 3:58 PM   Subscribe

The Awl takes a look at how Twitter has allowed local slang to go global, and the unhappiness this causes for some.
posted by reenum (34 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
If we'd had Twitter in the '80s, we wouldn't have needed the Zappas to teach us about "grody to the max".
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:08 PM on October 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


Pure is poor.
posted by Artw at 4:22 PM on October 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


Dear The Awl, you are a keeper.
posted by roger ackroyd at 4:27 PM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ahh Jeff Noone, whatever happened to him. Probably tweeting right now, all smeared up with vaz.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:33 PM on October 28, 2011


Last seen skulking around a now dead experimental web fiction prioject, sometime around 2008.
posted by Artw at 4:39 PM on October 28, 2011


I seriously don't know why people swear. It seems to uncivilized to me...
posted by mitrieD at 4:49 PM on October 28, 2011


I seriously don't know why people swear. It seems to uncivilized to me...

Because fuck you, that's why.
posted by The Tensor at 4:57 PM on October 28, 2011 [87 favorites]


> If you’re not from here, you can’t say that

Some things simply have to be. The first time I encountered "shite" (on the pre-www net) it was an epiphany. I knew that was the way I was born to spell and say it, rather than the way I had spelt and said it since I was but an infant. Brits and others to whom "shite" is native (you know who you are, I don't), you can go "If you’re not from here, you can’t say that" til you turn blue. To my own ancestors, disown me if you must. It makes no difference, some things simply have to be.
posted by jfuller at 5:32 PM on October 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ahh Jeff Noone, whatever happened to him. Probably tweeting right now, all smeared up with vaz.

You're not wrong.
posted by dng at 5:37 PM on October 28, 2011


I'm from Philly and I don't know what "jawn" means. I know it's something people say and I could have told you it was uniquely Philadelphian, but I couldn't use it in a sentence.
posted by madcaptenor at 6:39 PM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


'Shite' I'm pretty sure is Scottish, and beyond that can probably be traced to a particular night in a particular pub in a particular Glasgow estate.
The British do love their wordplay though. I left for 20 years, moved back and found a whole new set of catchphrases (like 'pants', and 'naff') that just hadn't been in the vocabulary when I was growing up there, whereas what I knew ('wotcha') was extinct.
posted by Flashman at 7:00 PM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm from Philly and I don't know what "jawn" means. I know it's something people say and I could have told you it was uniquely Philadelphian, but I couldn't use it in a sentence.

That's the thing about jawn, it can mean any jawn.
posted by piratebowling at 7:08 PM on October 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


'Shite' I'm pretty sure is Scottish, and beyond that can probably be traced to a particular night in a particular pub in a particular Glasgow estate.

The word appears in Joyce's Ulysses, so it's pre-1922 at the latest. Witnesses to the sainted first usage on the particular night in the particular pub on the particular estate are going to be difficult to track down.
posted by Wolof at 7:28 PM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Haddaway an' shite, man.
posted by Artw at 7:29 PM on October 28, 2011


Gapers block! I forgot all about that one!
posted by fiercecupcake at 8:11 PM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


So "jawn" = "smurf", then?
posted by emjaybee at 8:16 PM on October 28, 2011


I rely on my buddy from college to give me the 411 on the new lingo. Right now I'm trying to get "bluetooth headset country music" to be a thing.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:18 PM on October 28, 2011


Get off my jawn?
posted by desjardins at 8:30 PM on October 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm trying to make "bloke" happen at the moment.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:35 PM on October 28, 2011


Some things simply have to be. The first time I encountered "shite" (on the pre-www net) it was an epiphany. I knew that was the way I was born to spell and say it, rather than the way I had spelt and said it since I was but an infant.OK, here's my shite story. Hold on to your knickers...

Back in the day, arcade games would let you input your name if you got a high score, but it was limited. For example, Donkey Kong only let you input 3 letters in caps. Mischievous kiddies had to resort to FUK or FUX.

One day I'm at an ice skating rink and I'm watching this older kid input his name. I've forgotten the game [it might have been Galaga] but this one had 5 letters. So the guy types SHIT. But you had to type in all 5 letters, which I don't think he realised. So he added an E.

"You idiot" I thought to myself.

Erm, anyway, that was the first time I saw the word shite. And now I use it and hear it often. And I often think back to that day and wonder about that older kid. Maybe I owe him an apology?
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:54 PM on October 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Apparently the new hot Texas slang is "I'd laugh at you straight to the bank."
posted by hermitosis at 9:00 PM on October 28, 2011


I'll malafooster with a gallybander any bibes, newtnaas, lúbáns, or latchikos not from Waterford using our words. After me blaa.
posted by kersplunk at 2:16 AM on October 29, 2011


Angelenos are "tired 'af.'

Never heard this one before. Anyone want to explain?
posted by Gordafarin at 6:06 AM on October 29, 2011


Also, this article is making me realize there's a whole new world of misspelled tweets out there, far outside of the circle of people I follow.
posted by Gordafarin at 6:09 AM on October 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Awl's definition of "global" seems about as global as the World Series. Small world y'all inhabit over there.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:37 AM on October 29, 2011


Tired af=tired as fuck I would guess
posted by toodleydoodley at 7:44 AM on October 29, 2011


WTF we doin havin a discussion of cursing on the internets with no the languagehat?
posted by bukvich at 7:54 AM on October 29, 2011


languagehat's work here is done.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:06 AM on October 29, 2011


I love this. What this article is getting at is the idea of enregisterment – the process by which terms/sounds/ways of speaking become associated with (indexical of) social groups or certain people. How these words enter a particular register. But with online spaces that cut through social spaces (I like to think of them as lateral slices, rather than communications that are confined by vertical geographic boundaries) there's this transmission of ideas that index different things for different people. So you have a form that is heavily associated with some people offline as being regional, but is being used by non-regional folk in other ways, both on and offline, with different associations and in new or seemingly strange contexts. And nobody is "right" or "wrong" about that...there's just clash or nuance or reappropriation. It's so fun to see what people mean by it all.

uncanny hengeman gets at something neat with his SHITE story. Who knows if the guy who needed to use all 5 letters was intending to use a variant that was already enregistered elsewhere, but regardless, he introduced it to a new population of seers because he had the technological resource of new letters to play with. Twitter is like that, and people are creative.
posted by iamkimiam at 8:32 AM on October 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


does shite rhyme with bright?
posted by desjardins at 9:20 AM on October 29, 2011


does shite rhyme with bright?

Do we have to turn every thread into LOLAtheists?
posted by straight at 9:23 AM on October 29, 2011


mitrieD: I seriously don't know why people swear. It seems to uncivilized to me...

"to uncivilized?" That's why I swear.
posted by emelenjr at 12:36 PM on October 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


'naff ' has died out a bit over the past few years, but it came from Polari: it stood for 'not available for fucking'.
posted by mippy at 2:30 PM on October 30, 2011


>does shite rhyme with bright?

Why aye.
posted by vbfg at 10:45 AM on November 1, 2011


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