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Pancake jokes are very 'deck'.
February 13, 2003 3:12 AM   Subscribe

So this is what is means to be hip. (NY TIMES link)
What ''The Preppie Handbook'' did for whale belts and synonyms for vomiting, ''The Hipster Handbook'' accomplishes for this generation's stylistic and linguistic signs and signifiers."
According to the book, "deck" means "cool", "tassel" is a girl, "bust a moby" means to dance, and a "frado" is an ugly guy who thinks he is good looking. Being a member of said generation myself, I can honestly say that I have never ever heard anyone speak this way. Maybe I'm just too "ishtar". Do you think the Hipster Handbook captures today's, um, deck kids accurately? What would your Hipster Handbook include?
posted by 4easypayments (53 comments total)

 
i'd include a really dumb quiz
posted by mb01 at 3:22 AM on February 13, 2003


I think they're having their collective chain yanked, by the same party or parties that spoofed the NYTimes at the dot-com slang. Oh, you remember...
posted by adamgreenfield at 3:46 AM on February 13, 2003


"A Hipster ideally possesses no more than 2% body fat."

yeah right.
posted by mook at 3:53 AM on February 13, 2003


Bust a moby.

I laughed so hard milk came out of my nose.
posted by ciderwoman at 4:07 AM on February 13, 2003


If a "hipster" ever really existed he would tell you that once a fad, genre, movement, group, etc. reaches the NY Times, Amazon.com and the mainstream, it no longer exists or has been so distorted out of shape by commodification that it has nothing to do with anything except capitalism. I once saw an ad for a really "cool" edition of the Communist Manifesto, it's tiny! all in red! "no hipster cofee-table should be without...!"

you get the picture.



ps) by the way "You may also be interested in these items... The Preppy Handbook, How to Be a Lady: A Contemporary Guide to Common Courtesy and Snobbery!"


snicker.
posted by sic at 4:10 AM on February 13, 2003


Interesting how retro/pregenerational all the lingo is... I imagine there's no shortage of those unaware that "Frigidaire" was a brand of refrigerator, that Walter Cronkite was the most respected name in news (or even that the major networks run news shows), that a clothesline is anything other than a wrestling move (although to be honest -- I like the triple entendre), or even who the hell Charles Bronson is.

It's odd, then. This is perceivable as either the amusing creation of an intelligent twenty five year old or the desperate attempt at remaining relevant for a forty five year old. Funny how who we are affects the nature of what we do...

--Dan
posted by effugas at 4:18 AM on February 13, 2003


I bet this is some sort of unusual joke. What I'm waiting for is the swarms of easily-infulenced college-aged kids that start saying "deck" as a result...


...oh, and according to the quiz I'm only 43% hipster. Damn.
posted by joedan at 4:36 AM on February 13, 2003


What would your Hipster Handbook include?
um, running dog imperialist?
posted by quonsar at 4:42 AM on February 13, 2003


Groovy, man.

...oh, and according to the quiz I'm only 43% hipster. Damn.

joedan, I'm "over the hill" and I scored a whopping 53%. Do you work for the federal government? -grin
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 5:24 AM on February 13, 2003


Yawn. According to this article, it seems like the current generation of hipsters is exactly like the current generation of everything else: predictable and inarticulate.
posted by psmealey at 5:35 AM on February 13, 2003


Your answer was not hip! Explanation: Appetizers that can be ordered at TGI Friday's are generally not the first choice for Hipsters.

I am far too hip to know what the appetizers at TGI Friday's are called.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 5:51 AM on February 13, 2003


I scored a 33%, thus validating my generally surly brand of elitism regarding the whole "hip" meme.

If they had less lame answers on their damned questions, I am sure I could have gotten a 1 or 2%.
posted by Irontom at 5:56 AM on February 13, 2003


Um, I work in New York City. I hang out in the East Village, I know plenty of people from Williamsburg, the brooklyn neighborhood where the magazine that spawned this book ( I actually lived there for a couple months in my uncles old apartment back in 1991 when it was still a quiet working class neighborhood and not SoHo East). I have never heard anyone, even the most overweening trendhound say "deck." Our chains are being yanked. The first idiot I meet who uses the word "deck" in this manner is going to lose teeth.
posted by jonmc at 6:01 AM on February 13, 2003


Oh, you remember...

Reminded me of swingin' on the flippity-flop.
posted by cowboy_sally at 6:07 AM on February 13, 2003


I live in Williamsburg and have watched the transformation of a once quiet neighborhood into what the author is talking about. The whole trend here started after the Utne Reader labeled Williamsburg the third hippest neighborhood in the nation. After that, all these artists, hipsters and wannabes of both tyes decended on the neighborhood and the pissing match to see who was the coolest of the cool began. It is no surprise that this vocabulary exists now as it is a mix of popular media, ghetto, highbrow, intellectual and general slang and laced with an air of righteousness.

I have heard alot of this language in the neighborhood over the past couple of years. Mostly through eavesdropping though. When I see a hipster approach wearing their Arnold Horshack outfit, I just shy away.
posted by lampshade at 6:14 AM on February 13, 2003


60% on the quiz. Apparently I just escaped being a total deckhead.

The whole trend here started after the Utne Reader labeled Williamsburg the third hippest neighborhood in the nation.

Was that because of the Spoonbread or the tri-corner hats?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:23 AM on February 13, 2003


Williamsburg had been attracting hipsters since a few years earlier than 1997.
posted by liam at 6:33 AM on February 13, 2003


sic hits the nail on the head:

"If a "hipster" ever really existed he would tell you that once a fad, genre, movement, group, etc. reaches the NY Times, Amazon.com and the mainstream, it no longer exists...

I think the very concept of what's hip can only exist in retrospect. Anything that's self-conscious or "exposed" by the mainstream press couldn't possibly be hip, almost by definition.

A perfect example of this is in lampshade's link to the hippest neighborhood poll. Though the Utne poll was done in 1997, but the point still stands. I found it particularly offensive that Belltown was mentioned in this list. I lived in Belltown from 1990 - 1998, and during this time, I saw this grim, down and out 'hood transform into a area of impossibly overpriced yuppie restaurants and cheaply constructed condos going for $400k and up for a 1br. By 1997, I couldn't find a place on the steet to park among all the Boxsters, A4's and Mercedes SUVs.

Anyone can tell you that this type of gentrification is not only far from hip, and it is profoundly uncool. Over the same period, a similar thing has happened in Wicker Park and is starting to happen in Williamsburg... though this trend may possibly be slowed or reversed by the recession slow economic recovery.
posted by psmealey at 6:42 AM on February 13, 2003


I should add that the Horshack wardrobe is on its way out here. Precisely appointed, retro trailer park attire has been steadily gaining ground. It's so cool...er..deck.

Williamsburg had been attracting hipsters since a few years earlier than 1997.

Well, I would counter that by saying back in the late 80s - early 90s, it was (in general) more the serious artist that came here. Aritists that needed large spaces, cheap. More than a few musicians came here just so they could make alot of noise. Sculptors and painters needed space just so they could stand back at a distance and look at their work. I am sure they had their own lingo and community, but it is a far cry from what exists now. They were here out of purpose and neccesity. The loft space they could get here were either unavailable or out of reach financially for them.

The "hipster" - as in a person who flocks to a scene for the sake of the scene - didn't hit full stride until the late 90s. It is that type of person that the Handbook is describing. When I think of a hipster, the phrase comes to mind, "I'm not an artist, but I play one on TV".
posted by lampshade at 6:52 AM on February 13, 2003


Hipsters suck.
posted by hummus at 7:15 AM on February 13, 2003


I'll stick with words which are more cromulent.
posted by LinusMines at 7:16 AM on February 13, 2003


50%. Thank goodness.
posted by Songdog at 7:29 AM on February 13, 2003


63%...couldn't be arsed to go to Art School. I actually like wall-to-wall carpeting and I couldn't grow a mustache even if I wanted to.
posted by black8 at 7:39 AM on February 13, 2003


This reminds me of The Great Grunge Hoax (not a great link, but you get the picture)
posted by gwint at 7:51 AM on February 13, 2003


37%
posted by ODiV at 7:54 AM on February 13, 2003


Hipsters suck.

What a great link! Thank you!
posted by jennyb at 7:55 AM on February 13, 2003


Definitely a similar hoax, gwint.

Oh, and Williamsburg is lousy with the worst kind of claim-staking, opportunist, me-too hipster. I wouldn't wish my sworn enemies to rent an apartment there, and yet every month another friend heads north to NY, in search of.....?
posted by dhoyt at 8:00 AM on February 13, 2003


Do people actually think that hipster is a compliment?
posted by witchstone at 8:11 AM on February 13, 2003


Well, I hope Rick Marin has already cashed his paycheck for this one. Looks like he had fun writing this deck piece, and if any cronkites or tassels can find a common language off it, well gosh, that'd be even decker!

Don't any of these people have a clue about how trends work, even? I'm with jonmc - I've been playing in indie bands and making zines in more than a few scenes (including Toronto's College and Clinton - I didn't know how over that scene really was) literally all over the world for the better part of a decade, and anyone using these terms would at least be laughed at before being asked to clarify what the hell it was they just said.

(Although I have heard a lot of those terms from the Great Baffler Grunge Hoax used nonironically. Harsh Realm, indeed.)

So, is hipster a compliment? Who're you asking? Especially now, a century into the Irony Age. Neohipster rage, on the other hand, just might be the new black.
posted by chicobangs at 8:49 AM on February 13, 2003


anyone else get the impression they wanted to use the word 'frodo' instead of 'frado' but couldn't because of copyright reasons?
posted by nemesis at 9:09 AM on February 13, 2003


Down here in the dirty south, hipsters has a slightly diffrent connotation (front page SFW, you're on your own for the rest of the site)
posted by monkeyman at 9:42 AM on February 13, 2003


I must be pretty un"hip", because I've never even heard the word "hipster", let alone have I heard anyone ever say any of the words in the Times article.

Then again, I don't think my crowd is the type that read Utne.

What I find sorta strange is the anti-"gentrification" mentality here. A place is a ghetto. A few years later, it's a vibrant neighborhood - a place where people actually plan on living even when they get a promotion. Who the hell cares what kind of cars people have - at least your kids won't have to shot by drug dealers as happened in good ol' ungentrified Fields Corner, Boston, a couple weeks ago.
posted by Kevs at 9:45 AM on February 13, 2003


A complete aside -- The Grunge Hoax lexicon mentions the term "Hob Nobbler," which is vaguely familiar. Goggling doesn't really turn up anything. Does anyone know where the term comes from?
posted by rtimmel at 10:06 AM on February 13, 2003


I think it came from "Knob Gobbler", slang for a gay man.
posted by dhoyt at 10:08 AM on February 13, 2003


I think that "hob nobblers" are among the things used by the Whos of Who-ville fame to annoy the Grinch with their loud pre-Christmas cheer.

Either that, or you're thinking of "hob nobber," one who "hob nobs" or hangs out with (with a slight connotation of social climbing).

Or it's just a hallucination.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:14 AM on February 13, 2003


Do you work for the federal government?

He does... And ain't he hip?
posted by y2karl at 10:38 AM on February 13, 2003


What the hell ever happened to scenesters? Are they an ancestor of hipster, or a totally seperate variant of self-centered idiot?
posted by bemmett at 10:47 AM on February 13, 2003


What I find sorta strange is the anti-"gentrification" mentality here. A place is a ghetto. A few years later, it's a vibrant neighborhood - a place where people actually plan on living even when they get a promotion. Who the hell cares what kind of cars people have - at least your kids won't have to shot by drug dealers as happened in good ol' ungentrified Fields Corner, Boston, a couple weeks ago.

Nobody cares what kind of cars people have, except the worst sort of pretentious reverse-elitist pseudo-populist. People do, however, get upset when their rent triples and they can't afford to live where they've spent the last ten years, and when all the interesting stores meet the same fate and are replaced by touristy gift shops selling plastic crap at a 1000% markup.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 11:09 AM on February 13, 2003


93% on the quiz, not because I'm a hipster, but because I work at a hipster bar. I never see any of them with scooters though... or saying "deck."
posted by password at 11:21 AM on February 13, 2003


I'm betting the deck reference came from a small east coast group of skaters he talked to that started calling things 'deck' while skating.

Really. I'm serious.
posted by rich at 11:47 AM on February 13, 2003


Down here everyone rides scooters. People whose licenses have been suspended ride cheap Hondas, the wannabe hipsters ride the new fake Vespa Hondas, and the real hipsters ride real Vespas.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 11:54 AM on February 13, 2003


This so reminds me of the moment when the New York Times published the "Lexicon of Grunge" only to have it revealed that most of the slang (e.g. "lamestain"=uncool person) was just made up on the spot by a woman who worked at SubPop records. Documented in the excellent 1996 documentary on the Seattle music scene, Hype!.
posted by donovan at 11:55 AM on February 13, 2003


The book is actually quite funny.
posted by geekhorde at 12:15 PM on February 13, 2003


Hello Donovan, and (gentle nudge) welcome to the conversation.
posted by witchstone at 12:46 PM on February 13, 2003


It's a real book so it's a little different from the grunge hoax. If the book itself is a hoax, that's different from printing a purported slang dictionary that is complete b.s. I don't get the impression from the review that the lingo is really taken seriously by the reviewer. It is obvious that the book and the Web site (freewilliamsburg.com) are somewhat ironic.

(scored an alarming 60 percent, but I was reading Harper's before some of these slacker doofuses were born)
posted by Slagman at 2:41 PM on February 13, 2003


For the love of God, am I invisible to you people?

::slams foam baseball cap on head, goes home::
posted by cowboy_sally at 3:10 PM on February 13, 2003


A trewly bark lapchaser would never quicken here.
Silence is the dreadest geezertweeze.
...
posted by Opus Dark at 3:24 PM on February 13, 2003


nemesis - I bet the word Frado comes from The Godfather - Frado the older, ugly brother who lived the life of a playboy. Then Michael had him shot.
posted by stevis at 4:33 PM on February 13, 2003


Sheesh. So - is it "decker" or "more deck"? "Deckiest"? I'm not sure I could slam tassel. Where in the heck did "frado" come from?

America - where obfuscation is deck.

(Got exactly 50%.)
posted by FormlessOne at 4:35 PM on February 13, 2003


Cowboy Sally: What is your point? I was responding to your reference to the grunge hoax not ignoring it.
posted by Slagman at 5:03 PM on February 13, 2003


rtimmel - "Nob" used to refer to the richest of the rich in a city, the high society, who usually lived in the same neighborhood -- usually called 'Nob hill' or something of the same thing. To hobnob in period slang was to go out of your way kiss up to these Nobs... the current dictionary definition is to drink sociably or associate familiarly.

This word/reference is about a hundred and fifty years old... I don't see what's new about any of this stuff.
posted by SpecialK at 9:56 PM on February 13, 2003


(not a great link, but you get the picture)

Hello Donovan, and (gentle nudge) welcome to the conversation.

witchstone, et al . . . i did not get the picture. it's been a looong week . . . thanks for being gentle.
posted by donovan at 11:25 PM on February 13, 2003


Should have been more specific about the car thing... having been called out as

the worst sort of pretentious reverse-elitist pseudo-populist,

I have to defend myself a little bit. (The epithet is hilarious, though... I'll get a chuckle out of that the next time I slip on my Prada combat boots.)

No, I don't give a shit what type of car anyone drives. I was using the porsche/audi/bmw reference as an easy symbol of the consumerist mentality that came in, drove rental prices up and generally made the Belltown neighborhood unaffordable to those of us that had been living there a very long time.

As far as anti-gentrification goes, the though that "what's so bad about turning slums into yuppie playgrounds?" This is precisely the sort of ignorant, simplistic thinking that drives me nuts. Obviously, turning a crime-ridden slum into a liveable neighborhood is, yes, a good thing. But turning a respectable, if a bit dingy, neighborhood into a trendy high rent area where long term residents get forced out by greed, is not such a good thing.

Worse still, in bad economic times, these newly "hipified" neighborhoods invariably aren't able to sustain the elevated levels of commerce that they had grown accustomed to in a short period of time, especially given the economic boom of the late 90's, and they end up worse than they had before the developers moved in. Hence Belltown now does have worse violent crime that it has in years, building vacancies are sky high and retail businesses are failing in droves. I'm afraid it's still a long way down, before it can come back up.

What a waste of time. A little urban planning can go a long way, but a lot of cities, particularly Seattle, doesn't seem to get this.
posted by psmealey at 9:33 PM on February 16, 2003


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