By Marv Rubinstein
A compendium of yankee proverbs, expressions, slang, colloquialisms; British-US thesaurus; abbreviations and acronyms and different a variety of odds and ends. widespread via non-native audio system and translators.
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Extra info for American English Compendium
The expressions in this paragraph were current five to ten years ago but may no longer be active today. A recent check with the author’s daughter brought out the following current “youthspeak,” which should be usable for at least another year. Posse indicates a group or circle of friends. ” Examples are bad-ass, smart-ass, or dumb-ass. ” The term stupid now means “exceedingly,” as in a stupid hot day. A hottie is an attractive person, male or female. To freak is equivalent to 1960s’ freak out. Ill used as a verb shows that even the young can convert nouns or, in this case, adverbs to verbs.
Or if referring to an idea or a situation, cool means OK, free of cant and acceptable to cool people. To rap does not mean to knock, but to carry on an informal chat with an exchange of ideas. More recently, it has become a fast-paced type of talking song, often filled with strong comments on our society. ” As noted, most youthspeak terms are evanescent, but some have remained with us as standard American English. In addition to cool and rap given above, it looks as if put-down, hassle, and uptight are here to stay.
Since English is a living language, it not only adds words every day, it also sheds them or radically changes their meanings. As noted above, the word “gay” once meant carefree and light-hearted. Today, it is used only for homosexuals. “Nice” once meant precise. It still retains that meaning in terms such as a “nice distinction,” but is usually used to mean pleasant, kind, or well-mannered. Many once-popular words are rarely used any longer, often due to cultural changes. The term “old maid” is a case in point.