Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Slang Word Time Warp

photo: Self Service UK
La Mom's noticed lately that a lot of her expat friends seem to be in a slang word time warp. They use slang words or phrases that makes one take note,  "WHAT did San Diego Mom just say?"

This slang word time warp thing got La Mom thinking -  do slang words learned before moving abroad stay through the years in one's expat life? Does slang stand still over time?

Je pense que oui. It seems to be the case in La Mom's entourage. Here's what I've overheard:

At the expat get-together:
Kansas Mom: Dude, Montana Mom has a groovy poncho.
La Mom: I love it. It looks like it's Missoni.
Kansas Mom: Oh là, I dig it even more knowing it's a Missoni.
Kansas Mom is clearly stuck in a 1970s slang word time warp and probably moved to Paris circa 1975.

Also at the expat get-together:
Texas Mom: Mmm, Quebec Mom made paté for us. I can't wait to eat some.
California Mom: Gag me with a spoon. I hate paté.
Texas Mom: Do you like foie gras?
California Mom: No way, José. Barf me back to the stone age.
Texas Mom to La Mom: Did she really just say, "Barf me back to the Stone Age?"
La Mom: Are you from Southern California? How long have you been in France?
California Mom: How'd you know? Too long.
California Mom = stuck in a 1980s slang word time warp.

At a play date:
Kentucky Mom: I love living in France. I got a subscription filled for my sinus infection and paid nothing for my medication.
Florida Mom: French health care is rad.
La Mom: Did you just say 'rad'?
Kentucky Mom: You did. That's almost as bad as saying 'hella cool'.
Florida Mom = stuck in a 1990s slang word time warp.

At supper club:
La Mom: So do you think it's true Gad Elmaleh is dating Princess Caroline's daughter?
NY Mom: If Paris Match and Point de Vue say it's true, then it must be.
Georgia Mom: Gad is so fine. His eyes are the bomb.
Georgia Mom = stuck in a 1990s slang word time warp.

Jogging at the park:
Texas Mom: I'm so tore up from my trip to London. 
La Mom: Then jogging will be good to clear the cobwebs. How was the fashion show?
Texas Mom: Lots of bling bling in the collection.
Texas Mom = stuck in a 2000s slang word time warp.

La Mom's concluded that in order to avoid embarrassing slang word time warps that identify one's age and expat lifetime, it's best to speak in plain old English. No slang, mes amies.

For example:

"That poncho is very nice."
"I don't like foie gras and I think paté is truly disgusting"
"The French health care system is excellent."

"Gad Elmaleh is a very handsome man. He has beautiful eyes."
"I'm so tired and the collection was flashy."

Are you stuck in slang word time warp? La Mom would love to hear from you!

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Anonymous said...

You're super right dude. Some slang is wicked cool, but regular English prevents us all like sounding dweebs.
Thanks for the reminder,

MademoisElla Coquine said...

I still say "word". I tried to translate it in French by saying "mot".

My French friends look at my strangely when this happens. I wonder why...

Great post, La Mom!

Sugar Daze said...

Dude, you rock! Thanks for the awesome rad shout-out!

Pug1 said...

Hi, I'm Michele from Chicago I read your blog via email. I want to let you know I enjoy reading ALL your posts! CHEERS!xo

Julie in Provence said...

This post rules. And you rock. Or vice versa. And yesterday I fist-bumped a friend. Yep, true. At least it wasn't a high-five!

Kasia Dietz said...

Like, OMG this was too funny! Rad, love it.

Will stick to proper English, thanks.

Anonymous said...

I'm, like, so down with what you're sayin'. I think it's rad when my kids say awesome just because we live in France.

Expat Maman du Jour

Anonymous said...

I am guilty. I use "cool" all the time. ("Cool! let's go to the cinema!"; "You know my sister? That's so cool!")
I've heard my teenage son and his friends use the word "nuke" to refer to the ff. a) microwaving food b) consuming something edible.
I did attempt to use the word "nuke." As in "Would you like me to nuke your dinner?" It was like time stood still. The boys stopped, stared, and asked me to never say "nuke" again. It was too weird. Hence, I've gone back to "microwave." It feels better too. :-)

La Mom-an American Mom in Paris said...

Ladies, like, you all rock, ya know, for like, leaving comments. This was like, totally, the funnest post to write.

@Julie in Provence - OMG - a fist bump? You like, go girl!

Amber said...

Wait, homies don't fist bump anymore? Oooh snap, looks like I'm gonna have to find a new hand gesture up in this joint.

Victor said...

guilty as charged..

I say things are "tight" all the time...I am also known for saying "nifty" from time to time...

This post is off the hook, btw

jadzia @ Toddlerisms said...

I am not YET stuck in a slang time warp, because we just moved to France 6 months ago. But this is really good advice to file away. Dude!

La Mom-an American Mom in Paris said...

Amber - Homies in the 16th arrondissement don't fist bump, they air kiss. Dude, like, how did you not know that? I'm so sure, dude.

Victor - It's radical that a dude stopped by and commented on the blog.

Jazia- Let me know how you are doing in six months. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

that is just mean, makes people like me scared to speak around judgemental american mums in paris

PWT Health Tips said...

wonderful post

PWT Sports Racing News said...

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