Sucka MCs be tryin to fade this shizzle, what.
OK, “Shizzle” was a little anachronistic in the above headline, but you hear what I’m sayin, dig? 80s hip hop slang, I realized, plays a big part in my vocabulary, and in the speech of many nerds I know. Why is this? We most certainly didn’t talk like that back in the day, no that would have been mad wiggety-wack. Why are we suddenly illin’? Allow me drop some science: I think it’s because we look back at the slang and said “whoa, people really called each other HOME SLICE?” and thus it becomes a part of our vocabulary for the retro-ironic value. Also, hip hop slang gets outdated really quickly, which makes it even more fly, because each word is a frozen little moment in time. So, currently the slang is enjoying a second life in nerdese.
I never really thought about how much I use the term “home piece” to address friends, and pretty much every other sentence I say contains “word” until I was texting Victor the other day. The conversation went something like this:
VICTOR: I’ll call you when I get back from my parents’ house
VICTOR: What word?
ME: Word to your mother! (and dad)
It’s always interesting seeing language through the mind of a non-native speaker (OK, that’s a politically incorrect term, as is English as a Second Language, I don’t know what you are supposed to call people who learned English later in life as opposed to as babies).
Word to that.
An interesting factoid: apparently Vanilla Ice’s catch-phrase “word to your mother” started out life as “word to the mother” as in Motherland, as in Africa. Yup-yup!
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