As a baby boomer, I cannot count the number of times that I’ve used 20th Century vernacular to describe a thing or a situation that has caused deep frowns on the face of my Generation “X” daughter.
One Tuesday night, we girls got into a discussion about the use of certain words or expressions that we grew up using that have completely different meanings in the 21st Century. I’ll start with the word “thong”.
“Flip-flops” and “thongs” were one and the same. In other words, they were “a sandal held on the foot by a thong fitting between the toes…” Thank you very much Merriam-Webster!
But the “X” generation has hijacked the word to mean a certain design of undergarment; a type of undergarment none of us Tuesday girls would be caught dead in, mostly because of the way they feel when worn – they’re just so distracting!
One day I was having a conversation with my daughter about “hooking up” with friends. “Mom. Do not say ‘hooking up.’ It means you want to ‘sleep’ with them.”
I must have looked quite shocked while I digested the fact that the language I grew up with was dissolving before my very ears.
Further, whenever I’ve heard the phrase, “a friend with benefits,” I thought it meant someone had a an employee discount. No, no, no!
It means a good friend with “hooking-up” privileges. What? With a friend like that, who needs a boyfriend? Or, pardon me, a significant other?
Janine reminded us of a story about “FWB’s.” She was at a political fundraiser at a local bar, when a man she thought she knew approached her, said hello, and reintroduced himself, taking the seat next to hers.
He was one of those touchy-feely types, and he just couldn’t keep his gaze above shoulder level, if you know what I mean. From out of nowhere, he asked her a peculiar question, “Do you wanna be friends?” Recalling the man was married, Janine inquired, “What?” “You know,” he said, “do you want to be a friend with benefits?”
She laughed out loud and told him he had better relocate to another stool as he was dangerously close to becoming a eunuch.”
I’m happy to report that the meaning of that word hasn’t changed a bit…
See you next Tuesday!