LINGUISTS EXPLAIN THE HISTORY OF CLASSIC SLANG
We have all heard a variety of slang words, and probably used them ourselves. Some of them had their time in the spotlight such as the all time classic ‘Yolo’, however some tend to fade out after time.
Two linguists Ben Zimmer and Nicolle Holliday, had an interesting topic to elaborate on a video for Wired. The two discussed the history of colloquial slang within the English language. Not only did they remind us of all the classic slang words, but the knowledgable pair also discussed the origins of known slang terms and how these famous words became popular. However, some of these words faded out and the pair explained why this is the case for some particular words and how other still have remarkable staying power.
The two also delved into the specific timelines for some of these slang word to show when they started to become popular and also when they started to fade.
“When it comes to the casual and playful language we call slang, words can get popular really quickly among certain groups and can disappear just as quickly. Slang is often a kind of in-group marker. So if some slang term gets too popular too quickly outside of that in-group, that can spell the end of its usefulness.”
Some of the more modern yet outdated terms include “cheugy,” “YOLO,” and “on fleek.” Those that have withstood the test of time include “cool” and “booze.”