Monday, October 6, 2014

Snizzo, Moff, And Jinky, Too!

The Online Slang Dictionary lists several hundred ways to say “excellent” in modern slang.  Some are established words given a new or intensified meaning; others are coinages, often nonsensical.

A very short list of some the more familiar (and socially acceptable) words are awesome, bodacious, bomb diggity, crunk, epic, fly (and superfly), kick in the pants, gnarly, jinky, moff, phat, primo, righteous, rufus, schway, sicknasty, skinny, skippy, snizzo, tuff, wizard—and my favorite, which I can hardly wait to work into my next conversation, smoochie boochies.

Some of these words are of recent invention.  Others go way, way back. Time Magazine recently had a chart showing the earliest known use of many English words that have meant “excellent,” starting in 1225 with special.

A few of the other ear-catching examples with their years of origin are gay (1375), golden (1400), tight (1607), spanking (1666), swell (1810), slick (1833), hot (1845), nifty (1865), choice (1880), fly (1896), ace (1929), cool (1933), solid (1935), groovy (1937), and such later twentieth-century usages as neato, bad ass, smoking, radical, killer, crucial, bangin’, beast, and chronic.

The Bard of Buffalo Bayou has been bodacious, bomb diggity, and decidedly phat for years, ever since he was keeping cool with Coolidge.

            My pheet are phlat,
            My phingers phat,
            My phace is philled with phright.
            My phlesh is phlayed,
            My phemur phrayed--
            In phear I’d phain take phlight.

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