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Writing, Illustrating & Publishing => Research => Topic started by: kittypye on September 04, 2013, 07:04 AM

Title: Jeez, are these phrases dated?
Post by: kittypye on September 04, 2013, 07:04 AM
I'm doing a YA crit for a friend, and some of the things his characters said sound to me like they might be out of date. But since I don't have any "native informants" in their late teens, I thought I would ask the experts here. Feel free to chime in on any or all of these:

crud, dopey, the whole shebang, geezer, cripes, jeez, that's the ticket, tool (as in,"he is such a tool")

Thanks!
Title: Re: Jeez, are these phrases dated?
Post by: olmue on September 04, 2013, 07:21 AM
My kids don't say any of those things.

I could see a character using ONE of them, as sort of a thing that individual does (like maybe "crud"), but the rest...no. I get it that the writer is trying to avoid swearing, and it is actually true that not every teen swears. But I think today's kids use other expressions.
Title: Re: Jeez, are these phrases dated?
Post by: LTMadison on September 04, 2013, 07:30 AM
Having contact with boys of this age, I would suggest some alternatives:

crud, dopey, the whole shebang, geezer, cripes, jeez, that's the ticket, tool (as in,"he is such a tool")

Crud, as in, "Crud, I forget to charge my phone." Would be:"f***, I forgot to charge my phone."

Dopey, as in "That guy is so dopey, he gets lost on the way to school." "That guy is so f***ed up, he gets lost on the way to school."

"Let's just forget the whole shebang" would be "f*** it."

"Geezer" = "old f**t"

Cripes = "s***"

Jeez = "Christ"

"That's the ticket" = "sweet"

"tool" -- this might be au courant, but what I hear is "what an a**h***"

Hope this is useful! :-)
Title: Re: Jeez, are these phrases dated?
Post by: ButterflyGirl on September 04, 2013, 07:43 AM
The most common words I hear are "cr@p," and "(word censored)." Also, "dork" and "nerd" are still used: "He is such a dork/nerd." I thought "nerd" was cool for this tech savvy generation, but in my tween's world, a nerd is still a nerd.
 :)

The censored word rhymes with rigging, a modification of the "f" bomb. Not that I approve, just sayin'.  ; )
Title: Re: Jeez, are these phrases dated?
Post by: Mara on September 04, 2013, 07:44 AM
Having contact with boys of this age, I would suggest some alternatives:

crud, dopey, the whole shebang, geezer, cripes, jeez, that's the ticket, tool (as in,"he is such a tool")

Crud, as in, "Crud, I forget to charge my phone." Would be:"f***, I forgot to charge my phone."

Dopey, as in "That guy is so dopey, he gets lost on the way to school." "That guy is so f***ed up, he gets lost on the way to school."

"Let's just forget the whole shebang" would be "f*** it."

"Geezer" = "old f**t"

Cripes = "s***"

Jeez = "Christ"

"That's the ticket" = "sweet"

"tool" -- this might be au courant, but what I hear is "what an a**h***"

Hope this is useful! :-)


 :dr

Title: Re: Jeez, are these phrases dated?
Post by: Andrea B on September 04, 2013, 08:23 AM
Hmmmm. I'm also not around a ton of teens, but yeah, I get the picture things are cruder than even I remember them being in the 90s. That being said, I didn't swear/cuss/whatever you call it these days, and neither did most of my friends.

Crap, heck, "what the--?", and other milder pseudo words seem to be prevalent among kids, so I can only imagine it gets worse from there. I can't bring myself to write anything stronger, though, because I don't personally use anything stronger.

As for your friend's terms, I can see using crud, jeez, and "the whole shebang" occasionally if it fits with the character. But yes, I do think the majority of words in the list sound dated to me, as well. (I can't remember the last time I heard someone say "cripes," for instance.)
Title: Re: Jeez, are these phrases dated?
Post by: AnnH on September 04, 2013, 08:33 AM
Sometimes I think it's easier to just leave the swear or not-really swear words and show the anger/annoyance/whatever through some small action--a facial expression, clenched fist/whatever.

Then there's always, "He swore under his breath." Or rephrase the expression from A Christmas Story about "weaving a tapestry" of obscenties.  :)
Title: Re: Jeez, are these phrases dated?
Post by: Tammi on September 04, 2013, 08:40 AM
I live with two teens, and they'd never say any of these things:

crud, dopey, the whole shebang, geezer, cripes, jeez, that's the ticket, tool (as in,"he is such a tool")


Sometimes an author chooses a character to use a tweaked version of an expletive if it goes with that character's personality (not just to tone down bad language).

Example:  The mc in John Green's An Abundance of Katherines uses "fug."

Title: Re: Jeez, are these phrases dated?
Post by: Maryann L on September 04, 2013, 09:29 AM
OMG, LT, that is so F***unny!
Really, I don’t know that kids are as vulgar/crass as we think they are --  especially kids who read.
That said, this generation is a little more free and easy with language and many things are watered down. For instance, my kids use “crap” and “idiot” way more frequently than I would.
Crud – crap
Dopey – fool, dork
the whole shebang – everything (sorry!)
geezer – old guy
cripes – Christ
jeez – see above, God is sometimes used also “fine” and “alright” depending on the context. But Jeez works sometimes, too.
that's the ticket – nice!
tool – idiot
Trailing off happens all the time in my house. My kids don’t swear much…sarcasm, mockery and “burns” are so much more civilized!
Title: Re: Jeez, are these phrases dated?
Post by: literaticat on September 04, 2013, 09:42 AM
Is the book set in the 1950's, perchance?
Title: Re: Jeez, are these phrases dated?
Post by: J.Ro on September 04, 2013, 10:35 AM
I'd say no to all of those (unless they're mocking the Andy Griffith show) except for "tool". Totally still in use, though [word censored] or douchebag is more prevalent.

Title: Re: Jeez, are these phrases dated?
Post by: kittypye on September 05, 2013, 07:30 AM
Thanks, everyone! I sent a few of your responses off to my friend, including LT's hilarious translations.
Title: Re: Jeez, are these phrases dated?
Post by: HollySweet on September 09, 2013, 07:39 AM
Teenage boys call each other douchebags all the time.

They also say crass, insensitive things like:
"That's gay."
"You're a f****t."
"You're retarded."
Title: Re: Jeez, are these phrases dated?
Post by: LTMadison on September 09, 2013, 09:43 AM
Sadly you can add "mongo" as in, "What a mongo!" I had to explain to my son that this wasn't just some innocent made-up word, but most likely came from the now outdated term for someone with Down's Syndrome. As to the question of whether you can use this kind of slang, offensive as it is, I refer you to a book I finished last night: FML by Shaun Hutchinson. The title of which is itself likely offensive to a lot of folks, assuming you can translate. It was published this year by Harper Pulse, and I read it with interest but, as the agents say, didn't love it.
Title: Re: Jeez, are these phrases dated?
Post by: HollySweet on September 09, 2013, 10:23 AM
UrbanDictionary.com has a wealth of information on slang (including "mongo"). Like any dictionary, it is not useful for figuring out which types of people frequently use which words. But, if you hear a slang word and don't understand its connotations, UrbanDictionary usually has the details in all their politically incorrect glory.