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Could we share "Slang" with each other?

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Erin Edwards

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I'm not coming up with a word any better than "young whippersnapper" and I'm pretty sure that's not what you're looking for. :)

Maybe if you gave us some context that would help.
#151 - April 19, 2010, 06:29 PM

Erin Edwards

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Slang is just informal language. It tends to mean more recent and youth-oriented expressions. Idiomatic expressions tend to mean anything that can't be literally translated into another language. I imagine there is a huge overlap between the two.

Oh, good. Maybe I didn't look like a total idiot then. javascript:void(0);
#152 - April 19, 2010, 06:30 PM

Regarding context for pipsqueak and runt (Reply #133)

Thomas is cowering behind a bush while a gang of kids track him down. They are circling in front. The gang lead, Michael, asks a question. A kid named Carson responds. Thomas comments.

 “Where is that runt?” Michael said.
“Ran to his mommy,” Carson said.
“Pipsqueak,” Thomas whispered. Carson annoyed him.



#153 - April 19, 2010, 07:29 PM

Erin Edwards

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I was recently asked if my book is historical because it includes the words 'runt' and 'pipsqueak'.

So, any thoughts on the matter here?

Thanks Kindly.

Dave



I thought of something! (Disclaimer: I am also over 40 (by a few months!) so they might also be dated. Or they might even have really bad meanings that I am unaware of!)

What about "twerp" or "twit"?

P.S. You were posting while I was posting and the board asked me to review my post. So I just saw your context below. I think these might still work. (If you like them, of course.) If I think of anything new I'll repost!
#154 - April 19, 2010, 07:31 PM

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I was recently asked if my book is historical because it includes the words 'runt' and 'pipsqueak'.

I had a giggle. Being that I'm 46 years old, I guess the POV is historical in nature....

Having accepted the fact that I'm historical, I'm trying to find modern slang to replace 'runt' and 'pipsqueak'.

I asked my kids. Other than my thirteen year old admitting he calls his younger brother a pipsqueak all the time, they weren't much help. Either they didn't have an answer or their choice words weren't repeatable. (Kind of sad but I'm sure the language they routinely hear at school includes words they wouldn't repeat to me. But I guess that's another story.)

So, any thoughts on the matter here?

Thanks Kindly.

Dave



How about, "Hey you little twerp!"
#155 - April 19, 2010, 08:50 PM

Erin Edwards

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I asked my kids this morning. They said they had only ever seen "twerp" in books. :) They had never heard of "twit."

They did know what pipsqueak and runt meant, but didn't think they were commonly used.

They said that bullying is not prevalent in their schools (not that it's not there, because one has even had personal experience, but it's just not prevalent) so they suggested you talk to someone at a school where this is a problem. :) (They have some friends who have transferred from schools that they consider much worse.)

They did say that in general kids are more likely to be teased about some feature other than height. Most common insult would be calling someone a "cry baby." And usually kids who were insulted for another "feature" also cried a lot.

American Girl has excellent books on friendship and bullying for girls. I don't know of any for boys, but maybe the girl books would give you some suggestions? American Girl Magazine and Discovery Girls are other places to look.

Also, Family Circle magazine has excellent articles on things like bullying (they recently had a feature on hazing) and a regular column on children's problems, so you might see if you can find anything on their website.

Sorry I didn't just come up with a word for you, but it did lead to an interesting discussion with my kids!
#156 - April 20, 2010, 07:54 AM

C. Lee

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Nice of you to post this.
We have an article on our blog about this very subject.  It's called "Using Slang in Children's Books".  Have a look at:


http://www.write4kids.com/blog/2008/08/11/using-slang-in-childrens-books/

Jon Bard
Managing Editor, Children's Book Insider, the Newsletter for Children's Writers - http://write4kids.com
Children's Writing Web Journal - http://write4kids.com/blog/
#157 - April 28, 2010, 02:41 PM

C. Lee

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As one commenter mentioned slang used in American English could be offensive or have a totally different meaning in British/Australian English. Of course, it your book is sold abroad it will be edited for that market. Still that's another caution when choosing to use current jargon.

Does anyone here every hear the word HEAD to mean restroom? I've used it forever as a slang term, but when I wrote it in a book, none of my readers understood it. Just curious.
#158 - April 28, 2010, 02:50 PM

Head is naval jargon for restroom--usually aboard ship, I believe.  I heard it used in junior high and high school (we're talking early '70's here) by the hippie kids who smoked in the restrooms.  My teenagers have never heard the term.
#159 - April 28, 2010, 02:56 PM
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EbunAdewumi

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 I love the slang "creeper".  Even my friends and I use it and we are in our 20's.  other slang is "I heart that".

My neighbor's kids say "Oh my lands!" but only because their mom says it. (Younger) kids mimic their parents slang a lot.
#160 - April 28, 2010, 07:37 PM

v26essa

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Yes, the two previous mentioned british words are for guys who play with themselves... not sure you will want to add those to a kids book.   Here are sites you may find helpful.

http://www.thesource4ym.com/teenlingo/index.asp
http://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/slang/

I think the idea of adding slang to a story can be creative and entertaining.  Kids love to learn new words and phrases and depending on the age can be what brings them back to your books. 
#161 - May 18, 2010, 11:02 AM

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Here's one. I just wrote "hock a loogie" in my MG MS. Is this dated?
#162 - June 07, 2010, 04:12 AM

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I have a question:  My kids tell me that "bogus" is a 1980s word, and not used at all by teens (even skater boys or stoners, alas!)  I'm looking for the modern equivalent.

My kids gave me "Fail"

I had "That sucks."  Any others?
#163 - June 07, 2010, 06:22 PM
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I have a question:  My kids tell me that "bogus" is a 1980s word, and not used at all by teens (even skater boys or stoners, alas!)  I'm looking for the modern equivalent.

My kids gave me "Fail"

I had "That sucks."  Any others?

I don't think it's used exactly the same. You wouldn't say, "That's so fail." Maybe just shout out "fail!" and it's not the same as "that sucks." It means something more along the lines of "You messed up." like falling off a skateboard or something. Also "fail" is a noun, not an adjective. As in "Full of fail."

What is the context in your story?


#164 - June 07, 2010, 07:03 PM
« Last Edit: June 07, 2010, 07:05 PM by Wonky »

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Thanks!  Stoner type character is commenting on learning something about MC that he doesn't like. 

I'm guess I'm looking for something close to "BS" without the "BS"

What would modern day Jeff Spicoli say?
#165 - June 07, 2010, 08:28 PM
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Hmm. Would "lame" work? Not sure if that's ossified yet but it's in my own MS.
#166 - June 07, 2010, 09:37 PM

I went twenty rounds with myself over using BS in a manuscript. :)  It really bothered me but sounded good for the character.  In then end, I used something else.  Talia, I think you might be better off making up a new term that would suit your character than using the current version of "bogus."  If you go for today's slang, it'll date your ms. by the time the book is out.  Can he say something is so false or has wrongitude or something else kind of weirdish but not really a "today" term?
#167 - June 08, 2010, 07:43 AM

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Good thoughts.  Wrongitude got me to  "That is so wrong."  Which I think works in my context. I'll play with it a little more...

Thanks!
#169 - June 08, 2010, 12:18 PM
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Kelly B.

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I was just reading the August edition of The Writer magazine and columnist Michael A. Banks was talking about how slang tends to date your work. Here were some of the ones he seemed to advise against:

bling (wealth or flashy jewelry)
dig (to understand or approve)
fade (to leave)
gag me with a spoon (gross)
keister (buttocks)
mack-daddy (someone good at flirting)
phat (excellent)
props (respect)
sinker (donut)
wig out (to make or become excited)
zippo (nothing)


Am I the only one who didn't even know a sinker was a donut?  :eh2
#170 - July 13, 2010, 10:02 AM

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I was just reading the August edition of The Writer magazine and columnist Michael A. Banks was talking about how slang tends to date your work. Here were some of the ones he seemed to advise against:

bling (wealth or flashy jewelry)
dig (to understand or approve)
fade (to leave)
gag me with a spoon (gross)
keister (buttocks)
mack-daddy (someone good at flirting)
phat (excellent)
props (respect)
sinker (donut)
wig out (to make or become excited)
zippo (nothing)


Am I the only one who didn't even know a sinker was a donut?  :eh2

Wow, some of those seem old even for me, like "dig." Sounds like the 60's/early 70's.
#171 - July 13, 2010, 05:25 PM

millefiori

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That list is hilarious! It's like 85% decades-old slang, with just a couple recent entries. Love it.
#172 - July 15, 2010, 08:36 PM

Talia,
"Epic fail" is huge with my 13 year old.
Like: "I tried to get air off that ramp, but it was an epic fail."
Or if something doesn't go right, I'll hear my teen mumble: Epic fail.

#173 - July 19, 2010, 01:18 PM
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Talia,
"Epic fail" is huge with my 13 year old.
Like: "I tried to get air off that ramp, but it was an epic fail."
Or if something doesn't go right, I'll hear my teen mumble: Epic fail.



"Fail" is used a lot now, and not just by kids. I see it used on forums a lot. I wonder if it originated online?
#174 - July 19, 2010, 05:51 PM

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Wasn't there a game show (maybe it still exists for all I know of television now days) where people had to do these outrageous stunts and if they did not do them a loud robotic sounding voice would say "FAIL"

Or that could completely be in my imagination that I hear that voice. :ahh
#175 - July 22, 2010, 07:45 PM
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EbunAdewumi

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Fail is big even in people older than teenagers.
#176 - July 24, 2010, 05:08 PM

Would your character say soda or pop? Or coke? Here's a little map - county by county of the US.

http://popvssoda.com:2998/countystats/total-county.html
#177 - September 10, 2010, 02:54 PM

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Would your character say soda or pop? Or coke? Here's a little map - county by county of the US.

http://popvssoda.com:2998/countystats/total-county.html

Very interesting! Mine would definitely say "soda." The "coke" thing really weirded me out when I first heard about it...it's like calling all fruit apples.
#178 - September 10, 2010, 11:06 PM

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Does anyone live in "other" country? I'm curious as to what other names there are for soda/pop/coke! 
#179 - September 11, 2010, 08:45 AM

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Does anyone live in "other" country? I'm curious as to what other names there are for soda/pop/coke! 

No, but I'm in Japan. Here, they call all soft drinks "juice."
#180 - September 11, 2010, 05:17 PM

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