Friday, August 7, 2009

Slang dictionary

Writing is all about words.

I know. I'm stating the obvious.

But when you sift through words, you discover there are everday words like "run" or "eat" or "look" or "dog" or "boy" or "house," to name a few.

And then there is slang.

And sometimes as writers, we need slang. To make our fiction characters more believable. More interesting. Or to make our non-fiction punchier.

Enter u.c.l.a. 6, a definitive slang dictionary published every four years since 1998 in conjunction with a University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) undergraduate linguistics course.

The 20th edition has more than 1,000 entries. Words must be used on campus and be unlikely to appear in basic ol' Webster's dictionary.

Here's some of the latest slang. Can you use any in your work in progress?

Schwa— a synonym for "wow" — exemplifies the rarest approach to slang creation: pulling new words out of thin air

Destroy— to do well on something like a test

Napster— to interrupt

Epic fail
— What a mistake!

Obama— cool or rad, as in: You just aced that exam — you are so Obama!

Mija— Spanish for "my daughter", but is slang for female friend

Clipping — cutting a syllable or two from a commonly accepted word — produces words like the verb "presh," short for precious, and the adjective "bellig," which rhymes with fridge and is short for belligerent and drunk.

Or just take the first initials of common phrases and you come up with I. D. K. (I Don't Know) or FOMO, which rhymes whith majordomo, and means Fear of Missing Out.

That's your dose of slang for the day!

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