Cave Art Press Five-Minute Writing Tip: Cheddar in My Packet

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Cheddar in My Pocket: Slang—New and Old

Whenever I go home to Texas to visit my family, I return with a plethora of new slang, mostly from my nieces and nephews, and mostly unprintable. I’m certainly not going to print any of it here. Instead here’s a sampling of the most common slang:

  1. Iffy means not sure.
  2. Info is short for information.
  3. Fam is short for the family, and peeps refers to your friends and/or family.
  4. Hottie is a sexy man. I wonder if this comes from those firemen calendars?
  5. A guy who hangs out with his buddy has a bromance going.
  6. A foodie is a person who likes food, cooking, and watching the Food Network.
  7. Helicopter parent is an overprotective parent.
  8. Selfie is an iPhone photo of yourself.
  9. Zonked means sound asleep.
  10. Sweet is something special, wonderful, amazing, or cute.
  11. Staycation is sticking around the house on your vacation. After most of my vacations, I need a staycation.
  12. A ratchet is someone who is obnoxious or rude. I think of Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher) in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”.

The website ( is great for researching historical slang. Here are some antiquated terms you might not remember:

  1. In the 1900s, hep meant cool in the music scene. “That saxophone musician is hep.” Maybe it was changed to hip in the sixties.
  2. In the 1910s, a stupid person was called a date. Makes you think.
  3. Popular in the 1920s, butt me meant asking for a cigarette.
  4. Also from the 1920s, if your final exam was duck soup, it was easy.
  5. If you asked someone was for dog soup in the 1930s, you’d get a glass of water.
  6. In the 1930s, if you thought you knew everything, you were an abercrombie.
  7. If you had motorized freckles in the 1940s, you were being swarmed by insects.
  8. With all those souped-up hot-rods in the 1950s, it’s not surprising that lay a patch meant peeling off and leaving rubber on the road.
  9. Foam domes in the 1960s were padded bras. I can see that.
  10. Bone jack in the 1970s meant stealing a dead person’s style. Think of all the bone jackers around today imitating Elvis.
  11. Beauty is not always in the eye of the beholder, and in the 1980s you might have gotten a black eye by telling someone to bag your face.
  12. In the 1990s, if you had a pocket full of cheddar, you had a lot of cash, and maybe a few dogs following you.
  13. Most of this slang makes sense once you think that about it. But eggs in coffee, from the 1930s, had me stumped. It meant things were running smoothly, or everything was okay.If I had eggs for breakfast, I would want coffee too. Not because of the eggs, but because I need caffeine in the morning. But eggs in the coffee would not be “eggs in coffee” with me.



One Response

  1. I survived teaching the 7th grade by having bookmarked on my computer. It saved me much embarrassment and bought a lot of students detention.