By J1 Reporter Abby Elkins
“You can’t put the cart before the horse,” “you’re as mad as a hatter,” “you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear;” all of these sayings seem foreign to teens today because they are not familiar with how to use them. Each era has unique expressions containing their advice or wisdom. Now, think about how adults feel with the lingo that is used today. While it is second nature for teenagers to use and hear these sayings, adults look at them like they have lobsters crawling out of their ears.
Sayings used in the past seem intricate, but they have simple meanings behind them. For example, “As mad as a hatter” refers to hat makers in the 18th and 19th century who used mercury to make them in factories. The intense chemical caused mental illness causing them to go “mad.” It’s a phrase used when someone seems to have gone crazy or has done something bizarre.
“You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear” probably sounds very obscure, but the meaning is enlightening; you can not make something better than what it is.
These expressions fit the time period they came from, as do the expressions teens use today. Teachers at Marian tried their best to understand what they mean; many answers were more clever than the actual meanings.
“Let’s get this bread” has become a very popular saying referring to dough, which is another term for money. However, it’s been expanded to meaning any kind of plan for accomplishment.
Sr. Margaret Buchta, a Servant of Mary, had a very clever interpretation. “I would have to say that it means eating and sharing bread with those who have less than you, referring to communion with those you care about.”
Similarly Mr. Mark Koesters, a Latin and theology teacher, eagerly exclaimed, “It means let’s go get food!”
While these are both fantastic guesses, gym teacher Mrs. Beth Dye gave the best definition; “Oh, it means let’s get this started.” She was so inspired that she
used the term later in the day to her Block G class. “They all screamed when I said, ‘let’s start this bread’.” She put her own twist to the saying, but it was still successful.
“FOMO,” meaning the fear of missing out, was a difficult one for teachers. Sr. Margaret thought about her response for a while, and then came up with the conclusion, “Does it mean fascinating opportunity to make one?”
A bright response from Mr. Koesters made sense, though it was not the correct answer. “Does it refer to photos, like a photo mat?”
We can’t blame the teachers; some teenagers have yet to understand this slang word.
The next saying introduced was to “stay woke;” this means to be alert and ready. Sr. Margaret pondered on it when asked; she then guessed, “to stay with our kind earth and practice recycling and conservation.”
One of the most common slang words, “it’s lit,” had a new meaning to her as well. “After you light a candle for peace, then you say it’s lit and continue to hold a loved one in prayer.”
All responses have a lot more thought and meaning than the original slang words do. However, imagine being placed in a different era and trying to understand the different slang that’s used. Teachers have once felt this way, but after learning definitions of teen lingo, they are even more hip than before.