Sunday, February 03, 2008

Learning new words

So far this trip to New Zealand has greatly improved my vocabulary.

From time spent with my 11-year-old half sister and 14 year-old half brother, I have learned that "random" is now an exclamation akin to "awesome" or "cool".

E.g. "Hey, watch this card trick."
[Demonstrate card trick.]
Sister, impressed: "Random!"

From time spent with various other family members, I have learned that "sweet as" has moved on from an exclamation to a bona fide adjective that can come before the noun.

Formerly: "How was the BBQ?"
"Sweet as."

Now: "That was a sweet as BBQ, eh bro?"

From the NZ news, I have learned that the verb "to monster" has now crossed the Tasman. I have come across it in Australia (and been baffled - "Paedophile monsters small boy"), but heard it for the first time here a couple of days ago: "The car was monstered off the road by a logging truck, and rolled down the bank."

12 Comments:

Clair said...

Language is a strange and bizarre thing.

But I guess you know that ;)

Anastasia said...

i love monster as verb. that's umm...random!

EcoGeoFemme said...

I dislike sweet as. Sweet as what?

Badaunt said...

Thanks for the Zild lesson. I'll be there in a few weeks for the first time in about four years, and I'm a little worried I won't understand anybody anymore.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Are you sure that the exclamation isn't "Sweet ass!" (With emphasis on the first word.) Because I know people (especially my former roommate) that use that as a exclamation all the time.

Geeka said...

yeah, I thought that is was 'sweet ass' as well.

grace said...

Do you think "sweet as..." was ever a complete similie? If so, what could the lost word be?!

I think the "as" works as an intensifier. "Sweet" works on its own, but "sweet as!" is much more emphatic.

StyleyGeek said...

No, it really really isn't :) Because for one thing, NZers don't really use the word "ass" (we say "arse" and it sounds really different from "as"). For another, you can use it with pretty much any adjective (although sweet as is the only one you can use before nouns as far as I have heard): "I'm tired as" or "he was greedy as". Also, the emphasis has to be on the second word (sweet AS, so it would be pretty clear if it was arse or ass). And finally, it just isn't.

StyleyGeek said...

Grace, if the "lost" word is anything, I think it is "anything".

Sweet as anything.
Tired as anything.
= "sweet as"/"tired as".

grace said...

I'm still boggling that "sick" now means "cool".

And that "gay" apparently now means "lame".

grace said...

"Sweet as anything" makes sense. It's more grammatical but just about as vacuous! Can nobody think of anything colourful to say?

sophistiKate said...

Here in New England (in the US), people say "Sweet Ass" just like that. Is there a connection?

Back in 2002, I had a roommate who used to say "random" in a derogatory fashion. For example, if someone was dressed strangely, she might describe it to me and end by scoffing and saying, "Random!" I don't know if she was representative of other college students at the time, since I've never been up on the hip-people language.