The English language is always evolving, our vocabulary changing as our culture changes. Bling, half-caf, guyliner, and f-bomb were some of the words that achieved dictionary status this year.
New words are created, and old ones take on new meaning. Planking used to refer to a construction project, not a recreational activity, and with the arrival of the internet, trolling has an entirely different meaning for my kids than it does for me.
When the question came up in my writers’ critique group whether the phrase “chasing skirts” was still in use, it made me curious. I asked my eldest—the self-proclaimed slacker—what he and his friends called it when they went to the mall looking for girls. He responded with “babe hunting.”
I couldn’t resist the chance to get his thoughts on “babe hunting.” Upon request, he graciously shared his insight:
- You only have to look good if you’re going to see girls. (Translation: You don’t have to worry about taking a shower or brushing your teeth unless you’re going to see girls.)
- You only have to be nice to the girls you might want for a girlfriend.
- If you see a girl you like, you have to call dibs on her before your friends do.
- Your friends can’t date your ex. (Unless you hate her. Then it’s okay because you don’t care.)
He’s enjoyed quite a bit of success with his techniques, although I can’t vouch for the quality of those relationships. Perhaps that aspect will come with time.
The words we use to describe it may be different, but the teenage pursuit of love continues as it has for generations, and it’s nice to know some things stay the same.
Related posts: Writing Advice From a Ninth-Grade Slacker
©2012 Kim Vandel