You know what I mean... maybe

May 04, 2005

Does it ever occur to you that Angelina Jolie is really phat? Well, according to young Kiwis, she totally is.
A weird world of modern slang has evolved since the days when a beautiful woman was a fox, a young man was a dude and couples made out.
To make sure today's hapless adult can keep up, the Ministry of Youth Development this week released a list of modern terms to aid communication with younger peeps.
In today's terms, phat means good-looking or cool. And the opposite of phat? Phat-phree, naturally.

Self-respecting teens now label attractive men "skux" and strange occurrences "wack". People with red hair are ginga or morange. People trying to break into the in-crowd are klingons. To be embarrassed is to be moked or owned.

The Press took to the streets yesterday with the ministry's lingo quiz. John Cottier, 72, of Rotherham, is initially excited about the challenge. "Oh, cool," he says, only to be told the new term is kewl (pronounced kee-yool). He does not believe there is such a word as "dis", but he still correctly guesses that it means to disrespect someone.

However, it's all downhill from there, and Cottier ends the quiz with a score of one out of 10.

He remembers a time when he talked of morons, and his parents didn't have a clue what he was on about. Chur John.

Amy Hosking, 21, scores seven out of 10. "I'm not too sure how everyone speaks," she says. Aight.

Holly Downie, 15, a student at Avonside Girls' High School, is excited about being in the paper. She scores eight out of 10, and guesses that some of the words in the quiz are better known in the North Island. True dat.

But Holly and her friends have words of warning.

Just because you're now up to date with the kewl, dope, gravy, mint lingo of today's young peeps doesn't mean you should drop the odd klingon, moked or dis into conversation.

Sam Walker, 15, also a student at Avonside Girls' High School, says adults sound totally wrong talking about gingas or trippin'.

"Like, no," she says, hand raised in the air in protest. Fo' shizzle ma nizzle, Sam.

Link to Quiz: www.myd.govt.nz/pag.cfm?i=480

Source: Massey University

Explore further: Smartphone app used by experimenters to learn more about aspects of morality

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