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Thursday, September 1, 2011

What is Hip? Tell Me, Tell Me, If You Think You Know

A worked-over re-post. And you know why? Because I had band practice last night! Hee-hee! I'm so excited!

I see myself as a pretty hip chick. For cryin’ out loud, look at all the evidence I have!: Creedence Clearwater 8-tracks, embroidered bell bottoms, one of those big combs sticking out of my back pocket…

That’s all still cool, right? Am I right?

I’m hip, baby; and what you’re cookin’?

I’m smellin’ it.

But I worry – not that my cats aren’t getting enough tartar control in their “crunchy seafood medley” diet or that my canned foods have fallen out of alphabetical order. No. I’m worried that I’m not keeping up with the slang like I used to. Sometimes, perhaps during a bout of casual eavesdropping on the bus, I overhear people speaking English and yet I have no idea what they are saying. They’re speaking in a code they’re not sharing, and I want in.

As has been noted in the past, I’m a lover of words: multi-syllabic words, words with heft and girth, words borrowed from previous generations. I love ‘em.

And that’s why I’ve arranged for lessons.

Why not? I figure The Boy can always use a couple extra bucks, and who better to bring me up to speed on what the Cool Kids are saying these days than my smart-aleck of a boy?

I’m really excited about this.

He’s already assigned me my first word.

“Give me a good one,” I say, whipping out a notebook and writing the date carefully in the left-hand corner. Smiling, he gives me the word. I just know this is going to work out well. I mean, I’ve even spelled it correctly, right off the bat: “cheevil”.

The Boy assures me that if I slip this word into casual conversation it’ll be noticeably cool.

But what’s it mean? I ask him.

You don’t need a meaning, he says. That’s what makes it such a great word – it covers everything.

You guys, I’m so excited. Things over here are going to be totally cheevil!


Vicus Scurra said...

I am reconsequate that you have unfoculated your grasp of the vernacular. Wibble!

Simply Suthern said...

Once in a blue moon I use a $2 or $3 word but I usually try to keep it simple for my peeps. Did that sound hip? No? I didnt think so either.

Such is life.

Back in the day you wernt cool till you had one of those embroidered "Dead End" Patches sewn to the back side of your bell bottom britches. Or was that the rough crowd?

Joshua said...

Truly, where is the merriment in monosyllabic confabulation whilst perambulating? One needs piquancy, after all.

Nessa Roo said...

well, at least it's duo-syllabic.

Pearl said...

:-) MAN. I know some of the smartest people!

Joshua said...

Don't confuse smart with smartass. ;^)

Douglas said...

So ya wanna dump out yo' trick bag.
Ease on in a hip thang,
But you ain't exactly sure what is hip.
So you started to let your hair grow.
Spent big bucks on your wardrobe.
Somehow, ya know there's much more to the trip.

What is hip?
Tell me, tell me, if you think you know.
What is hip?
If you're really hip,
the question, "Will it show?"
You're into a hip trip.
Maybe hipper than hip.
What is hip?

Tower of Power had the answer... I think.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

I would beware of the "cheevil" if I were you. Methinks your hip lad is "putting one over on you" if you know what I mean. Besides, you are hip. It's hip to be yourself right?

Eva Gallant said...

I'm with mybabyjohn/delores! I smell a rat!

Leenie said...

Trust but verify. Foshizzle.

GoldenGirl said...

It's hip to be a square. Duh.

powdergirl said...

I'm Canadian Pearl, its in my very nature to be tragically hip. But I think cheevil is a French cheese...

Pearl said...

Joshua, well there goes everything I hold dear...

Oh, Douglas. :-) One of my favorite songs, yes, and I'm glad to know the reference did not go unnoticed.

Delores, the Boy?! Play with my head?! NEVER! :-)

Eva, my dear son has been playing with me since the day he was born. :-)

Leenie, thazz mah dawg!!

Golden Girl, true dat! :-)

powdergirl, ahh. Another of my favorite bands. Not to mention the fact that Canadians are -- and I think we're all in agreement here -- the very definition of "cool". Which of course means that any Minnesotan, by dint of location alone!, is also pretty cool. Right? Can I get a what-what?

WrathofDawn said...


I suggest you check the Urban Dictionary before accepting any suggested cool words.

Word of warning, though. You may need therapy after dipping your toe in that skanky mess.

Scarlet Blue said...

A cheevil sounds like an evil bug that likes nesting in unwashed socks.

Audubon Ron said...

You may be selling your soul to the devil and not know. You'll burn in hell for eternity if you ever say that word again.

I'm just thinking out loud.

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

Methinks The Boy is yankin' your cheevil.
(And we wanna hear all about band practice, Pearl. You band geek, er, I mean, rock star, you!)

George said...

I am so unfamiliar with current slang it's not funny. I refuse to use most of it as I find it to be unflattering in its resonance.

jenny_o said...

Okay, so when I googled your word there along with "urban dictionary", the top two hits were YOUR BLOG, Pearl. Even before actual Urban Dictionary sites.

And then, just because I was still curious and liking a good word as much as the next geek, I checked Urban Dictionary. Knowing from previous forays what it's like, I held my nose, closed one eye and squinted with the other - only to find that your word is NOT THERE.


So, can I use your clever son's word the next time I'm playing Balderdash? Thanks :)

Joyful Things said...

The Boy is on to something - the word doesn't have to mean anything but it does need to sound like it does. Some new words fly and some fail but every word we use has been made up at one time or another by someone needing a new description, which beats out grunts and finger points. When my boys fling out something new I just smile and nod like I know what they are talking about........ smile and nod, just smile and nod.

ipenka said...

My younger brother recently told me about my hats and how they're not hip anymore.

I couldn't grasp the full transition but I think they went through: curved backwards, curved sideways, flat-billed forward, curved backwards, flat-billed sideways, to now back to curved forward.

Just over the course of last week.

jabblog said...

Make up your own words - it's more fun and it will confuse everyone - or just speak plain English which could confuse some.

Mandy_Fish said...

That's pretty cheeve for a white girl.

Leenie said...

Pearl: Sept. is the perfect month for the best drip-down-your chin canning peaches. We import ours from Utah.

R. Jacob said...

I am so lost. That is why I prefer older women, we speak the same language, 23 skidoo! maybe too old?

alwaysinthebackrow said...

Oh, wow! Band Practice!!!

Wait, is that slang?

Does it mean......you know what? Or maybe it means THAT! Please, I don't have an urban dictionary. I need to know!

savannah said...

but most importantly, was it Bolero, sugar?

re the hip new word of the day...follow what wrath of dawn said: urbandictionary.com


Gigi said...

Have your Boy and my boy been chatting? It sure seems like it.

And just so ya know, I don't trust my boy at ALL when it comes to him teaching me to be hip.

Silliyak said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Silliyak said...

I was listening to that very song this am on my walk. Tower of Power (A local band hereabouts) has the sound that I imagine Lisa Bean's band has, that, or a bluesy french jazz club kind of sound.

Susan in the Boonies said...

I love, love, love your title.

It's an old song I love, isn't it?

Locally, my favorite band back in the 80's (Contraband) used to play it.

Totally hip.

Susan in the Boonies said...

Looks like my favorite band was covering a Tower of Power tune from the '70's. Phenomenal!

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

sometimes i make them up as i go along. if you sound good to yourself, sound like you know what it's all about, most people will believe it's true. My cool son mostly tells me I'm not, end of story.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Well dagnabit! "Cheevil" ain't in my dictionary.

I looked. I really did. I'm one of your more "special" followers. I can't believe I'm so foolish as to...have such an un-hip dictionary.


Bodacious Boomer said...

Aren't cheevils what you get if you sleep with a skeevy person?

Shelly said...

Your description of cool totally matches mine. My 15 year old was absolutely horrified when I told her I could "chunk da deuce". Totally not cool for someone my age, according to her.

Doubting Thomas said...

I know what chervil is, but I'm drawing a blank on "cheevil." Although I'm firmly entrenched in my mid-30's, my kids keep me somewhat informed. Like others have said, run the word past the 'ol Urban Dictionary before using. It's saved me more than once from the embarrassment of the wrong word at the wrong time. Kind of like saying naughty words in Spanish in front of the in-laws... not that I ever did that... :)

Pat Tillett said...

I always thought hep was more hep than hip.
But then I was never too hep (or hip).

Pat said...

Isn't it a marsupial?

IndigoWrath said...


"words with heft and girth"?

I think I'm in love.