One of the things I love about being black is the sauce we put on language. Slang is the inside joke that we created, remixed, and continue to innovate. It's not acceptable everywhere because some people don't understand it *cough cough corporate America* Other cultures do the same but it's Black History Month so I want to celebrate some of my favorite phrases and sayings. This year is special because 2019 marks 400 years since enslaved Africans arrived to Jamestown. So let me #putyouongame (Explain something to the uninitiated) for the next 28 days (Black History Month) I'll post and try to explain some of them. This is my first time doing a daily project.
Aight so boom is one of the funniest phrases I've heard because if you say it, you have to follow with one of the dopest stories ever told. You set an expectation as soon as you say it and your reputation is on the line. You'll get clowned if you're boring. It's the black "Once upon a time"
Finna is a super old expression. I don't even know where it came from but it means fixing + to or about to. I use it all the time.
Bruh means exactly what you think it's a saucy version of bro. It's more commonly used as an expression of being fed up. i.e.
"After all that, I'm like Bruh!" I use this every day.
This is usually said to somebody when they're being weird or acting boogie (Drinking ice mountain with their pinky raised)
I hear it used as a question most. i.e. "Why you ackin' different?"
This is one of the more spicy phrases or onamonapias if a black person says this then they don't believe you or we are on your side lol. If we on your side then this is to hype you up. If we don't believe you we want you to shut up wit all them lies lol.
Don't use this unless you have experience with it lol.
Contrary to how this looks and how the phrase sounds if you're called goofy or a goofy it's not a good thing. It means you're a dummy and people don't want to be around you. *Kanye shrug* Don't be goofy.
Fashhhhhhhoooooo means for sure it's not that hard to understand. Add more than one to add to the amount of sauce.
If you trippin trippin you need to cease and desist. You're obviously acting totally out of character and you're friends, your family, and everyone at the office knows so just stop. The double word to add emphasis is another thing black people do to add sauce but it's become more popular.
So this one I've heard two ways Nahmean or yahmean they both mean "you know what I mean?" You pull this one out of the tuck when you think you sound crazy and you ask the listener if they understand. Naaahmmeeannn?
What are you talking about? Like you're obviously saying something silly and out of pocket if someone says this to you.
It is usually accompanied with the standard you-stupid-face.
This something I've only heard from old people. Here's the situation; You muster up the courage to bring your significant other to a family event (let's say Thanksgiving dinner). You introduce them to the elders at the event and the say "Ohh that's your lil' friend." So it means your significant other. But only old people can say it because they have the old people pass. Someone younger may smack you.
Just saying I gave you fair warning.
This be used to mean family or to add emphasis like bruh. See Bruh post. If someone uses fam to add emphasis though you may want to listen to them because you're not understanding something fam.
So where I come from people don't really say bye. Especially black men. We say be safe out here namely because we know we could lose our lives for any reason at any moment. Playing at the playground, playing music too loud, Sitting minding our own business, being pulled over a routine traffic stop and complying, selling cd's, fitting a description etc... So we say be safe out here as a prayer to God that we see each other again because he only knows if we will. So Be safe out here fam.
The unofficial season that happens at the beginning of fall right before it gets cold enough to wear a hoodie all day.
Everyone somehow knows it's the time to get into a relationship or better known as getting cuffed.
Ohhhhhh I seee youuuuu out here! Another of my favorite phrases said between black people.
This is usually said when you show up somewhere with a new crispy cut or a new fit.
Before Drake came out with that song last year this was one of the most popular phrases said when you don't know what you're feeling but it's emotional. You know you don't feel normal though.
Not explaining this one.
This is another obvious one so I had to add auntie Meryl for the for extra seasoning. Use this just to get someone's attention.
*full disclosure* I use this as a filler phrase when I need to insert a response in a conversation when the other person is doing 99% of the talking.
I usually switch between that's real and that's crazy to give a little variety. It can be used a little sarcastic too if you want to add some spice.
So this one is used to hype women up. Which is the more popular use and the one I love. In different contexts,
it can be used to empathize with a woman, usually when she is telling a painful story.
How do you make a strong promise without sounding corny? You swear on the homies who died.
I've never used this one but I know its more popular on the west coast.
Don't get lost in the sauce. The sauce lasts forever unlike the juice which expires after a while. The sauce is style, creativity, and confidence.
This phrase is the beginning of an infinite loop among black men when we see each other. This is usually the first response to "What's up" and I hate it so much lol. It means exactly what it says but it's meant as a compliment on accomplishments and or style.
But it can go back and forth infinitely. Thus leading to spontaneous combustion.
I got it (whatever it is), on me. That's all I'm sayin'.
So I use to say this ALOT *21 Savage voice* This our (my Christian friends) way not saying cuss words but having the same syllables with added emphasis on the shoot holding those O's as long as possible and never saying the T after. I don't even know who thought this up.
I just learned what this recently. It's the remix to "Say no more fam" which isn't even that old.
But like I said at the beginning slang gets reimagined often and that's one of the things I love about it.
This is a reimagining of the Black is beautiful phrase but focusing on the happiness and joy of black men. Here's some history on Black is beautiful from Wikipedia. Just replace the phrases and you'll see what I mean. Black is beautiful is a cultural movement that was started in the US in the 1960s by African Americans. It later spread beyond the United States, most prominently in the writings of the Black Consciousness Movement of Steve Biko in South Africa. Black is beautiful got its roots from the Négritude movement of the 1930s. Negritude argued for the importance of a Pan-African racial identity among people of African descent worldwide.-It aims to dispel the racist notion that black people's natural features such as skin color, facial features and hair are inherently ugly. John Rock was long thought to be the first to coin the phrase "black is beautiful" — during a speech in 1858—but historical records indicate he never actually used the specific phrase on that day. The movement also encouraged men and women to stop trying to eliminate African-identified traits by straightening their hair and attempting to lighten or bleach their skin.-This movement began in an effort to counteract the racist notion in American culture that features typical of Blacks were less attractive or desirable than those of Whites. Research indicates that the idea of blackness being ugly is highly damaging to the psyche of African Americans, manifesting itself as internalized racism.
This is a reimagining of the Black is beautiful phrase but focusing on the magic, joy, and beauty of black women. See my last post for a history lesson on the Black is beautiful phrase. I've enjoyed sharing some of my favorite phrases with you guys. I hope you enjoyed it too.
One of the dope things about black history is that it never ends because we're still creating. So go be creative.