Lost In Translation

I remember when I was growing up thinking that the adults in my family were totally not cool.  Their music was wimpy and they watched soap operas.  I distinctly remember thinking when I was twelve or so that I was never going to be uncool like they were.

Boy was I wrong.  As it turns out I am, as an adult, not only out of “The Loop” but said loop is now strange and scary to me.  Listening to teenagers speak causes me to cock my head to the side like a golden retriever and spike an eyebrow into my hairline.  My ears hear the words but my brain translates them in a completely different context than what was intended.

Daytime talk shows are responsible for exposing me to a lot of this contemporary dialogue.  In between the bleeped out expletives and modern colorful phrases I may as well be watching a show in French or Swahili. 

Listed below are the most commonly heard phrases and the literal interpretation that my mind offers.

Starting with the most comprehensible:

Hot Mess

While I was able to grasp what they were intending with this one I still couldn’t stop myself from picturing compost baking in the sun.


Okay, I can KIND OF understand this one.  Diamond, Ice.  I can see that.  I can’t bring myself to like it though.


Now we enter into the realm of “…huh?”  I don’t even have to poke fun at this one.  It doesn’t need my help.

Get out of my grill

Every time I hear this phrase I imagine someone sitting happily in the person’s BBQ while they tell them to get out of it.  Either that or someone trying to interrupt while the person interrogates a criminal.


There have been a lot of substitutions for “money” and I can’t understand why.  Money is a perfectly cromulent word (Points to anyone who can define cromulent).  But through the years it’s been called cash, bread, dough (see a pattern here?), benjamins, dead presidents, moolah, and now cheese.

 Oh yes, that’s me.  That is exactly the sort of thing I do and exactly the sort of thing I say.  And that is exactly the look my friends give me.  No one can try to use this phrase around me with any amount of seriousness because I will inevitably whip out my phone, turn on Pac Man, and announce that my game is better than theirs.

Shoot the Five

I had to go online to look up the meaning of this one.  Even knowing the definition (to fight) I still don’t understand it’s origin.  Are you shooting your fist at someone?  Do you throw five coins at them and hope one pokes them in the eye? 

As much as these phrases make no sense to me I am forced to admit that the idioms of my era weren’t any better. 

The Bomb

How is something or someone “the Bomb” exactly?  Are they prone to spontaneous explosion? 

All that and a bag of chips

Since when were chips considered to be attractive?  “Say, nice chips!”  Was that supposed to be a substitute for “Infinity” once “Infinity” wasn’t allowed anymore? 

“My hair is cute!”
“Mine is cuter!”
“Is not!”
”Is too!”
“Is not, infinity!”
“Infinity is not allowed!”
“Well then mine is cute PLUS chips!  So there!”
“…well screw you, jerk!”

Cool Beans

I know people who still use this phrase.  I even have a tattoo of beans on my arm hidden within a tattoo sleeve.  I really do.  I’m only slightly ashamed to admit it.

There are so many more phrases that I am either annoyed by or ashamed to have used but I had to force myself to stop before I drew an entire graphic novel.

I think a part II may be in my future…

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