Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Urban Dictionary would have helped

As a young lady, we had a few unladylike expressions. One of them, used far and wide by teens across America, was a reference to a biological process. It also doubled as slang for someone you liked to imply, based on their behavior, was experiencing that biological process. Here is an example when Urban Dictionary, had it only been created then, could have helped. OR, an example of when you should not repeat what you hear your teenage daughter say.

My Mom is at her corporate office for a standard day’s work. Her boss, who is also a friend, comes in her office with a litany of questions about a certain business topic. As they converse, she notes his usual pleasant disposition is a bit off-tilt. As the conversation continues, his mood never lifts. As he departs her office, she asks if he is feeling ok. He replies yes. She says, “I was just curious because you seem off today." He assures her he is fine and continues on his way. 

Later, in another conversation, he gives a snappish answer to someone. When others leave, my Mom turns to him and in a joking manner says, "You are not yourself today. Are you sure you aren't on the rag?”

Silence. Complete and lengthy silence. And then he laughs. And tells her to go home and ask her teenage daughter what that expression means.

Her thought: It means you are crabby.
The truth: It means you are menstruating. Or acting like a crabby little betch because you are menstruating.

She was mortified. Luckily, he had teenage children as well. And they were friends. AND he has one hell of a sense of humor.

Teachable moment: Moms, better check the lexicon before you borrow phrases from your children. And I am certain she never uttered that particular phrase again. 

Sorry Mom. I am laughing at your expense today.  And I already gave the disclaimer it was NOT a ladylike expression. And no, I don't think I needed my mouth washed out with soap for it because we both know, it would have done NO good. haha.

PS: My laptop has a playdate with IT on Thursday to upgrade my aircard. One knows better than to tell IT to "hop to it" because one has a blog post that just can't wait. One knows IT holds the power. One will simply smile at IT and post again on Friday. 

PPS: IT knows NOTHING about one's blog and I think it wise to keep it that way. 

94 comments:

Jules said...

GOD, I hated that expression!

Brian Miller said...

lol. working with kids keeps me pretty much up to date on the vernacular...

singedwingangel said...

Roflmbo ahh mothers.. mine is 71 now and says some stuff she would never have dreamed of saying in public a few years ago.. Age the natural inhibition blocker..

Maria said...

Maybe that's what's wrong with me this week.

Wonderful post, so good to hear that Mom's boss was with it and had a good sense of humor...Could have been REALLY ugly if not.

Cybil said...

That's great! The men I work with are accustomed to me telling them to "Go take a Midol" when they are behaving badly!

the walking man said...

jennyM..."on the rag" is so old school that it is near close to being dropped from the language...I suggest you make some teenage friends (especially EMO ones) if you wish to upgrade your systems.

Christina Lee said...

HA-- I love that she said that!

jules said...

Eww! That has always been the grossest expression!

Lauren said...

Your poor mother! Thankfully my mother rarely borrowed expressions from me. My husband on the other hand, throws that particular one around quite alot!

Karen said...

Laughing my a** off!!... I forgot about that expression....

CambridgeLady said...

Never heard that one before!

Simon said...

Apologies for the length of this comment!

This can be as much cultural as a generation thing. Yesterday I was on Gchat with a 22 year old female friend.

Her: WARNING:
Tomorrow starts the monthly Armageddon
wear a cup
Me: Er... right.
I shall take care not to say anything provocative.
And agree with everything you say.
Though I already do that...
Her: :D

The ‘Er… right.’ was because I understood the ‘monthly Armageddon’ reference, but had no idea what she meant by ‘wear a cup.’ A few hours later:

Her: There is always a place in my chatter box for you
Me: Aw.
Her: no sexuality purposely applies
Me: Haha. It never occurred to me!
In England, a 'box' is slang for the protective plastic cover worn by cricket players to protect their genitals.
I just felt you should know that.
Her: In America, a 'box' is a woman's vagina
Me: As I became aware when I started blogging.
Her: We call them "cups" here
Which is why i told you earlier to "wear a cup"
Me: Ah!
I thought you were just rambling.

Though most US slang migrates pretty quickly to the UK, transatlantic conversations can still be full of pitfalls. Take precautions.

mbkatc230 said...

I've always hated that expression - until now! What a great story, and glad that the boss had a sense of humor. Your poor mother... Kathy

Secretia said...

Wow, I've been hearing that "on the rag" for 20 years at least.

Plentymorefishoutofwater said...

Haha, quality expression. I've not heard it - over here we say 'on her blob'.
Check out my dating disasters:
*Plentymorefishoutofwater - One Man's Dating Diary*

BigSis said...

Wow. Talk about an HR nightmare. Certain things are just not meant to be discussed in the workplace.

Simply Suthern said...

Guys know and use that term wayyy too much descibing the ladies. Thats pretty much the diagnosis any time the girl disses the guy regardless if it was because the guy was making an unwelcomed advance or just being a jerk.
Be careful with IT. They know all see all.

Shorty said...

Beware my friend... IT KNOWS ALL! (mwhaaahaaaa!)

Jen said...

That is so something that my Dad would do. He is always trying to use slang but fails miserably.

mo.stoneskin said...

Misusing the rag word is a definite no-no. I've never used it in the wrong way, not so much out of respect or maturity, I just wouldn't want a slap, that's all.

leigh said...

That is hilarious!

MommaKiss said...

Love. Your. Mom!

that's hysterical.

good luck w/ the IT dept ;)

Scraps said...

Just too funny! I've never really been fond of that particular phrase, either.

My own mother seems to be addicted to the word "Whack" (wack?) as in, that's so whack. We just stifle our giggles and shake our heads.

Rebekah said...

Oh no! That's almost as bad as the time my friend's mom asked her what a bl-W j_b was. She looked at her mom very earnestly and said "When a man and a woman love each other very much..." Her mom cut her off at that point.

Aging Mommy said...

Very funny - thank goodness your Mom's boss has a sense of humor, she must have been mortified when she realized what she had really said.

The Boob Nazi said...

I hate when guys use that expression. It's just like, if you've never experienced it, YOU CAN'T USE IT.

M-Cat said...

Which is why I had to subscribe to the daily urban dictionary word of the day. We were all calling my granddaughter Chunch (chunky cheeks) until someone kindly told me what it REALLY meant.

And I have Tiburon to help out as well. I accidentally used the word twat IN A STAFF MEETING. WITH A SPECIAL GUEST! (I thought it meant like nerd, dweeb). I was corrected and then warned to not have to bring HR in AGAIN!

I'm such a loser at these things. I feel like I love your Mom already!!

Liza said...

I'm a lot older then you, so let's see how this flies. My mother had her own venacular...a pimple was a "hickey." To this day, my sister says she wanted to crawl on the floor the time Mom took her to the dermotologist. Mom told the doctor they were there because my sister was "getting a lot of hickeys." :)

Christine Macdonald said...

I adore your family. And you.

Yankee Girl said...

I know what "on the rag" means, but I still use it with men. I SWEAR they have a moody time of the month as well!

Bossy Betty said...

Hate that expression! Good luck with the IT guys/gals!

Jenn@ You know... that blog? said...

OMG I hate that expression... loathe it!! Your poor mom, heehee :D

Emily said...

That is HILARIOUS! And totally something my mother would do.
And for the record, I have always disliked that expression...it just conjurs up a gross image. I prefer Cher's phrase; surfing the crimson wave. ;)

Baloney said...

Nasty expression.
I can't believe your mom didn't know what it meant?!

Herding Cats said...

Aw that's kind of cute. At least her boss was understanding. My mom likes to swear sometimes (my brother & I were bad influences) and it is hilarious because she's 5'2, an elementary school teacher, and just about the most innocent looking 60 year old lady you've ever seen.

Jessica said...

Oh my gosh! Thats most awful expression ever!

Live.Love.Eat said...

Um, why can't I figure out the expression for the biological process....

need more coffee. oh no, it just hit me. hah.

Dumblond said...

Haha! That's awesome.
I don't have that particular problem with my parents though. They get the phrases that the "young" people use. They choose to embarass me (and themselves) in other ways...Like my father's love of Backstreet Boys CDs...

jamie said...

I have always hated that expression.

Heavenly Housewife said...

LOL, thats funny :)
My new blog went up today and I am so excited. Stop by and check out my brand new and improved site daaaahling. I want to know what you think. I'm also doing a fab give away.
*kisses* HH

Chez Zizi said...

Tell your mom I was laughing at her expense too. I had completely forgotten that expression.
Thanks for the chuckle. And thank goodness they were friends and he had a sense of humor. BTW, did his mood lift after that?

Zizette

carma said...

I'm with Jules - one of the worst expressions ever - funny about your mom using it though :D

IT better not do too much poking around

EmcogNEATO! said...

Too funny, whether she knew what she was saying or not! :)

Living on the Spit said...

Have you ever heard Trina? Now, there's an Urban Education...great post babe...great.

Leah Rubin said...

That's a classic! Poor mom must have wanted to evaporate when she found out! Love this!

blueviolet said...

I actually haven't heard that expression in a long time. I'm glad it lightened that guy's mood though! LOL

Laoch of Chicago said...

Always dangerous to allow IT people near the precious laptop.

Michael Rivers said...

I needed a great laugh before lunch. And this did it!

Slamdunk said...

Poor mom. I am glad that no one in my family is a regular reader of my blog--as then they can be used as post topics (not that tales of my own goofiness will ever cause me to need addditional subject matter).

On your PS: many of my coworkers could not get that about the IT department. Employees should be very respectful of them (even when the Geeks service is lousy).

The bosses think they can urinate on IT people, but they always can get the last laugh.

DeNae said...

Oh, the stories I could tell...

Although my two daughters (17 and 20) are kind of bigger prudes than I am! But still, there are stories...

Pricilla said...

Aaaah, so what if IT does a little digging while installing said aircard?
heh

SmartBear said...

LOL...the difference of having a mom who is only 17 years older than you? She TAUGHT me that expression! I know, awful...
Tina

MommyLovesStilettos said...

HA! Your mom is awesome!

My name is PJ. said...

Laughed my butt off!

P.S. Poor Mom!!!

P.M.S. Hi IT!!

Vodka Logic said...

My mother would have said the same thing not realizing.. so funny.

What is an aircard?

Ashley Stone said...

that's funny

Christopher said...

This reminds me of when my brother sent out one of those bulk emails of a tea-party activist holding a sign that said "teabaggin for jesus" and when my mom got it she didn't get the joke so she wrote him back trying to figure out what was so funny... he didn't have the heart to tell her.

Karen said...

I always hated that expression, too. But I wonder if my mom had any similar experiences using slang she picked up from me.

Knowing her, she probably did.

Grand Pooba said...

Hahaha! My love for you mom grows stronger the more I learn about her!

Still can't get over the beaver incident!

My dad-in-law did the same thing with the word skanky. You know the meaning is really slutty or premiscuos? Well, he thought it meant stinky. So at work he went in the back of the hospital where they had just bleached the floor and says "Man this place is skanky!"

LOL, I love it!

Joann Mannix said...

It is good to laugh at mom's expense, sometimes, because that's what moms are for.

My mom overheard one of us say, "crackhead."

She occasionally babysits my sweet as can be, 1 year old niece. The baby's just starting to toddle, so of course, she falls down quite a bit. After church, yes church, one day, she was with my sister and they stopped after Mass to say hello to the priest. The priest was admiring my niece, when my mom chimed in, "She's sweet alright, but she's such a crackhead."

Later on, after my sister could stop laughing, she told me, my mom thought it was a euphemism for someone who falls down a lot.

Mommy Lisa said...

Okay...now I have a Thursday post!

:) I will link back to yours because of the inspiration!

Tracie said...

My mom still asks me what phrases mean. Also, one time she asked me "What do lesbians do?". But that is probably a blog post in waiting.

sharonheg said...

BWAAAHAHAHAHA! My mother, now age 74, was always pretty up-to-date on the current expressions, at least through the time I was old enough to still ask her.

But a related story was when we were at a relatively fancy restaurant...me, mom, my then-fiance (now husband), his parents and a friend of ours. Mom (in her late 60's at the time) got a souffle for dessert and, when the server was putting the melted chocolate on, she told him that he could just pour that all over her. She had NO clue of what she said and was SOOO embarrassed when we finally explained it.

Kato said...

AHAHAHAHA!!! I cannot believe your mom said that. Oh my god, I am going to laugh about that for the rest of my life! I can totally picture her innocence and naivety too. Your poor mama!

xoxox

Frugal Vicki said...

OH MY GOD! Your poor mom, that is horrible! Hilarious, but horrible!

J.J. said...

Haha! I remember using 'on the rag' a LOT when I was a teenager. Fortunately, I was smart enough NEVER to use it around the parental units.

Clemson Girl said...

My mom and I were talking this afternoon and she mentioned how said said "WTF" to my dad the other day. He was completely confused. Bahaha!

Ali said...

Just...perfect.

pook555 said...

Oh, no, so funny, but so embarrassing for your mom LOL! When I was a teen, there was a phrase "sure bob" which basically meant a sarcastic "whatever" in response to a question/comment (I know, stupid, right?). So one day my mom asked me to do something or made a silly comment, and I replied with a surly "sure bob." Her response? "Who's Bob? Is that someone from school, a boy you know?" Yep, me and my friends laughed like crazy for weeks on that one. Poor parents and slang - I do not look forward to having a teenager some day and deciphering their language LOL!

Badass Geek said...

AWE. SOME.

Laura said...

This was great. Your Mother is priceless.

Christiejolu said...

LMAO!!! That is great!

Urban dictionary is so awesome!

Brittany Ann said...

My best friend's mother stole the phrase "It's all about the Benjamins" from her daughters when they were teens, thinking it meant "It's all about the good sex."

She used it profusely in her office at work...until finally, someone asked her why.

She about killed her children - who had never intentionally led her astray.

But we always wondered, why did she think it was OK for her three teen daughters to walk around saying it was all about the good sex, in the first place?

Little Ms J said...

I once used an expression that I thought meant one thing and DEFINITELY did not. Let's just say I almost caused a small insurgency at the hair salon. Not my finest moment.

shortmama said...

hehehehe too funny!

Erin said...

oh wow! I'm trying to picture my own mother using that phraseology and I just can't see it. Your poor mom!

;-)

p.s. good luck with IT. Hope IT doesn't discover the blog. LOL

Ms. Salti said...

Oh my... how embarrassing! I've always hated that expression as well! It just sounds dirty.

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip said...

I LURV urban dictionary. And your MOMs.

Ellen said...

Too funny. Ahh, she was trying! A for effort, MOM!

http://www.firednfabulous.blogspot.com/

Toe said...

I think guy rag time coincides with girl rag time. But the ragtime and rag time could be misconstrued too.

Just don't ever use Cosby Sweater in conversation because that was a shocker I found accidentally on Urban Dictionary.

A Year on the Grill said...

I would be in soooo much trouble if I said that

Kristin said...

I also apologize to your mama for LMAO!! Poor lady. Such a gross expression!

HalfAsstic.com said...

I swear on my oath that I will never tell your mother of your reprobate language OR let IT know of your blog.
So help me God.

Mrsblogalot said...

On the rag...I never quite got it and I definitely never liked it..unless it's convenient for me to use on a guy. Then I'm all about the rag (-:

Life with Kaishon said...

That is crazy. I am so glad no one says that anymore : )

Salt said...

Probably smart. My IT doesn't have a clue either.

Oh JennyMac's mom. I was trying to think of all the horrible things that it could have been while reading the opening paragraph. That is pretty humiliating, but I guess it could have been worse. Urban dictionary has a lot of colorful phrases. :)

We shall miss you tomorrow!

TamsJewelry said...

Nice to meet you.Happy Friday Follow!

Kiera said...

ahhhh hahahhaaha. something I would do! Miss Malaprop.

Mighty M said...

Wow, I haven't heard that one in AGES! But as soon as I started thinking about it I remembered (I just had to try to get it before I read on with your post).

That is hilarious!!! Thanks for brightening my afternoon. :)

secret agent woman said...

I always hated both the expression and the implication that any change in mood could be attributed to a menstrual cycle.

T!nK said...

hahaha!!!

Tsquared417 said...

Oh my...your Mom is adorable!!

Intense Guy said...

Reminds me of the time I asked my 70 uear old piano teacher what she used "masengills" for...

:)

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