The Brunching Shuttlecocks Ratings

Slang Words That Mean "Good"

It's interesting that the word "cool" has survived so long as a slang term in a world where MTV introduces a new expression of exuberance every three days. (The latest: "That's so elkhound!") Not only that, it has essentially the same meaning it's always had: laid-back, unruffled, and free of visible signs of venereal disease. A

Boy, people loved this one. It was an easy way for eighties sitcoms to fill space between commercials for Super Nintendo: have the hip, wisecracking, bandana-wearing ethnic youngster explain to the befuddled father figure that "bad" means "good"! Such hilarity! Whee! This one lost favor when it became associated with Michael Jackson in skintight bondage gear. Just like Macaulay Culkin did. D

Do the street toughs supposedly responsible for recent slang really care all that much about whimsical spelling? I can't help but suspect that the "ph"--if not the whole deal--was dreamed up by the same slick-haired record exec who gave us Kris Kross. C

This one stopped being used by actual youths about 1991, but for some reason it's stuck in the heads of ad writers, who use it to describe anything from the latest Pokemon movie to blue frosting. For fun, mentally substitute the original meaning of the word: "New Tropical Berry Blast instills one with a sense of awe!" C-

"Fab" was also nice, but I like "gear" because it's so inexplicable. "Gear"? As in "We can't get on the freeway because my Honda won't go past second..."? For maximum effect, this word must be pronounced with a bad Liverpudlian accent. B

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