My fascination with learning slang from past decades began this past summer. I was at home and jobless, so I had nothing to do for an awkward amount of time. Naturally, this simply turned my fascination into a legitimate obsession. In response to something my dad said that I have since forgotten, my mom told him, “You’re really harshing my mellow.” I’m admittedly just a huge nerd and like discovering different ways to say things, but I completely dropped what I was doing and said, “Um, that’s the single coolest expression I have ever heard.” So why does nobody I know use it?
This question has yet to be answered because everyone I have said those words to since agrees that it’s definitely a more fun equivalent of “You’re killing my buzz,” although Keith Richards and Mick Jagger might say, “Get off of my cloud.”
Slightly different and more akin to “busting my chops,” “you’re breaking my crayons” is one I like because of its added implication of immaturity.

To satisfy my own curiosity, I recently looked up obscure expressions. I’m well aware that I don’t have enough sway over people to either popularize my own catchphrases or revive old ones. William Shakespeare is credited with coining phrases that are commonplace and integrated into the English language. We would probably never think that “for goodness’ sake” or “elbow room” were once nonsensical.
One thing that I can do is confuse everyone by using obsolete sayings that aren’t necessarily self-explanatory. My friends scratch their heads when I complain about those cheese-eaters and jive turkeys in my discussion section. My brother raises his eyebrows when I tell him to stop Bogarting after he short-stops the Parmesan at the dinner table.
Basically, the 70’s were prime time for coining new phrases and getting them to catch on (despite the fact that fashion and architecture design went down the toilet during the same decade, as evidenced by Lau).
While the following phrase ventures outside of the disco era, I am not ashamed to say that I first heard it from True Blood’s Sookie Stackhouse. In between whining “Beeeeel” and sulking about rejecting all of the guys with six-pack abs who are in love with her, the heroine blurts out, “I’ve gotta pee something fierce.” If this way of intensifying an action is exclusively a Southern thing, please tell me, or otherwise I will probably sound like an idiot when I tell someone that he stinks something fierce.
Also, Encino Man is an absolutely horrible movie, but it’s worth watching just to glean some of Pauly Shore’s lingo. Some of his lines include, “If you’re edged ’cause I’m weazin’ on your grindage, just chill” and “Don’t tax my gig so hard, cruster.” I don’t think that I have what it takes to pull off speaking in what seems like another language, but maybe later, I’ll ask my friends if they want to go get some grindage and see what happens.
As I said, I don’t think that I have the type of influence over people that would inspire them to use these quirky phrases, and I wouldn’t say that I’m writing this particular column so that they start using weird lingo in their everyday conversation. However, if you feel inspired by my brief exploration of sociolinguistics, I encourage you to try out a new turn of phrase.
Most importantly, as a New Jerseyan who will forever and always be a Yankees fan, I want to use this opportunity to say this to all of you haters who feel the need to diminish the accomplishments of the Bronx Bombers this postseason: Quit harshing my mellow.

Allie Doughty is a senior in the College. GEORGETOWN BABEL appears every Friday in the guide.

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