I find this totally amusing and it makes me very happy. Perfectly good words should never go out of style!
Take, fer instance, the word "kype"
(about 2/3 of the way down, under the heading of Put That Back!
). This is a word that I picked up in the 2nd grade (circa 1962), out on the playground of Sunset Elementary School in Shoreline. It means, in the jargon of kids, to filch, pilfer, swipe or steal. "Miss Atkins? Tim Sullivan kyped my hopscotch marker, and now he won't give it back." You know....
By the time that I got into the 11th grade, we all became aware of racial slurs, and I think kype must have sounded too much like something else (rhymes with bike but starts with a "K"), and it became to fall into disfavour in its usage. Much like describing someone as being niggardly
would get someone into horrible trouble, even though it only means stingy or miserly. (Hmmmm....perhaps Michael Richards was only calling those hecklers in that comedy club a couple of cheapskates....)
Well, just last night, whilst I was going through some old boxes here at my Dad's, I found an ancient cigar box that I instantly recognised. It was where I kept important notes and other writings when I was 15 or 16! I thought this thing was buried in the Midway Landfill somewhere, courtesy of me Ma's obsessive cleaning and her need to deep-6 the stuff that I cherished as a teenager.
Of course I read all the ancient scribblings, laughing at some of it, and getting all misty-eyed over the rest of it. I noticed that I really ised "kype" a lot
, and remembered others using it a lot back then, too. I still use it, on occasion, but I'm sure no one knows what the hell it means any longer. It's really a great word, and is fairly unique to the Pacific NW, fer some reason. It apparently also means, "the distinctive hooked jaw that male salmon develop during spawning", but I've never used it with that meaning.
So....why the hell am I babbling on endlessly about archaic NW slang?
Because, the RADDEST
thing that I've ever done, has been my attempt to re-introduce it into the modern vernacular of Pacific Northwesterners! It's part of our collective verbal heritage, as denizens of the NW corner of the US map. We need to take it back and make it our own again. C'mon!! Are you guys with me here? I mean..."grungy" was a hugely common term for dirty or filthy in Seattle in the 60s (U-District on Northward), and look what that