Interpretive dictionary: You know when someone thinks they’re using a word correctly, but they’re really doing it wrong? We got to the bottom of it.
The dictionary is a good thing. It’s also criminally underutilized. People often say something without truly knowing the definition. It’s literally the most annoying thing I can think of.
However, with all the information we have available to us, and how much we communicate on a day-to-day basis, the dictionary is a little… outdated.
The college dictionary does a great job of setting some popular terms in stone — or at least paper. There are a lot of different words, phrases and sayings that need a little more than definition.
There needs to be a dictionary of what people think they mean when using new terms. So, consider this just that: an interpretive dictionary.
Some of these terms might be stuff your parents say that make you cringe, or stuff your weird friend who spends all their time on Tumblr might use as you should know what they mean.
Let’s jump right in:
Bazinga (exclamation) — A term from the popular CBS sitcom “The Big Bang Theory.” Used most often by parents, older folks in a derisive tone when speaking of nerd culture or similarly to “burn.” It often is not a burn. I just beat your Words with Friends score, Dave! Bazinga!!
Fleek (adv) — On point, or perfect. Often used by people who don’t quite know where it comes from or what it means. Much like “Bazinga,” will often be used when it does not apply. This double-pump caramel mocha is on fleek.
Flex (v) — To show off, often in an egregious or insulting manner, or to put up an act to make oneself seem tougher/wealthier/fancier than they are. Seven out of 10 times, it’s a white guy wearing a De la Soul tee saying he’s “flexing his hip-hop knowledge on these suburbanites” when his name is actually Chet. The only Flex Zone, as far as I can tell, is the gym. Everywhere else, it depends.
Dab (v, n) — The dance craze that involves putting your forehead into your inner elboww, as if you were sneezing. The dance has mostly died down, but baseball players were in the offseason when it was popular, so you’ll see a lot of it there. Also, your mother will probably start dabbing by late May. The song—it’s by Amigo, but my daughter says it’s a group—it’s got a bad part in it, but look at my dab!
Thot (n) — Abbreviation for “that hoe over there” that now just means a hoe, or a fallacious woman (see: chickenhead). Criminally overused by dudes who think they’re ladies men, or your aunt after a few glasses of wine. Oh, you’re such a thot. Sheila! Stop being a thot and get me another glass of pinot!
Yuge (adj, adv) —Mispronunciation of “huge” popularized by Donald Trump. It’s something of a joke among younger folks. Your uncle who actually supports Trump now exclusively describes everything as yuge. I just took a yuuuuuuuge dump of mulch for my backyard.
There are more terms, obviously. However, this is just a beginner’s list. You probably have a few entries of your own. But for the record—don’t start describing things as “Princely” just because Prince died. Nothing will ever compare to Prince, or can be close to him. Just so we’re clear.