Tag Archives: Lingo

Puff Puff Pass

Main Piece: 

The following is transcribed from a conversation between the informant and the interviewer.

Interviewer: So you’re an avid weed smoker, right?

Informant: oh yeah, I’ve been smoking basically everyday since highschool. 

Interviewer: Dope, dope my guy… So I know there’s a lot of stoner-specific terms which are thrown around when people are smoking together, do you have any idea what some of these would be?

Informant: Yeah definitely, for starters, a lot of my friends call weed “kush” or “bud” amongst a bunch of other things haha… and everyone knows the whole 4:20 hype, but I’d say the biggest one by far is “puff puff pass”. 

Interviewer: and what does “Puff Puff Pass” Actually mean?

Informant: It’s basically when you’re smoking a joint or something and you’re supposed to only take two puffs before you pass it to the next person in the rotation. It’s mostly a respect thing just so everyone’s getting their fair share of bud and all that. 

Background:

My informant is from Minnesota, growing up with a mix of liberal and conservative friends. His parents were both born in America, however, have more republican views than my informant’s more liberal views. Even though he lived in Minnesota, weed is still very prevalent amongst the youth there. He moved to California for college and his smoking habits have stayed more or less the same. 

Thoughts:

I think it’s interesting how stoner culture is generally looked at in a negative light, with people saying they’re lazy or disrespectful, while in reality, they have countless sayings and proverbs enforcing moral “rules” on how to be the best smoke buddy. I also found it interesting that stoner culture’s around the world use the phrase “puff puff pass” even though most of the other slang that people use tends to  vary a lot between places and age groups. 

“Fish” as folk speech to describe femininity in the drag community

Main Piece

Informant: In the gay community, fish or being fishy refers to how uhh accurately a drag queen presents as a biological female, I guess. This is hard to explain because I use it all the time, haha. Usually we say “oh, she is serving fish” or “oh, she is fishy” which is usually positive, and it is like saying they would pass as a woman because they are so fishy. 

Interviewer: Where did you learn this term?

Informant: I picked it up from RuPaul’s Drag Race, which popularized a lot of the drag slang today that has kinda started getting popular in popular culture. 

Background

The informant is a great friend and housemate of mine, and he is a senior at USC studying Lighting Design. Coming from Oxnard, CA he and his family are very connected with their Mexican roots and he has grown up practicing and identifying with many aspects of Mexican culture. He is also a very big raver, as he enjoys going to many EDM festivals and aspires to do lighting design for different raves as well.He also identifies as part of the LGBTQ+ identity, comfortable identifying as a bisexual man.

Context

The informant and I typically watch RuPaul’s Drag Race at our off-campus house when it is airing on TV. There are several terms that we use, confusing many of our other housemates and one of the one this informant uses the most is fishy. In our interview, I asked him to define it and provide a definition and some context. 

Analysis

A lot of the folk speech and terms used within the queer community has stemmed from the club and ballroom culture of queer POC’s in large Metropolitan cities such as NYC during the 1970’s and 1980’s. Many of these terms are used today, and as queer POC’s both the informant and I continue to use these terms around other members of the communty as signifiers of our personal identity and our belonging in the community. The lingo also provides a special codified language that others outside of the community might not get as well, providing a sense of security and privacy in a subtle way.

“Karen” as a folk term

Main Piece

Interviewer: What does “Karen” mean?

Informant: Karen is an internet slang word to describe a  very entitled, middle-class white woman. Or a boomer white woman. They are often blonde and they often have very short haircuts. They usually like to speak and the managers, and then proceed to yell at the entry-level employees who have no control over the matters. 

Interviewer:Where did you pick it up?

Informant: Maybe a year ago, scrolling through Twitter. 

Interviewer: do you use it frequently?

Informant: Yeah, especially when making jokes with friends or memes on the internet, haha.

Background

The informant is a good friend and housemate of mine, and is a junior at USC studying Computer Science and Computer Engineering. He is originally from Manhattan Beach, CA and has been coding ever since highschool. He has had several internships with different computer science companies such as Microsoft and is very involved with different coding clubs on campus. 

Context

The group of individuals at my house tend to send each other a lot of memes and use internet lingo throughout the house as different jokes. “Karen” is one that this informant uses very frequently, so during our interview I asked him to describe it in his own terms. 

Analysis

This term of folk speech is a perfect example of how internet lingo and culture has permeated into everyday verbal communication. Many of these terms are associated with humor and generational differences, as seen with this one which is intended to poke fun at individuals from an older population. This shows the rift in values and morals between generations, and displays how everyday names can be transformed to carry much more weight and meaning.

“Ping” as Computer Science lingo

Main Piece

Interviewer: What does ping mean?

Informant: To check nn on someone, or following up with someone. If I were waiting for someone to send me a new version of their code, I would say “I am going to ping them” which basically means the same thing as “I am going to follow up with them.” 

Interviewer:Where did you learn it?

Informant:I learned it from the coding community, very much so. 

Interviewer: Do you use it frequently?

Informant: Uhhh…yeah actually I just used it in an email. I guess I use it so frequently I forgot that I use it in the first place if that makes any sense, haha.

Background

The informant is a good friend and housemate of mine, and is a junior at USC studying Computer Science and Computer Engineering. He is originally from Manhattan Beach, CA and has been coding ever since highschool. He has had several internships with different computer science companies such as Microsoft and is very involved with different coding clubs on campus. 

Context

One day while we were at home my informant used the word “ping” in front of me and I had no idea what he meant. During the interview I asked for more context on this word and when it would be used and where he learned it from. 

Analysis

I think that much of the folk speech used between computer scientists is heavily dependent on the different technology that they use. Always focusing on efficiency and collaboration with larger coding projects, students and computer scientists alike use words and folk speech in order to communicate with more ease and to form a sense of community within the coding community.