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Thoughts of a wandering mind ...

while driving home from work I was remembering some of the slang from my youth. Slang is a unique form of communication because it differs from region to region, ethnicity to ethnicity, but wherever it was that you grew up, your slang was the coolest. And, as I was remembering and laughing to myself, I began to deduce how some of these words came into being ...

When I was in junior high it was very important to know and be seen with older high school kids because they were older, therefore cooler. I was lucky. I had an older cousin who was quite a cool cat and also drove a cool lowered Camaro. When I was still in junior high, he was already at THE RANCH (slang for my high school) ... allow me to 'splain. My cousin lived right next door so I was privy to "cool talk" and only because he was my cousin did I even remotely exist on the planet that is high school. I was given a pass, not that I was cool, but my cousin was cool, so that made me cool by association. My hometown had one high school. EVERYONE went there unless you went to Catholic school. El Rancho High School aka The Ranch ... El Rancho-Ranch ... see! Already you can make a connection ... Spanish-ish, located in a suburb of Los Angeles with a Spanish/Mexican influence - El Rancho (The Ranch) ... I also attended North Ranchito Elementary School (The Little Ranch) ... see ... how stupid huh. Anyway, when moving onto high school almost all of your friends signed your yearbook with this phrase "... and good luck at The Ranch" ... cause we were, of course, moving on to bigger and cooler places - high school - a place where every junior high kid you played against in sports would all be going to school. Just to give you all an indication of how big this school was, there were over a thousand kids in my graduating class. On graduation day I saw faces I'd never seen before ... really, I was looking at all these kids I'd never seen before thinking ... who they hell is that? But I digress ... back to the slang ... some of the words I remember were as follows:

JETTER: (Adj.) To describe one from the upper stratus of the high school feeding chain. Jetter, as in cool one, hipster, jet-setter, ergo, JETTER. Used in a sentence: "I hate her. She's such a jetter."

WALLY: (Adj.) To describe someone from the lower stratus of the high school feeding chain. Dork, weirdo, geek. This term evolved from the Wally character on the Ozzie & Harriet Show. Wally was Ricky Nelson's short and chubby best friend. Short + Chubby = Wally. Used in a sentence: "OMG! He's such a wally!"

Another phrase that got used TO DEATH was ...

"EH ... YOU THOUGHT!" - This was said ad nauseum in the following fashion:

"Oooh look! There's Jimi Hendrix!" and, when you obviously, and excitedly turned to look, your friend would slap you in the head and say ....


This was to make you feel like an idiot for even THINKING that Jimi Hendrix would be in Pico Rivera.

I had a friend in high school named Laura Ramirez. Laura, and her boyfriend Eddie, once got a ticket for riding a bike on the freeway. Laura had two little sisters (twins) and they would irritate the crap outta her and she was forever yelling at them ... "SHUT UP! YOU'RE GIVING ME A STOMACHE!!!"

You know those retorts that, if you say them to someone, they have absolutely no response? Here was a Laura classic: "Shut up ... your butt hurts." Use this whenever someone (a) insults you; (b) insults you or (c) insults you. What could someone possibly say to the "butt" retort? Nothing.


Insultor: "Bite me."

Retorter: "Your butt hurts."

See. How can you possibly top that? Use it in good health.


  1. Going around with someone...meaning hooking up
    not eeeeeven.........not really

    and what about the hippy wantabe's like me..

    right one!


  2. Hay Debbie, You are too much. This definately took me back...especially the Eh, you thought!

    Love you,

  3. Debbie
    That brought back a lot of memories. I didn't use "jetter" (jet-setter) but did did use "wally." "Eh, you thought" WAS annoying. Never used it.

    How about, "What a burn" or "What a chop" (i.e., happy it turned out bad)?

    "I hate her, she only goes out with paddies (white boys)."

    But all in all back then (middle school) about the worst thing you could call someone was a "butt head."

    Sometimes the slang word is the only meaning you really know. For example, I don't remember anyone who used the word Jew for tight wad or cheat actually thought of Jews when they used it. "Come on man, don't Jew me out (cheat me)."


  4. Debbie,
    I'm finally getting back to blogging and catching up with my blog friends. I've left some comments on your previous posts as well as this one.

    We had such a great time at the family and bloggers reunion at Rusty and Juliet's house. Anita and I couldn't wait to meet you (well, first time for me) and the friendship that came immediately was even better that we hoped. The laughter started when Anita said that Dan actually looks like Viggo, and you saying "yeah, he does," while covering half his face, and the fun never stopped. Fabulous.

    If you and Dan are ever inclined to visit our part of the world, we have to get together. Spring/early summer is a great time here.

    Your pal,

  5. Debbie- I love your blog. This one brought me back! I've been recalling some of my own teen slang words in writing my memoir. I grew up in the San Fernando Valley ( a true Valley girl!).
    The one that cracks my husband up is we used to always say "Shine!" (like a teen would say "Whatever" today) or if somebody snubbed you they were "shining you on". Also if someone got too high at a party, we'd tell them to "maintain" - and if they didn't "maintain" they were "wigglin'"
    Also loved the blog about your mom and the Dal Rae. So funny!

  6. I love this one! Makes me think of so many words we used to use. I remember "wally". That was my favorite! LOL! My mom always talks about "the ranch" since she went to El Rancho, as did all my aunts, uncles and even cousins! Hilarious!! I also remember North Ranchito, but I went to Pio Pico!! Had I stayed living in Pico Rivera, I would have ended up at North Park, and wouldn't that have been a, you thought! Love you girl!


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