Sunday, March 6, 2011

Gen X-ers Have a Way With Words.

I loved the slang terms of the 60s especially the terms we used when we were angry at someone or simply wanted to degrade them or hurt their feelings. We referred to girls we didn’t like as a slut, skag, skuzz, skank or sweat hog (why all the‘s’ words, I wonder?). And for the guys we didn’t like- -which were always the guys who seemed to exhibit traits we thought were “girlish”- - - we ascribed the terms candy-ass, dork, fag, wuss or panty-waist. Yet as much as I loved the descriptive terms we “Boomers” used, I have come to really enjoy some of the terms invented by Gen X-ers and Millennials particularly as they relate to the changing stereotypes of the men in their generations.

By now we are all familiar with the term “metrosexual”. The online site “Urban Dictionary” (love it!!) tells us that a metrosexual is a heterosexual guy - -definitely not gay- - who has a high sense of refinement and a taste for the better things in life. He is one who takes great care in his grooming even to the point of “manscaping” (another Gen X term that is the rough male equivalent of bikini waxing). The Urban Dictionary gives us this humorous example of being metrosexual:

“You might be "metrosexual" if:

1. You just can't walk past a Banana Republic store without making a purchase.

2. You own 20 pairs of shoes, half a dozen pairs of sunglasses, just as many watches and you carry a man-purse.

3. You see a stylist instead of a barber, because barbers don't do highlights.

4. You can make her lamb shanks and risotto for dinner and Eggs Benedict for breakfast... all from scratch.

5. You only wear Calvin Klein boxer-briefs.

6. You shave more than just your face. You also exfoliate, moisturize and manscape.

7. You would never, ever own a pickup truck.

8. You can't imagine a day without hair styling products.

9. You'd rather drink wine than beer... but you'll find out what estate and vintage first.”

I also like a couple of other terms invented by the anti-Boomer offspring we raised. Like “moobs” the term used when a guy has let himself get so out of shape he appears to have man-breasts. Or “bromance” the term the UD uses to describe a “close relationship between two guys to such a point where they start to seem like a couple”. But my absolutely unequivocal favorite of all the Gen X "guy" terms is (drum roll please. . .) ‘mangina’. Once again the UD has a great definition for mangina:

“The derisive term for a man's feminine side - especially when he's picky, touchy or emotional about something seemingly minor.”

The term imbues such men with all the negative traits stereotypically associated with women such as: cattiness, whining, victim-hood, gossiping, petty jealousy, friend hoarding and drama.

And just in case you don’t get the context in which such a term might be used, here it is:

“Crap, Steve, all I said was your car needs washed... you didn't have to flash me your mangina!”

Now, since I am “The Sage” and it is MY blog you didn’t think I could resist some political reference in all of this did you? Of course not! So-o-o-o-o, the next time Speaker of the House John Boehner starts sobbing in front of the cameras will some Gen X journalist PLEASE step up to the plate and ask:

Good grief Mr. Speaker can we get on with the nation’s business and deal with the issues of your mangina later?”

I think the rest of us would be ever so thankful to you Gen Xers for that. And please don’t stop inventing such colorful and descriptive terms. Our language needs some punching up without the constant use of the f- word as a modifier.


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