by Kevin Leland
For Writing Tips
There is a term I just discovered, that perfectly describes, in two rhyming syllables, what is cool about signing up for the Urban Dictionary’s word of the day. The term is ‘zeitgeist’ – It is pronounced like “kite” with a “z” in place of the “k”… and “Christ” with a “g” in place of the “Chr”
A Zeitgeist is a person who is up with the spirit of the times. The “zeit” is German for ‘time’ or ‘tide’ and “geist” is for ‘spirit’ or ‘ghost.’ These people are in tune with the mood, politics, social and cultural buzz of their present time. Someone with a mullet, wearing a Van Halen T-Shirt, here in the third millennium, is a good example of the antithesis of a zeitgeist. What is the antonym of zeitgeist? Anyone know? Please tell us in comments.
Before I discovered this cool neologism (new word) I had been signed up for Urban Dictionary’s word of the day for at least a couple years. If you want to be a zeitgeist, you need to learn the lingo of the times. You need to “get in early” on the vernacular of the decade, that means, long before words published in the Urban Dictionary, get approved for publication in Webster’s Dictionary.
The content provided by the Urban Dictionary is user generated, and very entertaining. It is continually updated. However the trick is to be notified with updates. So as I recommend, sign up for the “Urban Dictionary Word of the Day.” If you can commit these to memory, you will begin to become a true zeitgeist, the life of the party, and you won’t have to use lame phrases like “you will be the life of the party” you’ll be able to say “shorties’ll be thinkin’ you all that and a bag of chips.”
Truly, click through this dictionary for a while, with enough study you will be able to ‘get’ inside jokes that the ultimate, natural-born zeitgeists, folks we call ‘teenagers’ pass back and forth under the nose and over the heads of the forty somethings in the room. Young people are really doing amazing and creative things with language and communication. If you think you are going to page through this dictionary and find out nothing more than “what word does a college kid use in place of ‘groovy’ now-a-days?” – You are in for a big surprise.
You are going to find really creative word play that people of all eras can spread around and enjoy. For instance, if you take your stewardship of God’s creation seriously, and you recycle everything, faithfully, yet almost to the point of obsession, you could tell people:
“I am a recyclomaniac” –Isn’t that cute?
Check it out! You can submit new words, with associated definitions! It’s a simple format, you just need to define the word, use it in a sentence, maybe add pronunciation, and you can link to other words in the Urban Dictionary that will offer a definition. So C’mon writers, use that word mastery, wit, and scatological sense of humor to coin the next popular word or phrase! I just submitted one recently, and I’m proud to say, I just received this email from the folks at Urban Dictionary:
Thanks for your definition of Dickidoo!
Editors reviewed your entry and have decided to publish it on urbandictionary.com.
It should appear on this page in the next few days:
A belly that sticks out further than your dickidoo.
Man, all this holiday eating has got me sporting a major dickidoo.
In my example sentence, I linked to the Urban Dictionary’s definition for the term ‘sporting’ which means to wear, display, carry…
He is sporting a knock-off NY Yankees hat.
She is sporting a muffin.
The phrase “she is sporting a muffin” refers to a girl with a few extra pounds around the midsection who is wearing a real tight pair of low cut jeans, and has the flab thing going on above the belt line that looks like a muffin top. See the education you have gotten in just this article about the Urban Dictionary? Imagine if you keep an eye on it, look through it and possibly even contribute yourselves. When you can translate “she is sporting a camel toe” (look it up) –you will be a zeitgeist for sure!
You can look up your first name in the Urban Dictionary too. It will give you a personal profile based on your name. Those can be added to, I think, by any contributors to the site. It’s a great way to compliment your friends! I had nothing to do with the definition of my name, but it seems that someone who knew me (personally) did.
So here is the link to sign up for Urban Dictionary:
- The Urban Dictionary (kdaddy23.wordpress.com)
- Urban Dictionary Word of the Day: Tebowing (blahbethany.com)
- Sandi Toksvig finds linguistic treasures in the ‘Urban Dictionary’ (telegraph.co.uk)
- Need better response than, ‘Good day, now get off my lawn’ (ask.metafilter.com)
- We Think “Izfro” Is a Word, But Urban Dictionary Does Not (thegloss.com)
- Urban Dictionary? (socyberty.com)
- “Feminist blogging is definitely not for wimps, which is why the vast majority of us do it pseudonymously.” (althouse.blogspot.com)
- Tablescapes: Part 1 (weddingbee.com)
- Banker’s Dozen (ritholtz.com)