From Bromance to Schwa: UCLA’s slang guide


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If I told you that the brand-new book ‘UCLA Slang’ is Obama, would you have any idea what I was saying? Short answer: It’s cool. Or, as we used to say, all that.

Compiled every four years by professor Pamela Munro of UCLA’s linguistics department with the help of her students, ‘UCLA Slang’ is now in its sixth edition. ‘People in general are very creative and come up with lots of wonderful new words that may or may not catch on, and our goal is to capture the vivid, colloquial words and phrases associated with a specific subculture -- UCLA students,’ Munro said. ‘Slang seems to originate on the West Coast and move east.’


According to Munro, slang tends to sink in when we’re in our teens and 20s and then stick. So the phrases college students use today may be around for long enough to sound as stale as ‘let’s blow this clambake.’ Some new terms in the book that you can expect to hear ... and keep hearing:

‘bellig’ -- belligerent and drunk
‘bromance’ -- extremely close platonic friendship between men
‘brothers from another mother’ -- male friends as close as siblings
‘destroy’ -- to do well at something
‘epic fail’ -- big mistake
‘FOMO’ -- fear of missing out
‘get all up in your biznatch’ -- meddle in your business
‘mija’ -- female friend
‘Obama’ -- cool
‘off the hezzie’ -- cool
‘papi chulo’ -- male friend
‘presh’ -- precious
‘schwa’ -- wow
‘sisters from another mister’ -- female friends as close as siblings

The 160-page booklet is available for $10.95 from UCLA’s linguistics department.

-- Carolyn Kellogg