Understanding Slang


Do you ever feel you are getting older? Not just in the physical sense either, even though I did find my first grey hair this year. No, I’m talking getting older in your ways and about the use of language in the youth of today (Jesus, even that phase makes me sound old).

I was first alarmed to my state of advancing years by the term ‘Sick’. The first time I heard this used in conversation was with someone only 10 years my junior some time ago. They were talking about something I was wearing I think (clearly my memory is going too); I knew almost immediately that this item of clothing was not unwell and that he was commenting on its level of ‘coolness’ (as I would to refer to it). I think I erred on the side of negativity at the time given the connotations of being ‘sick’ in the traditional sense.

Later I realised it had been a compliment. Sick, meaning good or awesome (another misused word).

When reading social media such as twitter or my teenaged niece or nephew’s Facebook updates there is plenty of new slang that I can decipher on my own. Some of it makes sense, but one I saw one the other day, which prompted me to write this, was the term 5×5 or five by five. I had to look this up, apparently it means ‘All is well, or at least as well as could be expected’.

I wondered where all these new words have derived from, and at first I assumed television and media in general, but after a conversation with ‘The girl’ she suggested that in general the media only imitates real life so the words must have started amongst smaller groups of people, and that the media only popularised it.

So if anyone could tell me in the comments why 5×5 means ‘All is well’ and where it came from, that would be sick.


Please check out Sudo one’s blog too. We are both writing a blog a day for this month and have called this ‘The Write-mare before Christmas’, but in an attempt to be hip, we’ve abbreviated it to the witty text style WMB4X. Pretty smooth huh?

About residentweebler
Short Story Writer and Opinionated observer. Visit my blog for all this and more. https://theresidentweeble.wordpress.com/

One Response to Understanding Slang

  1. SudoOne says:

    Sickage blog blood. Totes Amaze balls 5×5 I guess is all square. I also guess you looked it up here http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=5×5 too.

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