Life's Little Details: Knitting, Sewing, Green Living, Frugal Living and Cooking In A Little Corner of Southern French Countryside.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Old Before My Time

Just a quick side note before I dive head first into this blog post...

The other day's "Ouch" post was my 300th. Just happened to notice that before starting to write this one. Should we have some kind of partaaaaay? Nah, guess not. It is interesting to note that I'm averaging more than one post a day, though - even with all my recent posting laziness and the month or so I took off when I went back to the US in February.

So, now to the reason I am old before my time.

I was driving along the other day trying hard to find some music on what appears to be almost all talk French radio (practically every station, I swear). Finally, I happened upon one of the only stations currently playing music and listened to a few moments of pop stuff. This is when the question came to me: "What on earth is a hollerback girl?" Obviously, my two toddlers weren't going to solve this one for me, but pondering this question is when it occurred to me that the longer I live outside the US, the more archaic and un-American my English will become. When I'm fifty, I'll be much more outdated and old sounding than your average fifty-year-old. Sad, I know. It'll be even worse than you're imagining, though, because I've never been one to employ much slang even when I was aware of the meaning of the words.

For instance, I remember all the other preteens around me starting to say everything was "cool". Despite the name of my blog, I'm apparently far from being a sheep, because I refused to adopt that word into my vocabulary for several more years. Then, there's the fact that even after spending all of my teenage years in San Diego, I never developed the habit of saying "dude". I guess I'm just not much of a follower, which brings us nicely back around to what a "hollerback girl" is.

Like everything else I don't know, I looked it up on the net. That's what's great about this ole web. You can look up anything from medical terms to weird slang expressions and get an answer to almost any question. Anyway, so I did a little search and stumbled upon a very questionable chat site that I won't be redirecting you to. It did have the answer I was looking for, though. So, a hollerback girl is a cheerleader, but not the captain. It's the little girlies behind her who holler back in answer to her prompts. Captain: "Give me a T". Hollerback girls: "T!" Captain: "What's that spell?" Hollerback girls: "Umm, T?" etc. In the broader sense of the term when used for slang, it's a follower.

Apparently, the song I was listening to was one by Gwen Stefani, in which she says, "I ain't no hollaback girl." You can read the lyrics here. She's pretty much saying she won't be the follower and let some guy get the upperhand talking $%&* about her. So, there you have it. A bit of cultural awareness for us all. I know I feel enlightened. How about you?