English Learning Tips For Students
· Previous · Next Return to Index › The English Language Is All "Greek" To Me! (Slang)
Jerry Aragon

I'm Hispanic, and I grew up in the worst part of Albuquerque, New Mexico (USA), where BOTH sides of the railroad tracks, were the wrong side to come from. Just three doors down from the railroad yards, which every knows that railroads are dangerous, filthy, and noisy places!

The neighborhood was mostly Hispanic and Black, and it was a place where fear ruled! I lived in this dreadful neighborhood for fourteen years of my life, and during this time, I was always looking over my shoulder, which was a way of live for me! Gangs; drunks; prostitutes; drug dealers; miss-fits; winos; beggars; and hobos who would jump off the trains and comb the neighborhoods for food and money! Other than that, this was a nice place for a young kid to grow up!

During this time in my life, I didn't speak the English language well (still don't), and because of this, I had to learn how to speak the language at a young age. I spoke a mixture of English and Spanish, which was called...Spang-lish. And, I made up words as I went along.

When I was fourteen, my family moved out of this black hole, and into the heights of Albuquerque, where the housing division was named "Snow Heights." And, snow white it was, as it was mostly a White neighborhood, and coming from a mostly Hispanic and Black neighborhood, this was certainly a culture shock for me! Kids can be rude and tough, when it comes to teasing, and kids teased me all the time, because I didn't speak English well.

So, speaking Spanish was put on the back-burner, as I had to concentrate on learning to speak and write English. But, being able to understand and speak Spanish, has always been of benefit to me. The most terrible thing about not speaking English well, was when I had to participate in a class discussion or give an oral book report. I was devastated the first time I got in front of the class and did a book report! Kids were sneering and laughing at me, and this would have an affect on my in the future. The problem would plague me throughout middle school and high school

Month by month and year by year, I would listen to others speak, and I learned from them how words were pronounced. I wanted to learn to speak and write the English language as well as I could, but I knew it would be a tough road. Writing the English language was not so tough on me, because only my teacher would see my work, etc.

Many years later, when I was in my forties, I took and completed two writing correspondence courses, and a creative writing class at the University of New Mexico, to try to improve my writing skills. I wanted to pursue writing in the future and to write articles and a book I'm working on. Writing is something I can do until I hang up my tennis shoes, and computers today make it much easier. By completing the two writing courses, it gave me confidence to put up my website without hesitation, etc.

In writing my final paper for one of the correspondence courses, I wrote a spoof on the English language, and it was rejected by my instructor. My instructor has a Ph.D in communications, probably loves the written word, and apparently he didn't find anything amusing about the piece. I happen to be in the humor business for forty years, and I find the English language humorous at times...when spoken and written.

When kids grow up and learn to speak the English language, it can be hilarious! An example, was when my son, Jason, was growing up and he was about 3 or 4 years old, and I'll share with you how he spoke and destroyed the English language all by himself. Maybe, you'll find a few things amusing about how he talked back then. For example:

The word "cereal," Jason would pronounce it, "sillio." The name of the city, San Francisco, he would pronounce it, "Sanchez-frisco; the word "watermellon," Jason would pronounce it, "meller-mellon." The word "helicopter" would be pronounced, "hoptercopter." The words "Christmas tree" would be pronounced, "mimis tree." The words "potato chips," would be pronounced, "chater chips." The old television series, Startsky and Hutch, would be pronounced, Starchy and Hutch. If someone would mow the lawn, Jason would call it, "lawnmoring." Instead, of Jason saying, "I want somehing to drink," he would say, "Me want sompin to wink!" Jason, not only destroyed the English language, but he would make up words as he went along.

* * *

How can I look up a word in the dictionary, if I don't know how to spell it? Webster, help me out!

* fonetic; Where did you learn to spell, Jer? The word is spelled, Phonetic; agreeing with pronouncing.

* Zerox (copy machine) : You spelled it wrong, Jer. The word is spelled, xerox.

* Filladelfia fillies: Sorry, Jer...the words are spelled, Philadelphia Phillies

* numonia; Wrong again, Jer. The word is spelled Pneumonia

* Just a reminder, Jer...your faling the speling bee. Shame on you!

* New Jersey: How is it pronounced? New Joisey. (Spell it like it sounds)

* New York; Again, how is it pronounced? New Yolk

* Spell window, Jer. In the south, it's pronounced "winder," so I would spell it like it sounds.

* Plummer; Wrong again, Jer. The word is spelled, "plumber."

* Boston: In Massachusetts, the city is pronounced, "Baston."

Have you ever visited Baston?

* Pill: in the south, the word is pronounced "peel" and spelled the same way.

* Texas; In Texas, this word is reversed and is pronounced, "Taxes."

* Taxes: In Taxes, this word is pronounced, "Texas."

* Door; Spell it like it sounds. In the south again, this word is pronounced, "Doe."

Will somebody close that doe over there?

* Filibuster; wrong...the word is spelled Philisbuster

* SLANG: Why don't we add a little slang to the language to spice it up a bit. airhead; baby-boomer; barf; bazillion; biggie; bod; bonkers; booboo; booze; bread (money); brewsiki; shut-eye; cheesy; cool(excellent); couch potato; foxy; hunk; dorky; el cheapo; fender-bender; flaky; flick (movie); freebie; geek; go bannanas. Shake your groove-thing! It's 10:00PM, do you know where your groove-thing is? Shake your booty. Do you have a booty to shake? Do you have a birthday suit? What's the skinny? Put is a box. Hang it on your ear. Sit on it! You made your bed...you sleep on it!

* Do your own thing: In the south, it's pronounced, "do your own thang!" So, if a person in the south spells this word as it sounds, the word "thing," would be spelled, "thang!" Write?

Wright; right; rite; dear; deer; doe; dough...(Whew...I'm getting a headache!) Have you ever written somebody a Deer John letter? Go ahead, smary-pants, construct a sentence using one of these words.

I think you can guess why Dr. McCollister didn't accept my final paper, although the paper didn't look like this. He's from Arizona, and maybe he doesn't have much of a sense of "Yuma!" (Get it?) In closing, I have only one thing to say about the English language...S---C---R---E---E---M!!!

Jerry Aragon

· Previous · Next Return to Index › The English Language Is All "Greek" To Me! (Slang)

Go to another board -