Language: Slang, Vernacular, Generational Differences

Every generation has its own vernacular, its own slang. Sometimes, it is completely different from one generation to the next. Sometimes, some terms over-lap. Sometimes, a term drops out of sight for a generation or two, only to pop back into view on down the road of time.

Eye Candy; Guns; Steel in Warm Wool; Brick Shithouse; The Reason tight jeans/tees were invented; Armstrong Heaters

I have used these terms for so long, I have forgotten where I picked some of them up. I never really had to explain most of them to the people in my various circles. We usually think alike to an extent, have common interests, and it seemed common vocabularies. That seems to no longer be the case. A delighted laugh from a younger co-worker means she “got it”. A bemused look from someone closer to my own age means explaining.

So, allow me to elucidate. Keep in mind, I speak from a female view-point. The explanations from the male stance will differ slightly in some cases.

EYE CANDY: I cannot believe I have to explain this one. My 15 year old daughter understands it. My 70 year old mother gets it. My GRANDMOTHERS knew what I was talking about. Eye Candy is that which is pleasing to view, usually in regards to the opposite gender. In my case, this generally refers to men in uniforms, kilts, or tight-fitting jeans, as long as they wear them with pride and look good in them. (Which means MOST men in uniform, IMO…. show me 100 guys in military, police, or firefighter uniforms, and I may point to ONE who does not qualify as Eye Candy.)

GUNS: I am thinking this one may have come out of WWI or WWII. Certainly, I heard it used by the ladies in older generations of my family/circles. This term refers to male biceps. “He’s got some great guns!” Means the gent in question has nicely defined, muscular biceps. “He’s carrying water pistols” means the biceps are flabby and weak-looking.

BRICK SHITHOUSE: This is another term I have heard all my life, and find it hard to believe someone between my age and my mother’s doesn’t get it. This is a man who has little to no flab, takes care of his body, and either works out in a gym or has a physically demanding job. Broad shouldered and tapered to the waist, with decent hips and a tight butt. (I get why “brick”; I have never really understood the “shithouse” part of the term, but hey! It works.)

STEEL IN WARM WOOL: This one could have come from my high school crowd, or college crowd. A guy has to be built like a brick shitouse to have steel in warm wool. A well-built man with a hairy chest. (Yes, I like some hair on a man’s chest. He has to be able to keep me warm on occasion, right?)

ARMSTRONG HEATER: I know I picked this one up from my dad. He used to tease me about wanting/needing an Armstrong Heater, once I hit about 16.  Take the word apart : “ARM” + “STRONG”. A Significant Other who has decent arms with which to hold you close, keep you warm, and make you feel cherished and protected…. even if you don’t really need the protection.

The Reason Tight Jeans/Tees Were Invented: Lords of light, does this REALLY need to be explained? Apparently so, based on recent conversations. A WELL-BUILT MALE BODY!


Anyone have anything to add?

About Mad Annie, Bronwyn, Ann

I am a wife.mother, writer, cashier (hey, it helps pay the bills), Pagan who sometimes thinks too much. A jackie of all trades and mistress of none
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4 Responses to Language: Slang, Vernacular, Generational Differences

  1. Reminds me of the day working in the intensive care unit back when I was in healthcare probably a good 15 years ago and those Capri pants had come into vogue with the youngens. An unltrasound tech came in to work on my patient and was wearing them. I complimented her by saying “I like your Clam Diggers” she looked at me as if I was from Mars. I then pointed and said “your pants”. To which she replied these are “Capri Pants” and then ignored me….old fart I was at 35. The saving grace was one of the other nurses, about 50 at the time, that over heard this leans into me and says “good thing I didn’t weigh in, I call them Peddle Pushers” ….we had a great laugh.

    • Oh lords… I’d have been right with you and the nurse who said “Peddle Pushers”…Don’t know when they started calling them ‘Capris’, because they were Clam diggers/peddle pushers when I was little, and “High Waters” when I was in high school.

  2. AL Okeefe says:

    brickshithouse; nice solid tight body n ass female or male

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