Lately my friends and I have been making up fake words. I didn’t realize how bad it was until I used the word “fauxpen” around a coworker the other day and everyone thought I was a crazy person. But fauxpen is a great word! It describes someone who pretends they’re super open and honest, but they really aren’t. Like Tiger Woods.
Another favorite is “triscuit crackers,” used to describe a boring, generic-seeming person. As in, “That girl in the beige sweater-set with those blond highlights is such a triscuit cracker.” This is mostly used in extreme bitterness when boys seem to prefer triscuit crackers to super awesome flavor-blasted goldfish. Like, um, me. And then I found out that other friend groups have similar names for these types of people — like “flat sodas” (why does it always seem to be food related?).
Basically my new dream is to make fauxpen happen. I want to invent a meme. I want to travel across the country, go to a sandwich shop, start talking to a stranger, and then have that person be like, “Wow, that guy is so fauxpen.” At which point I will dance with glee. And then fly back home. (This plan may be slightly flawed.)
But it’s not so crazy to try and invent new words. My sister and her friends are all about “teen speak.” As in, they shorten everything and talk as if they are constantly Facebook chatting one other. Totes = totally. Probs = probably. Cleave = cleavage. Alright, this is totes obvs the best slang eves. And apparently there’s also “hipster speak,” which pretty much entails making a lot of ironic pop culture references. What a shocker.
According to The Hipster Handbook Glossary, there’s an entire hipster language out there, just festering in the dive bars of Williamsburg. Some highlights: “Jerry” (as in Garcia), means a stoner or a hippie. “Ishtar” is something crappy. And “the frigidaire” means giving someone the cold shoulder. As in, “That guy who said he would call totally gave me the frigidaire.” Which, hipsters be damned, is kind of an awesome word. I think I might steal it.
If I may be so bold, I’ve decided to suggest a few new words for hipsters. How about the “hamster” — the Hamptons hipster. We already have a word for trust-fund hippies (trustafarians), so why not a word for super wealthy hipsters who are slumming it in Brooklyn sublets? Or, in the vein of movie pop culture (a la Ishtar), how about “the twilight.” You could use it when your friend starts getting way too into a significant other. Like, if your guy friend is night-stalking his current flame and watching her sleep (because he loves her, obvs), you would say, “Tim always seemed so normal until he pulled that twilight and tried to suck Stacy’s blood.” Or you know, whatever.
Okay, fine, “the twilight,” is kind of lame. But fauxpen is seriously awesome, and I predict it’ll catch on quicker than ironic facial hair at an Animal Collective show. Help spread the word. Tweet it.
Rachel Carter has an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University. Her work has appeared in Girl Zone magazine and The Faster Times. She is currently living in New York and working on a young adult novel about ghosts. Visit her Pop Culture Blog.