Thursday, January 03, 2008

Memories - - Old Words, New Meanings.

Remember when it was the supreme insult to be called a nerd. When the word first started to circulate it's meaning was clear; it meant a person, usually male, who was socially inept. Then computers came out and the nerd found his niche, Before long the word nerd became almost synonymous with skilled computer user. The original meaning of the word has not been totally lost, but for the most part it's almost a compliment. I'm sure Bill Gates is not the least bit ashamed to be spoken of as the epitome of Nerdom.

The old definition's ultimate nerd: Spaz from the movie Meatballs.

Redneck: When I was younger the word redneck was almost synonymous with Hillbilly. It was a way of referring to an ignorant hick from the sticks. I don't know when it started to change, maybe with Jeff Foxworthy's jokes about rednecks, but few seem insulted by the term anymore. It has now come to mean a working class person, who is not ashamed of his position in society, and leans to the right politically. To the liberally elitists the meaning of the word is unchanged but we know that it has changed.

This image is no longer a true image of the redneck.

Am I nerd? Maybe. Am I redneck? Most definitely.

Other words have changed too. I still have a hard time hearing a guy calling his wife or girlfriend his b***h with her nearby and not getting a knuckle sandwich from her. I am not comfortable with that but apparently some people are.

Actually between new words and old words with new meanings, there are countless examples.


Blogger Tom said...

How about "geek"?

I have glasses, have been known to have a pocket protector, and my favorite calculator is a 1980's vintage programmable HP that uses RPN - and yes, I have a belt holder for the calculator.

God, I'm in trouble...

8:17 PM  
Anonymous Seth said...


There should be a term, "Nerdnecks", to describe that particular combination.

4:53 AM  
Blogger Gayle said...

Um, I do believe Shoprat, that anyone calling me a b--ch would only be doing it once, at least to my face! LOL!

Yep... the language is constantly changing, and some of it is definitely not for the better.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Donald Douglas said...

It's still not cool to be called a nerd!

5:40 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

Tom I have heard the term "Computer Geek" a few times.

seth I think that term would include a lot of us.

gayle I don't like the word either

dd I guess it's a matter of context but I rarely hear the word nerd without it being associated with computers anymore.

8:16 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

I'll ive you $20 to say that to any woman and not get them mad!

4:42 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

I'll pass but I also know a few women who accept it.

8:09 PM  

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