Old School

c2ccc1b1-a5cf-4050-a2d1-aed67dd0c67e.jpegI’m an old guy — as in senior citizen old. And I’m sometimes challenged to keep up with the latest and greatest language lingo and usage.

For example, when my daughter’s boyfriend told me that he was “down with” something I said, I became very defensive, thinking that I was being insulted. I later found out that it meant that he agreed with me or was “okay” with whatever it was that I said.

And when someone recently asked, “Do you feel me?” my response was, “Um, in this #MeToo era, do you really want me to?” I’m glad I asked first.

So these days, before I react to something I hear or read, I often look to the Urban Dictionary to help me understand what the hell people, particularly younger people — which, at my age is almost everyone — are talking about.

A few days ago, I heard someone use the phrase “off-the-hook.” The way I always understood the phrase “off-the-hook” is that it means being relieved from responsibility. For example, when Donald Trump heard that Attorney General Bill Barr’s summary of the Mueller Report found “no collusion and no obstruction” (it did not, in fact, find any such thing), Donald Trump felt like he was off the hook.

But it turns out that the person who used that expression meant it in an entirely different way. When he said it, his intended meaning for something being “off the hook” was that it was “fresh” and “new” and so in demand that the items in question are virtually flying off the hooks (or hangers or shelves) at stores.

Sure enough, when I went to the Urban Dictionary site, that was the second definition. The number one definition was “cool, happening,” as in “Bob’s party was totally off the hook!”

“Off the hook” also refers to something that exceeds a minimal standard of satisfaction or is appealing to one’s mind, as in “that song is off the hook!”

My definition for “off the hook” (to get away with something or to not be responsible for it) is what the Urban Dictionary calls the  “old school” definition.

So I’m “old school,” huh? Well, that’s okay. I don’t really mind being thought of as old school. I take it as a badge of honor. And, by the way, the Urban Dictionary defines “old school” as “anything that is from an earlier era or previous generation and is looked upon with high regard or respect.” Woo hoo!

Besides, it’s also one of my favorite Steely Dan songs. I mean that song is off the hook.

Song Lyric Sunday — What’s New?

Helen Vahdati was late in posting her theme for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt, but we forgive her because she’s been dealing with some health issues recently. But she finally posted did post her theme, which is “new.”

Now I have a confession to make. It’s almost midnight my time and I was out and about most of the day and I’m dog tired, but as soon as I read Helen’s theme for this week, a song popped into my head and I had to write a post about it. The song? “What’s New Pussycat?” by Tom Jones.

“What’s New Pussycat?” was the title song for the movie of the same name starring Peter Sellers. Sung by British singer Tom Jones, and written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, it was released in June 1965 and peaked at number 3 in the U.S. Billboard chart that year.

The song is intentionally outrageous, with the singer telling a girl to powder her pussycat nose so he can kiss her “sweet little pussycat lips.” At the time, Jones was developing an image as a ribald pop star, and this song played right into it. Burt Bacharach knew that Jones had the chops to convey the right tone in the song, and convinced him to do it.

“What’s New Pussycat?” was nominated for an Academy Award for best original song in 1966, but did not win that year.

Here are the song’s lyrics.

What’s new, Pussycat?
Whoa, whoa
What’s new, Pussycat?
Whoa, whoa

Pussycat, Pussycat, I’ve got flowers
And lots of hours
To spend with you.
So go and powder your cute little pussycat nose!

Pussycat, Pussycat, I love you
Yes, I do!
You and your pussycat nose!

What’s new, Pussycat?
Whoa, whoa
What’s new, Pussycat?
Whoa, whoa

Pussycat, Pussycat, you’re so thrilling
And I’m so willing
To care for you.
So go and make up your cute little pussycat eyes!

Pussycat, Pussycat, I love you
Yes, I do!
You and your pussycat eyes!

What’s new, pussycat?
Whoa, whoa
What’s new, pussycat?
Whoa, whoa

Pussycat, Pussycat, you’re delicious
And if my wishes
Can all come true
I’ll soon be kissing your sweet little pussycat lips!

Pussycat, Pussycat, I love you
Yes, I do!
You and your pussycat lips!
You and your pussycat eyes!
You and your pussycat nose!