Grunge speak

In 1992, an earnest New York Times reporter asked Megan Jasper, a former receptionist for Sub-Pop Records, for slang used by the nascent grunge scene. There was no such slang… so she made it up. And they printed it.

Daigo Oliva from São Paulo, Brasil [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
I don’t know how anyone thought these could be legitimate slang terms: cob nobblerlamestain, and wack slacks. (Those mean “loser,” “uncool person,” and “old ripped jeans” respectively.) Wait, hold on, now I really want to use those in conversation.

Jasper was probably a notorious office prankster, or maybe she was just channeling the general grunge scepticism of authority. The co-founder of Sub-Pop Records was the one who pointed the reporter in her direction; the newspaper angrily requested an apology from him. His response nicely reflects the grunge aesthetic:

When The Newspaper of Record goes searching for the Next Big Thing and the Next Big Thing piddles on its leg, we think that’s funny.

Me too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s