Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Slang Word of the Day: 3/16

Light-weight (lahyt-weyt):
-Origin: Bay Area

As a young person, and as a colored person, but most of all as a young colored person I enjoy using what the elderly and English teachers, but most of all the elderly English teachers would call "slang." But I do not like it when people don't use slang correctly.

This week's word, is "lightweight." Lightweight basically means "kind of," or a "little bit." It is meant to be used in circumstances when there are shades of gray. For example, one can be "lightweight hungry," like when you won't go to the kitchen and make something to eat for yourself, or you won't reach over to your phone and order a pizza, but if say, someone were to offer you a half-eaten sandwich, you'd take it and eat it so fast it looked like you made out with it. That's lightweight.

In addition, one can be "lightweight tipsy." Say for example, your make-up is a little smeared and you're slurring your speech, but you're definitely not giving your number out to the Marine that keeps asking you to dance and has followed you all over the club. That's lightweight.

"Lightweight" is a status that can be easily changed. Thirsty, tired, poor. "Lightweight" should not be used with concrete things. For example, one cannot be "lightweight engaged." You're either wearing a ring, or you're not. Just like you can't be "lightweight pregnant." You're either with child, or you're not.

Further, I have heard some people use the word "low-key" in place of "lightweight." This is a HUGE slang faux pas. Never, ever, use the word "low-key."

White people, consider this your lesson for the day.


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