Wednesday, November 9, 2011

High School Tuesday (on Wednesday) - It's Nifty!

Fashions spin round and round (has anyone noticed the proliferation of mid-thigh wildly-patterned polyester dresses - ala early 70's? ).  Teenagers tend to modernize whatever look it was their parents wore, while at the same time professing how uncool same parents are now.

"Wow, Mom, what happened?  You were like, so awesome when you were my age."

It happens with words, too.  The latest pair making the rounds at my school are nifty and spiffy.  Meanings haven't changed, though I guess it's the intent of meaning we should examine.

Girl gets new glasses.
Boy says, "Wow, Girl, those are so nifty."

Emphasis placed on the so.  Not quite sarcasm, but not true admiration either.  A hinterland compliment - ala - said as if an adult or parent would say it, therein making fun of self-same adult or parent.

Spiffy is so fresh and new that a giggle is often added at the end.  "Hey Girl, did you see New Boy?  He's really spiffy."  Giggle, giggle, giggle.  "I called him spiffy."  "Well he is spiffy."

What recycled trends are you noticing these days?


  1. Ahhh, some of my male students were comparing random words girls had used on them recently and I remember thinking "I so need to write these words done--this is hilarious!" And then promptly forgot. That was spiffy of me... :)

  2. Yep, students are excellent blog fodder. It's a nifty thought...:)

  3. A while ago I heard a teen use the word "spliffy" and when I called him on it, he said it was a combination of "spiffy" and "spliff" (as in a joint.) I can't quite condone the drug reference, I guess, but it is nice to see teens create portmanteau words!

    (Sorry for being anonymous -- Blogger never seems to recognize me under any account.)

  4. I like to use spiffy, but not nifty, unless I'm referring to an object that can do double duty. Usually that means something must be pretty and utilitarian.
    I'm glad kids are using them! That means I can understand what they're saying. : )

  5. I'm going to make a concerted effort to use both of those words more :)


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