The Wrestling Match In My Head

The Wrestling Match In My Head


I’ve noticed, as I’ve grown older, that I have a spatial gap memory deficiency. One second I’ve got a list of things to do, the next I’m hard pressed to remember more than one of the items. Minor details, really, but annoying all the same. In an effort to combat this, I’ve been trying to use an old memory solution my mom taught me: create acronyms. Which brings us to this past night when preparing to go to bed, I had my list of things to do after brushing my teeth.

“Lil,” I repeated, apparently out loud.

“What? Mom, did you just say LIL?” My son passing by said with a scoff-snort kind of laugh. “You know it’s LOL, right? Laughing out loud or as your generation likes to say, lots of love. Not LIL.”

“I did say LIL, but no, I didn’t mean LOL and I’ll have you know that I’m quite familiar with the acronym and used it long before you were a glimmer in your daddy’s eye. In fact, I’m the generation that came up with the term SNERT, ROFLMFFAOASTND, and we can’t forget MORF.”

He blinked at me as if I just sneezed out gray matter, not sure if he should call 9-1-1 or fall on the floor laughing. “WTF, Mom. ROFLM whatever, what’s that mean?”

“Rolling on the floor laughing my fat flipping asterisk off and scaring the neighbor’s dog,” I deadpanned. He howled.

“Are you serious?”

“As a heart attack, which, back in my day, was a pretty serious thing. Medical advancements may not make it mean so much to you young whippersnappers nowadays.”

“Young whippersnappers, come on Mom, you’re not that old.”

“Well you sure make it sound like that.”


“You as in general. Your generation.”

“I know. How, though?”

“For example, back when I returned to college. Remember that?”

He nodded.

“I remember one of my professors, same age as me, talking about something or other, I don’t recall specifically what, but I do recall it was information that as an adult I’m very familiar with. At the conclusion, one of the very young students in the class who apparently had never heard of that before, shouted out, ‘That’s sick!’ which was the first time I’d ever heard that term. For a minute there I thought it had the same connotation it had the last time I checked. In other words, gross, disgusting, or sick. The professor said, ‘Yeah, that’s pretty cool, isn’t it?’ which thankfully cued me in.

“I’m not saying that our generations don’t have their own terminology, though. My parents, your grandparents, had their terms like jive, man, cool, hip; and my generation has its terms. I remember the first time I used the word Turkey at home. My mom just about had a seizure as she laughed when I told her that it meant a stupid, numskull move or just a stupid person. She killed it, and not in a good way, by using it a lot, and I mean a LOT, afterwards.”


Clearly the kid was stuck on two paragraphs of conversation previous. “Sexually nerdish expressively recitative troll.”

“What, what?” He howled again much to the consternation of those already in bed. “Morf?”

“Male or female.”

“Wait, so you were online?”

“Honey, I met your father online. Yes I was online.”

“Oh man, Mom, what was that like?”

“Another day, dear. I need to get some sleep. Besides, I’ve clean forgotten what I yet needed to do.”

“Lil,” he said.

“No, it’s LOL.” I replied in earnest, realizing after I made the correction what had happened. We both laughed. The sleeping dogs did not take too kindly to that. “Oh right, right. Lotion, ice, lights. G’nite.”


What are some of the repurposed words that became slang from your era? Did you have an unexpected reaction when you first heard a repurposed word like I did when I heard the term “sick”? Do share!

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