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Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by PatB, Aug 31, 2003.
Am I the only one who doesn't know what "Word up" or "Word" means?
I believe it is an urban colloquialism meaning "I agree" or "You said it!" or "You're darn tootin'!"
You are Correct, sir!
You Are Damn right!
I agree with you!
You are F A Bubba!
See 'True', as in the Budweiser campaign...
But where does it come from? It seems to be short for something, that's what I can't figure out.
Murtaugh: Word, Riggs!
Riggs: Word Rog.
Murtaugh: What are we talking about?
Riggs: Word, four letters, starts with W, OR in the middle, D on the end. Word.
Murtaugh: Oh, that word.
If I had to guess, I would believe that the phrase began as the exclamation, "Word to your mother". This would likely be translated to mean, "Send word to your mother that she had better have dinner on the table", or similar phrasing. This was intended to indicate a very familiar relationship one had with an adversaries mother, often in a sexual sense. This was later modified to be more genial in nature, such that people would exclaim, "Word to your mothers", as a way to suggest a general Hello greeting to ones peers. This was later shortened to simply "Word" or "Word up" as a modification of, "What's up".
Of course, I just made that all up, so take no stock in it.
You had me going for a minute there. Some of that actually started to make sense.
I like Alex's explaination. There might be something to it.
The first thing that came to my mind was that perhaps it's derived from "Word of the Lord". I'm not sure how many religions use that phrase, but if I'm not mistaken it's how the bible is often referred to in Catholic services. The "Word of God"/"Word of the Lord" is regarded by Christians (and I imagine other religions too) as being rather significant, it's powerful, and it's the truth. So perhaps the slang term "word", which initially I believe to have been more of a word of agreement, started out as acknowledging that what someone had just said was significant.
When visiting the Ebonics Translator I typed in "hello what's up" and I 'ebonified dat whack english' got in return "wha da dilly yo? what'sup? and git Sheniquah's ass back ova' heeah."
I was thinking 'word' meant something along the lines of what's up, like 'word up brother"
I did manage to get word once though. It's just a urban slang term.
Aftere ebonifying the last paragraph, this is what I got.
When visiting da Ebonics Translator I typed in "hello what'sup" an' I 'ebonified dat whack english' got in return "wha da dilly yo? what'sup? an' git Sheniquah'sass back ova' heeah."
I wuz thinking 'word' meant somethin' along da lines o' what'sup, like 'word up brother"
I did manage ta git werd once though. It'sjust uh urban slang term.
Aftere ebonifying da last paragraph, dis here iz what I got. you know das right!
But what I ask does, word up, mean? Or when someone says something that's considered a truism, why does someone else respond with 'word'? I thought the HTF was full of hipsters.
Word up is like saying what's up? Just a slang term. Who knows why they say 'word' though. It doesn't techincally make sense in English, but neither does a lot of the slang terms.
It's no different then those skaters on the X games saying "That was SICK!!" or "that was tiiiighhtt". How is it sick or tight doing a flip on a skateboard? To me that sounds a lot more stupid than "word up".
But sick or tight are at least adjectives. What the heck does 'word' come from? I understand the context it's used in, I guess I'm looking for more of a translation of what it's been taken from. But thanks.
'The Word' means something definitive (it has been used in this sense in UK slang at least for many years - indeed there was a UK TV programme called 'The Word' that claimed to be the definitive pop music programme; it wasn't, incidentally). Presumably derived from 'the last word in ...' or 'the Word of God'. When 'up' is used as a suffix in slang, it generally strengthens the meaning of the previous word. thus, 'word up' simply means 'an extremely good example of The Word'. In other words, it's hyperbole.
"Word" is basically a way to express agreement. "Word Up" is an emphasis on agreement. I grew up an a pretty well mixed neighborhood (black, puerto rican) so I actually speak fluent "ebonics".
Word can also mean "really".
Is "ebonics" is a term that linguists had problems with in the late 1990s?
I remember hearing about school district in Oakland CA that was going to use "ebonics" as a second language.