THE BLOG
11/30/2011 10:24 am ET Updated Jan 30, 2012

Language Over Time: What Do Hook-Ups, Blunts, and Lollipops Have in Common?

Hook-Ups, blunts, and lollipops: who would ever have thought of these three words in the same way before? Yep they are a subset of previously innocuously tinged words that have new and (improved?) meanings with teens. And nope they are not necessarily so innocuously tinged anymore.

Consider the phrase hook-up.

When we were teens we'd ask someone to hook up after school and it simply meant that we wanted to spend time together. Now, when teens request a hook-up you can expect some random entanglement of body parts to occur with a healthy side dish of being friends with benefits-no strings attached petting. Did I say petting? That's a dated expression to teens these days. They see it as stroking a dog while we saw it as stroking one another.

When I was a teen to be blunt meant to be direct -- this was not something that you wanted your boyfriend to say to you. Consider, "Barbara, to be perfectly blunt with you I'm taking someone else to the dance." When a peer was going to introduce something blunt to you it was usually followed by something that certainly wasn't going to induce good feelings. This is very different then the effects of the current blunts which consist of marijuana placed in hollowed-out cigars. Now those sort of blunts might change your mood but in a different way than the blunt of my teenage years and they also might get you into legal trouble.

How about lollipops? Those were simple enough. They may have been bad for your teeth but I don't remember marijuana lollipops. Do you? I remember psychedelic posters that glowed in the dark but I don't think that those are in demand these days.

And finally, how about this one? "That is so sick." To teens these days that meant that is so cool. You're going to that concert? That is so sick. There was a time, not too long ago that being sick interfered with going to concerts and was not desirable at all.

My oh my. How language has changed!