Monday, June 15, 2009
Got Boarding School Slangs???
Whoa! That's like my favorite part of boarding school life.
The good part is, like all groups of people united by a common cause, boarders have slangs that are totally unique to the school they attend.
The uniqueness of school slangs arises mainly from the location of the school and the native language spoken in that location, as well as the ethnicity and background of the students within the school. Let's not forget the hand-me-down slangs that must have been a tradition of the school from the get go. A great example is 'Madam Koi-Koi'. Now, if you haven't heard that one, irrespective of how old your boarding school is or where it is located in Nigeria, then you must be totally... LOL!!!
Slangs are like an unspoken rule: once you become a student of the school, you gotta learn the language and slangs of that school. No two ways about it.
I totally remember the first time my bunk mate referred to me as 'Bunkie'.
I was like, hold on... what was that?
Then there was the day a senior girl in my dorm threatened a junior student by telling her she was 'done for'.
Yeah right... please, mind defining that for me?
What about when someone asks you to go find their 'neighbor'?
Or when an announcement like this is made in the dining hall: "All 'meant-to's' should see me after siesta"?
So, after spending just three days in a boarding school, I began to think that each school should like, have a kind of dictionary that explains these slangs to new students. You know, sorta like a Slangotionary or something. LOL!!!
Seriously, wouldn't this make life easier for the new junior students?
Imagine having to figure out on your own what each slang means, or the consequences of mixing-up two like-sounding slangs, but with totally different meanings? i.e 'Pass' and 'Paas'. Totally un-cool huh?
So you can imagine how embarrassed I felt, when one day, I blurted out, "She banged her teacher!" when I actually meant, "She failed her teacher!".
Well, who would blame me? How was I to know that it was okay to use the slang 'bang' to connote 'fail', but only in terms of tests and exams. When used in the context of human to human relations, then 'bang' totally means something else.
Trust me, I got in a lot of trouble for that one. I had to learn the hard way--great way to go, huh?
The annoying part is that the older students always refuse to define the slangs for you when you ask them.
For instance, someone darts into the dormitory and declares, "You need to get a load of the kind atta that obtained me in Physics practicals today."
You ask, "What does 'atta' mean?"
And they reply, "Go and find out for yourself."
Gee thanks! If I could, I wouldn't be asking.
Anyways, it's all good, cos the average time for imbibing school slangs for any level-headed and minimally observant junior girl is three weeks. The 'ogba-mbo's' and 'efficienco's' usually pick them up in a few days flat.
Don't ask me what those mean. Cos if you do, I'd say, "Go and find out for yourself!" LOL!!!
Just so I don't sound like a total block-head, I've come up with a few slangs that are totally part of the slangotionary for my school.
Here they are in alphabetical order:
Barbie dolls: Girls who are pretty and rich, and usually very full of themselves. E.g. Did you see the expensive sunglasses that Barbie doll had on in class yesterday?
Been-to's: Students who have visited foreign nations like the UK and US. E.g. She now regards herself as a been-to, just because she managed to spend two days in London last hols.
Bubble girls: Students who are famous, especially due to their social skills. E.g. Everyone wants to be like that Bubble girl over there--she displays the coolest dance steps on stage.
Floater: Clueless students who seem to never be able to get the gist of what's on board. E.g. If you still don't get what this blog is all about, then you are a major floater.
Floor-members: Students in a senior class who are not prefects but are at the same class level as school prefects. E.g Your Bunkie is a floor member, so you don't have to obey all school rules to the letter.
Kabashers: Students who are religious fanatics and often known for their penchant to pray loudly anywhere at all manners of day or night. E.g. Someone should please tell that Kabasher to tone it down and let us get some sleep!
Meant-to's: Students who are repeating a class and are, therefore, meant to be in a higher class level otherwise. E.g. There is a meant-to in our class. Should we also put her name down for noise-making?
Princy: The school principal. E.g. This one is self-explanatory--Princy said so herself.
Subsidy: This term is used for identifying dormitory prefect. E.g. The subsidy in my dorm punished me for tardiness.
Transits: Students who transferred form a different school. E.g The transit in our class was formerly a day-student in another school.
Witchy: Being very mean; as in one who is wicked and unkind. E.g. She's such a witchy student, please have nothing to do with her.
Yacker: Someone who talks too much without making much sense. E.g. Please shut-up--you're just a miserable yacker.
Okay, that's it for now, but feel free to include yours. Remember, each school has its own unique slangs, so it will be great to have your versions of the above. LOL!!!
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The novel will be available on the PUBLISHER'S SITE starting this July. Availability will be by reservation only.