Semantics of English

Semantics of English
Semantics of English

The slang-based language of youth usually leads to confusion in those who are not accustomed to the current language.

Boomerang- Come back “Boom!”


Backfire- To turn against somebody by mistake and cause harm.


Stop, drop and roll-  To stop running, then fall down and roll away from danger. A warning for people who are fleeing a potential attack.


In the morning I will have at least 24 different flavors of yogurt – People often use this phrase as an excuse for why they cannot eat breakfast without getting sick. It is used as a way to avoid eating breakfast that you might be allergic to or don’t enjoy.


I need to sleep 8 hours a night – This phrase is used to explain the extreme need to sleep and the lack of interest or drive in anything else.


“Bob and I painted the house today.”

“Bob and I ate hamburgers for lunch.”

“Bob drank a six-pack of beer after work.”


Non-literal saying:  ‘It’s no big deal’ or ‘it’s no big thing’.  Used as a way to not take something too seriously. “I’ll get over it in no time. It’s just a small bump in the road. “Life is hard, but it is good…most of the time.”


Puckered lips- Men who have a mustache will often place their thumb and fingers in their mouth to curl the lip, while they are forcing themselves to smile.


Pulling up- “Pulling up” is a term used for finishing first at the finish line. This can be said by people who run or bike for exercise, but not necessarily about sports. This phrase is also unique to Detroit where football players get paid every Sunday and will sometimes say: “I pulled over two times today.”


This function describes two types of phenomena. One, is a traditional use of pulling up in some contexts: “I pulled up to him before I did. He won.” Another phenomenon is the use of pulling up to be recognized as a success or sign of social status. For example, “I pulled up on my way home last night and the gentleman at the door was very respectful.”


It can also describe pulling up in respect or recognition to someone or something with great importance regardless of time or location. “I went to go on a run this morning I pulled up on the lakefront and called my father.” “I’m so happy for you. You should be proud about your success”.

It can also be used as an adjective in describing an overwhelmingly unique person, thing, situation, etc. “That girl was really working it at the party last night. She pulled-up”.


Image: Pexels

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.