Call me Russ L

The Language Of The Yoot Dem

Posted in Modern Living by Russ L on 19 August, 2006

The first of what may well turn out to be a 381 part series in which I have a little waffle about turns of phrase that I find amusing, and patronisingly blame it all on the young folk.

In this instance, though, we have two words that the hardcaw-uh kidz use and I was genuinely confused about (and really, I was). Hopefully this may shine an explanatory light out to anyone who has been as baffled as I have been with these.

Windbreaker – I’d heard the word ‘windbreaker’ used in relation to band merchandise before and been completely confuzzled, since as far as I was aware a windbreaker was one of those canvas partition things you put up on the beach to prevent the sand blowing all over you. Not so, I have found out this week! Nowadays, it seems, a windbreaker is an anorak.

Two-step – This one I’d heard in the context of hardcore dancing. Again, I had to crease my brow and move my head back slightly – “Garage music? What does that have to do with beatdown dancing?” Thanks to the inimitable Maxine I know know that the term also refers to that left-foot-right-foot-left-foot-right-foot running on the spot dance you see sometimes.

I’m glad I know now what people are talking about with these things. It may sound silly, but in their own little ways both of them had faintly troubled me in the past. If I can pass on a spot of illumination to anyone else out there then I’m glad to do so.

~ Russ L, feeling old (again).

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6 Responses

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  1. Pete Ashton said, on 20 August, 2006 at 1:26 am

    I’m sure the windbreaker-as-anorak has been around for a few decades now and I’m less sure but still fairly confident that Two Step has its origins in Ska or Reggae. So you’re not so old, just, um, something else.

  2. helen said, on 20 August, 2006 at 8:14 am

    You only had to ask son, I could have told you a windbreaker was an anorak, I used to have one when I was young, not that I have been around for too many decades.

  3. Russ L said, on 20 August, 2006 at 8:34 am

    The two-step as a dance was a ska thing, I know, but I’d never heard it called such before. Perhaps it’s just me. Usually is.

    ‘Anorak’ is a much better word for a plastic coat than ‘windbreaker.’ It’s a much better word in general, actually. It has a nice chunky feel to it.

  4. throughsilver said, on 20 August, 2006 at 2:10 pm

    I’m sure I remember seeing an anorak described as a ‘windcheater’ when I were young.

  5. Russ L said, on 20 August, 2006 at 3:11 pm

    Windcheater (WIND-sheet-AH) I have heard. Windbreaker, I maintain, is entirely new to me. Apart from in the beachy sense.

  6. Maxxxine said, on 24 August, 2006 at 11:46 pm

    Hahahaha, two-step!

    I even gave you a demonstration of it an’ all!


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