Wednesday, March 24, 2010


A reader (gentle? the jury's out) has written in about the word booty, seemingly seeking a prescription on the matter of using it as a euphemism for sex.

Here are some questions worth posing:

1.) How old is the person saying this word?
2.) Is English this person's first language?
3.) Is this person a woman? (The first time I heard this word, it was from the mouth of a woman referring to a "booty call"; the word call summons the take-out spirit of the phrasing)
4.) What is the speaker's tone of voice?
5.) What are the speaker's circumstances? Might the speaker have fallen down a crevasse on a high, forbidding mountain?
6.) Is it the speaker a very young child parroting something she or he has heard?
7.) Does the speaker live in Los Angeles?
8.) Is the speaker speaking ironically?

Personally, I don't like the phrase booty call--and I never will. My general reaction to hearing this from the mouth of anybody over the age of 21 is "Please go away" (or, for those who find that too high-toned: "Gross, get away from me.")

Now: why the reaction? I think it has something to do with the cutesyness of the phrase. Let me speak Consumer English. It's a little too Hello Kitty for my taste. Booty call is Magnolia Bakery, not Lady M. It's mat pilates, not machines pilates (yes, even if machines has roots in mat). It's credit, not cash. It's a jet ski, not a sailboat.

I vote for hookup or nooky. Nooky is short and to the point (tap water, not municipal water) and happens to rhyme with cooky.

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