Epic Lexicon: The Top 7 Words of 2009

Rejoice, Epic Mailians; 2009 has been a good year. By what metric, you ask? Obviously, we should judge the success of years by the amount of nonsensical references and catchphrases they produce. "But my grandmother died/my car broke down/I failed out of clown college!" Shut your turkey hole, Whiney Tim, it IS a good year because now you have some funny words. Even though they all originated as incredibly arbitrary inside references, I expect these words to pass into the Mailian vernacular. From the mess to the masses.
The Top 7 Words of 2009

7. Surprise Hotel
Astute readers will recognize this phrase from OKAYYYYGUYS's Top 25 Tracks of 2009 list, as it's the title of an excellent Fool's Gold track. Since discovering the song, OKAYYYYGUYS and I have been obsessing over the concept of a surprise hotel, and considering the ways in which someone might conceivably "surprise hoteled." As a catchphrase, though, it only involves yelling "SURPRISE, IT'S A _____" (insert relevant word).
"Dr. Eble, my tooth has really been hurting recently. What's the problem?"

Not to be mistaken with it's generic cousin, "oops," OOPS must be uttered with a guttural, flamboyant emphasis, preferably accompanied by skyward-facing palms, and following some sort of faux pas or slip up. In the rare instance that OOPS doesn't absolve you of your transgression, it at least gives everyone a good chuckle.

"Dude, did you hook up with my girlfriend?"

5. DURKL ©
Yes, that's right, it's everyone's favorite up and coming clothing brand, stitched together right here in Washington, D.C. The clothing itself would be entirely forgettable nu-party-glo-bro wear if DURKL wasn't such a memorably ugly name. As such, DURKL is used in a wider context as a general mark of disdain -- hilarious word, hilarious connotations, a giant ball of irony.
"Wait, do you know this DJ?"
"Yeah, it's DURKL."

4. Brochan
Since we already have a plethora of ways to call one another bro, I remain a firm skeptic when faced with new attempts to crack the genre. But a tip of the hat to my friend Salar who introduced me to my new favorite -- Brochan. There's not any deeper meaning, no abbreviation, no back story that I can establish. Just a simple word, on a simple mission. To address a bro, and to be awesome.
"What are you cooking up, brochan?"

3. Hackbox (+ Additional Uses of -box Suffix)
Despite its many flaws, you certainly get to meet interesting people on Xbox Live. And OKKAAAYYYGUYS and I met one such person this year during an intense Call of Duty match. He was good -- almost too good, to the point that we suspected him of cheating. And then we saw his name: xxHACKBOXxx, in all of its glory. From this point on, hackboxing became synonymous with cheating, hacking, or manipulating a person, thing, or situation. Though hacking has distinctly digital origins, hackboxing can apply to any object. For example, if you get locked out of your house but use a credit card to get in the backdoor, one might say you "hackboxed" it. The -box suffix can also be attached to any other word to add emphasis without actually saying anything of substance (e.g. mackbox, Keatsbox, computerbox, Davebox, etc...).
Bonus points for my ability to convince a stranger in New York to use the word correctly without explanation:
[Having propped a door open with a sweater] "Oh hey guys, after you go in there, can you just hackbox the door with that sweater? I hackboxed it so that we could get back in."
The bro gave me a brief, puzzled look, until he replied timidly, "Oh, yeah, I'll hackbox it."

2. hoooooOOOOOOhhhOOOOohhh
I realize that it's just about impossible to convey the correct tone through text, but I did my best. This particular "ho" (shortened for ease of typing) is differentiated from a standard greeting "ho" by its higher pitched tones, a longer sustain, and heightened wavering, combining to produce an almost ghost-like howl. This word is useful as a humorous greeting, or as a way to fill silence in an awkward or unfortunate moment (similar to the alternate use of "hey guys", e.g. "Sometimes I just get so frustrated that I want to strangle my mom's cat." "Hey guyssss.....").
::Ring, Ring::

1. Zoop (+ Derivatives)
I present to you the most important word of the year: zoop. I realize that it doesn't look like much, but it holds this spot for a number of reasons -- elegance, utility, and infectiousness, among others. Zoop's primary meaning is "to go, usually in a speedy manner." For example, "Hey, I think we're going to zoop over to the store." Zoop can also mean "to take." "Would you mind if I zooped some of that lasagna?" Zoop can also mean "have sexual intercourse with." "You've been dating Tandice for a while, have you zooped her yet?" But these uses are merely scratching the surface; zoop's true strength lies in its sheer utility and ease of comprehension. You can replace just about any verb with zoop, and even the most untrained ear will be able to pick up its meaning through contextual clues.

Zoop has also spawned a set of derivative words:

Unlike zoop, which has a plethora of meanings, each of these words merely replaces its sans-z counterpart, though in a stylish manner. Something about that extra Z just flings these words across your tongue -- faster, sleeker, futuristic. Laugh if you must, but once you begin to use them, it gets under your skin, and it won't be long until you find yourself uttering "Zyup" inadvertently in a board meeting.

I believe we have a visceral connection with zoop, as if we were born to say it, but have yet to fulfill our destiny on a mass scale. I've seen the light. We've seen the light. It's time to zoop into a new year. It's been a long December, and there's reason to believe that this year will zoop the shit out of the last.




This is a fantastic list, though I think we'd be remiss not to acknowledge another vulgar euphemism along the lines of "mugdown" and "wallet": "POKE," and the yin to its yang, "NO POKE." A word that defies gender in its implications (a woman can classify a man as a "poke"), its terse, booming monosyllable makes it a perfect choice for revealing one's most immediate and visceral responses to physical beauty, or lack thereof.

[Setting eyes on an attractive member of the opposite sex after scanning one's surroundings]
"Hmmm, what are you thinking, POKE or NO POKE?"

Quilliam said...

HUGE call on poke/no poke. Somehow that completely escaped my purview. It deserves a place in the canon

Daves n' Davin' said...

Andy, maybe it's just been a while since I've read a great Epic mail post but regardless, this is one of the best. I even knew all the words you were going to put on there and I still feel like I got zooped by the end. I don't know how you found some of those pictures - maybe you hackboxed google image search - but job well done! Epic post.

Daves n' Davin' said...

Also, I wholeheartedly agree with the "poke/no poke"addition. Especially when calling something a "no poke situation".

Bebop or Rock Steady said...

who knew that a lo-fi, made-in-the-bedroom phrase like Zoop would one day make #1 on Epic Mail's best-of list

Teh Cazbar said...

In regards to using zoop as a sexual euphemism - does it retain it's 'taking' and 'speedy' connotations? I wager that this makes it that much more hilarious.

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