Monday, December 19, 2005


So I'm having lunch at the Eaton Centre today and of course it's busy as all heck 'cause it's the south food court with the Harvey's and KFC...and it's Christmastime.

Anyhow, this girl is walking around, obviously scouting for a place for her and her friends to sit. She comes upon the table next to me (no, not that way - get your heads out of the gutter) and she says, "I don't mean to be a vulture, but are you guys leaving?"

Does everybody use this term? My friends and I have been using it for years, usually at this time of year, and usually when trying to find a parking spot.

See, when you're trying to find a parking spot in a mall lot at Christmas, it's often best to forget about searching for a vacant spot. Instead, drive up to the mall entrance, wait for someone to come out, and then follow them in your car as they walk to their spot. Boom: guaranteed spot.

Of course, you might freak some people out by creeping behind them for 100 feet, but screw it, you want to park.

We call this "vulturing".

My experience today got me thinking: where do we get these expressions? Are there any expressions that are unique to your circle of friends? How long would it take for an expression you made up to become commonly used?

See, many many moons ago I knew a guy named Ian. When you'd ask Ian what he was up to, he'd reply "Oh, just pullin' pud."

Okay, so maybe this isn't exactly charming, and if you don't know what it means, I ain't about to explain it to you, but I picked up on this expression and came up with my own variation. Soon, people would ask what I was up to and I'd say, "Oh, you know, just pullin' the goalie."

Now I thought this was kinda funny and very Canadian. It became one of my catchphrases.

A few years later, though, I heard someone else say it. Now, I'm not saying I was the first person ever to use that expression, but I had definitely not heard it before I said it. So this got me thinking: maybe I did make it up. Maybe it's made the rounds. I mean, someone has to make up every expression, right? So why not?

I mean, who came up with "Butter Face" or "fubar" or "screwin' the pooch"?

What if I didn't make it up? Can independent groups come up with the same expression at roughly the same time? Is there an anthropology paper in this?

What would Darwin say?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hold on, you have catchphrases? Like you're your own ad? Trying to be in the "in" crowd, are we?

Are there more of these phrases..?