My son and I were cruising home in the car today when #WalkThisWay by #Aerosmith came on the radio. Of course, I had to turn it up because you just can’t listen to Aerosmith without the volume blowing out your eardrums.
Anyway, we pull into the driveway and lo and behold #BlueOysterCult’s song, #Don’tFeartheReaper comes on, which, by the way, is another song that must be played at ear-piercing volume. But alas. I turned the car off and left my son whining, saying, “Oh, come on, Mom. Cowbell. Cowbell.”
Umm, #Cowbell? What the heck is cowbell? I went running to my Urban Dictionary. The last I heard, a cowbell was a bell you hung around a cow’s neck so you could keep up with where the bovine was. Something told me my son wasn’t asking for a cowbell in the traditional sense. Here’s what I found out for all us vernacularly (is that even a word?) challenged adults who are older than dirt.
When your kid says “cowbell” it means “something good we need more of”. For instance, “My life is boring. I need more cowbell.”
It also has a literal reference. It seems it derived from a skit on Saturday Night Live when Will Farrell portrayed a member of the 80s rock band, Blue Oyster Cult, as they recorded “Don’t Fear the Reaper.” (ahhh, my brain is starting to see the connection with my son’s comment). During the skit, Farrell played the cowbell quite forcefully on the track, much to the dismay of the band, but the studio producer loved the cowbell playing so much, that he demanded more ‘cowbell’, thus the comment, ‘need more cowbell.’
As I continued to search through the Dictionary of strange urban vernacular, I stumbled upon a few other phrases that I thought you might like to incorporate into your every day speak, because, you know, we have to stay hip and with it.
Did you have any idea that ‘break your crayons” means someone is trying to make you sad or ruin your day? For example: “Dude, don’t worry about him, he’s just tryin’ to break your crayons. Just let it slide.” By the way, ‘slide’ still means “let it go.” Whew.
Oh, and be careful when asking someone to come over and “meet your cat.” Yeah. You just asked them to have sex with you. *gasp*
How I long for the days when everything was either far out, groovy or heavy. Then again, our parents scratched their heads and rolled their eyes over those words and phrases, too, as evidenced by Doc in Back to the Future.
Just goes to show you each generation has their own ‘urban dictionary’. It’s up to us ancients to keep up with it and the times.