Urban Dictionary

About two years ago I started to build an online freelance platform and dubbed it ‘Hustle Haven’. A few months after embarking upon this venture, I applied for an internship at a software development firm and when they asked for samples of my work, I sent them a link to the platform. I got the internship and my boss later commented that the freelance platform was what ‘sold him’ on me. As a tech entrepreneur himself he was excited to have someone on his team who also yearned to create. The one thing he absolutely hated about my idea was the choice of name.

I was actually really proud of myself when I selected this name. If any of you has ever tried to name a business, you must know what a headache it is, trying to find something catchy and relevant that is not already in use. When I finally settled on ‘Hustle Haven’, I felt as though I had struck gold!

My boss said that ‘Hustle Haven’ made it sound like the freelancers were crooks. He reckoned it gave a certain initial image that would likely lead to a misconception about what the business did. Hustling made him think of individuals who would do anything to make some money, where anything involved theft, illegal trade…the likes! This was of course far from what I was going for. Sure, I knew that the word hustler had some less than honourable definitions to it but I was very clear about the definition that I was going for and was sure my customer would know what I was referring to.

What is a hustler?

Oxford dictionary definition

1. A person adept at aggressively selling or illicit dealing

2. A prostitute

Urban dictionary definition

1. An enterprising person determined to succeed; a go-getter

I was obviously counting on my target market thinking of a hustler in line with the urban dictionary definition. My generation, allow me to speak for a generation here, sees a hustler as…

…someone willing to give up luxury and titles, someone who does not mind juggling multiple jobs in order to reach his or her goal. A hustler is humble, frugal and true to themselves, they will work 24/7 to obtain any vision they may have of life.”

My boss however, was not convinced and understandably so. He knows a hustler as defined by the Oxford Dictionary.

I looked up some interesting words and phrases that 5 to 7 years ago did not exist or that meant something different back then and explored their meaning, relevance and what that says about us as the creators and custodians of these terms. I also really just enjoy the word play involved with some of these words and phrases. We can be so witty!

Phat – initials for “pretty hot and tempting” (usually relating to a woman with ample assets)

Remember when being a skinny girl was it? You either were or you weren’t. When you weren’t, you felt like less. Popular media tells a different story now. Thick girls are in. I have a friend who, when the song “All about that bass” by Meghan Trainer was released, would muse at what a difficult year it was for skinny girls, because thick girls were suddenly it. No longer fat, but phat, with a ‘ph’. Well, all girls are in in my books!

Cyber slacking – using one’s employer’s internet and email for personal activities during work.

I am of the opinion that the internet should be a basic right, but we still have a long way to go before this is a reality, especially given that we, Kenya, are a third world country. Cyber slacking is such a natural thing, I was pleasantly surprised to find it here!

When I leave the comfort of home aka the Wi-Fi Zone, there are certain things I cannot do, as a survival mechanism. I am a certified Instagram addict, but Instagram is quite the data-guzzler. Therefore outside of a Wi-Fi Zone, I do not allow myself the luxury of scrolling on and on and on on Instagram. When I check into class for a lab session, these are heaven sent because there is Wi-Fi, then I get some reprieve from my self-imposed fast.

Designated Drunk – the individual who drinks all offers of free drinks sent to the designated driver.

I wish this was more of a thing in Kenya. Really, I wish it was. Deaths on the roads due to drunk driving are the most unnecessary occurrence ever! These accidents really DO NOT have to happen! You Do NOT have to drink and drive! Take a cab! Get into your car and sleep where you are. Assign a designated driver! Alcoblow is taken to be somewhat of a game now. Systems put in place to warn each other, systems built to evade the system. I think us an irresponsible people. Make the world a better place, preserve lives.

Just DO NOT drink and drive!

…and if you go the designated driver way, pick the most good-looking of the bunch and have fun being their designated drunk!

The Friend Zone – the status of being stuck as a person’s friend after attempting to woo(or being too nice hoping to woo) him or her.

I personally greatly dislike the notion of the friend zone. I think it a symptom of male-entitlement. (Yes, it works both ways, girls friend zone boys, boys friend zone girls…but really this term was coined and is more often used to refer to situations where the guy would like to be more than just friends and the girl is not interested.) Male entitlement. He wants the girl. The girl does not want him, CRISIS! The friend zone. What is all this fuss about ‘escaping’ this friend zone? How about we respect the fact that one may not be interested and move on. If things change in future, well and good. If they don’t, no one ever died of rejection. Move on while you are still good-looking.

The Sniff Test – An olfactory exam of a previously worn(dirty) item of clothing to determine whether it is acceptable to wear again.

This is another one I was pleasantly surprised to find out existed. It resounds with me a lot. I am the biggest sniff tester I know. Yeah, I am. I try to have my clothes washed often, every two weeks, but occasionally the second week will come round and I won’t have the money to have my clothes washed. The thought of all the effort it would take to wash them myself dissuades me and I soldier on into the next week surviving on the sniff test and the few clothes I may have that are still clean. I bet many of us, campus students in particular, have been regular sniff testers.

The Selfie – A picture one takes of herself or himself, usually with a camera phone, and often with the purpose of uploading it to social media sites.

I am always very amused when I think about the fact that 15 years ago this word did not exist! Not even any indication that it would one day exist, existed. Think back to where you were in 2000, if you were even alive. Back then cell phones were large, very expensive, few and far between. Cameras had film. An actual physical film, with a limited number of shots, with no preview of what the shot would look like, no opportunity for second takes, no room for 50 trials then you finally pick the best one, and sure as hell no room for you to be attempting to take pictures of yourself!You would just be wasting film.

Then came slightly more affordable cellphones, then came camera phones, then came front facing cameras, then came front facing cameras with flash and now we are at an age where you can adjust a ‘beauty’ feature on your front facing camera to adjust the level of #Flawlessness you would like in your selfie. We came from a world where the selfie did not exist to a world where giving people the ability to take the perfect selfie is big business!

Duck Face – a face made by pursing and pouting one’s lips in an attempt to make them appear fuller or to make the cheekbones appear more prominent(frequently utilized by young women in selfies or other photos in an attempt to look flirty or more model-esque)

After the selfie, naturally, the duck face followed. This one, even I do not understand. Why are duck faces cute? Are they really considered attractive? 10 years ago, can you imagine someone who constantly puckered up their lips while posing for pictures…why? Are you out to kiss the camera? Is there something irritating the foot of your nose that you are trying to casually get off? Did you make a funny face once and then your face froze in that position? Do you have a phobia of being photographed that compels you to instinctively pout whenever you are faced with a camera? All these question, I ask myself too…why do I keep resorting to the duck face? I bet years from now our kids will look at pictures of us and laugh at how uncool we were.

Rendezbooze – a designated time and place to drink with a group of friends

Alcohol is a pretty big part of popular culture right now. It is fun to get drunk, for sure…

I found this one funny, especially as a french-enthusiast. ‘Rendezvous’ is the French word for meeting. Rendezbooze implies a meeting for the sole purpose of consuming alcohol. A friend was recently telling me how he has a monthly rendezvous with another friend of his. Initially, they agreed they would be having Cold Stone ice cream while catching up then part ways when done. After doing this twice, the third time, instead of each going for a second round of ice cream, they opted to cross the road to a popular joint where shots are pretty affordable. So the second half of the ice cream money went to shots then they went their separate ways. By the fourth meeting, ice cream was out of the picture completely. They met up, headed straight to the shots place and had enough to fire up the good times! The Rendezbooze.

YOLO – (You Only Live Once) an initialism used to express a carpe die(seize the day) sentiment in relation to a silly, stupid or irresponsible act.

YOLO is now an anthem. A lifestyle. A justification for you to do all the things you should not do but you go ahead and do them anyway. When someone asks about your clearly poor logic, YOLO. Who can argue with that? You really do only live once. Youth shall be the end of us!

Bromance – two heterosexual males with such a close relationship that they appear to be romantically involved.

The bromance. I am fascinated by bromances. Two months ago I started to write a post about bromances but I was not sure where I wanted it to go so I left it as a draft. Once day maybe I will go back to it and finish it. Or perhaps this summary of my thoughts on bromances will do. I am fascinated by bromances. Upon self psycho-analysis, I concluded that this is because of my brothers. I have two brothers. One is about two and a half years older than I am. The other is six and a half years younger than I am. There is a 9 year difference between them. My older brother and I had tonnes of time on this earth together before the little one came around. We did everything together. I wanted to have the toys he had. I wanted to wear the clothes he wore. For many of our formative years, we were often mistaken for twins, thick as thieves.(Now that I examine this, it seems we did not do things together, I just wanted to do everything he did, heh heh!) When my little brother came around, he was an outsider for a while. You know how last-borns are, always running to tell mum, especially when you ask them not to. To deal with this, we simply excluded him from everything. He gradually grew out of that phase and we started to let him in on things. Four years ago I, in essence, moved out of home and came to Juja for school. I still think of home as home, I go home every weekend, but I’m still away all week long. After some time I found that now my brothers were best friends and I was the outsider, like my little brother used to be. They do not do it intentionally. They are just boys, and their brotherhood reaches bounds that ours cannot. The bromance, I like that healthy male friendships are recognised and celebrated in so positive a manner.

Is language not a wonderful thing? One might even muse that it is alive. It grows, adapts, changes, it travels, follows a people, is unique to them, gives them what they need, what their situation, environment demands. Language expands and contracts to fit us, our world, our interactions, our aspirations as a generation, as a people, it tells of our pass-times, our dreams, our aspirations, our fears, it tells the story of us.

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    Sadiq Gulma

    A few weeks ago, at a matriculation of the students of American University of Nigeria, one of the speakers representing the school called the new students “generation of selfie takers”. He lamented how bad it is for people to show more worth on their self-image rather than focusing on the outward side, the society.
    ps: I go with Hustlers Haven :D, it makes me more energized 😉

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