#250 Inventing new phrases that only make sense to you and your friends

Ten goods.

That’s a phrase my friends used in high school to express our casual annoyance with minor problems. Extra homework for the weekend? Ten goods. Cafeteria sold out of panzerottis? Ten goods. Tennis ball stuck in the gutter during road hockey? Ten goods.

Now you got it.

Rye started saying it first and Chad caught on and soon it became one of those made-up phrases we used all the time. It was a secret code, scrambled joke, and private head-nod with its own set of rules on how it was used.

For example! Minor things such as falling off Rainbow Road were shortened to the simple ‘Ten’ with sarcastic eyebrow raise and one-second lip curl. Major things like getting assigned an essay just before the long weekend was met with the slow South Carolina drawl version of ‘Tehhhhhhhhhhhn.’

I’m not saying it made sense but it made sense to us.

Yes, when you hang with a tight pack of peeps long enough it’s amazing how new words start filling the tiny cracks between sounds and sentences. It’s strangely beautiful to see language evolving before your eyes and be part of its creation. Brains suddenly push past booky norms to create clarity in dark vacuums of vagueness.

Just remember — every word we use today came from a group of friends who started using it long ago. So to those long gone packs of chatty teens and wordy queens we say thanks for helping us understand… everything we’re talking about. And when your group of friends comes up some good ones… make sure you keep using them and shout ’em out.


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