Monday, October 26, 2009

Wicked Ride of The East

Often when I'm in other parts of the country, people attempt to do a Boston accent for me. For some reason they can't wrap their heads around the use of "wicked," or "pissah", or especially "wicked pissah." It is baffling to them that a term like "wicked" could possibly be used to describe something which is good. Perhaps it has something to do with how Merriam Webster defines wicked:

Main Entry: 1wick·ed
Pronunciation: \ˈwi-kəd\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, alteration of wicke wicked, perhaps from Old English wicca
Date: 13th century

1 : morally very bad : evil
2 a : fierce, vicious b : disposed to or marked by mischief : roguish
3 a : disgustingly unpleasant : vile
b : causing or likely to cause harm, distress, or trouble
4 : going beyond reasonable or predictable limits : of exceptional quality or degree

wick·ed·ly adverb

I can see how a term which means "disgustingly unpleasant" might seem odd to use in a positive way.

Now Webster's doesn't bother defining "pissah," and you must subscribe to the site to see the unabridged dictionary which apparently contains the word "pisser." However, does define "pisser" like so:


–noun Slang: Vulgar.
1. something extremely difficult or unpleasant.
2. something or someone that is extraordinary.

1350–1400; ME: one who urinates; see piss, -er 1

Dictionary. reference. com and Merriam Webster, you are not helping. You can not possibly expect people of Scandinavian descent who live in the mid-west to come to any sort of understanding of the term "wicked pissah" based on these definitions.

For instance, the following sentence makes absolutely no sense if we stick to your definitions:

"Ya guy, me and Joey were out till three o'clock slammin' Jager-bombs after the Celts game last night, it was wicked pissah."

What the gentleman above is describing is an incredibly enjoyable experience he had with his friend Joey, but if we use the proper definitions for these words, we communicate another sentiment entirely:

"Ya guy, me and Joey were out till three o'clock slammin' Jager-bombs after the Celts game last night, it was morally very bad, evil, disgustingly unpleasant, very difficult, and did I already mention...unpleasant?"

And while yes, it may have been all those things too, the speaker is trying to tell us that he had a really, really good time, but I can see how this might confuse the Maggie Gundersons of the world.

Usually the impersonator says something like, "I couldn't find a paaahking spot in haaahvid, it was a wicked piss-er." You can try to explain to them how wrong this sounds to your Massachutian ears, but it will make no difference; they will continue to describe disgustingly unpleasant occurrences, following them with, "Aw it was a wicked piss-er."

So The Wicked Ride of The East, is for those of you who can't grasp the colloquial usage of the term "wicked, "The Really, Really, Good and Awesome, Very Nice, Enjoyable, Not Disgustingly Unpleasant Ride of The East." And it was all of those things.

Above, left to right, top to bottom: 1.) Tom Greene, human GPS. 2.) The bad news is, Will wore straight through his front brake pads, the good news is, he brought replacement pads...the bad news is, they were the wrong pads. Doh! 3.) Will flying brakeless. 4.) Andy up a rock ramp

Above: 1.) The day was beautiful, but still a little chilly for getting your feet wet, hence the hike-a-biking. 2.) Andy came ready for mud. 3.) There were hundreds of folks out on the ride. Once in a while we'd run into traffic, waiting in line as each technical move was conquered.

Why? Why wrong pads!

1 comment:

zencycle said...

I can't believe no one commented on this post yet, especially considerin' how pissah it is....

My family is from downstate new york, and as such I don't sport the new england accent even though I've lived here since 1974. I've been told my normal speaking voice is more what's called a 'new jersy generic' (what most broadcasters sound like, though with my nasaly voice I'd never make it on the radio)

One thing that irritates me about the new england accent is the dipshits _trying_ to imitate it.

Knock it off, you're only embarrassing yourselves. This is one reason why it's so rare to hear actors in a movie set in boston actually try a boston accent. They sound fucking ridiculous, as bad as melanie griffith trying a southern drawl (or even attempting to act, for that matter). Face it, a southern drawl is stupid simple (hell, even southerners can do it), and valley-speak isn't too complicated either. But a boston accent from a non-native? Fuhgetaboudit. I can do it, but I've been immersed in it for 35 years now. 'Wicked' is my most commonly used interjection/adjective after various derivations of 'Fuck'.

That said, let me apologize in advance to you Thom, but the verbiage sample you posted doesn't quite get the point across.

"Ya guy, me and Joey were out till three o'clock slammin' Jager-bombs after the Celts game last night, it was wicked pissah"

Let's rewrite it phonically so it has better character. We'll replace Joey with Martha for added effect.

"Yah guy, me an Mahther were out till three o'clawck slammin' Jagah-bawmbs aftah the Celts game last night, it was wickid pissah"

Duane Ingles Glasscock - may he R.I.P