Not your mother’s reference book
New York, New York—Fans of the popular online language resource Urban Dictionary will soon have another street slang guide to add to their arsenal. The first edition of Urbancyclopedia hits shelves in early December.
The guide is expected to contain in depth, formal explanations of thousands of emerging terms, from “screwvenir” to “bropacalypse,” along with a discreet pocket-sized version for on-the-go comprehension. The publisher has also recently revealed the encyclopedia’s patented color-coded system, which will allow users to easily distinguish which of the four main Parts of Urban Speech a term falls under: Synonyms for “Wasted”, Blatantly Offensive, Miscellaneous Profanity, and Frighteningly Obscure Sex Acts. In perhaps the biggest step up from the classic and concise Urban Dictionary, Urbancyclopedia contains over 1,000 detailed, full-color diagrams for maximum clarification.
As editor Vernon Herrell explained, “With Urban Dictionary, we kept getting the same complaint over and over again. People would look up terms like ‘aardvarking’ and ‘kerchinging’ and ask themselves, ‘Hang on, what does that mean?’ For certain kinds of terms, words alone simply don’t provide enough clarification, and we would hate for anyone to come away from one of our books confused, or worse, misinformed. We’re really just trying to remedy the ignorance about some of these issues.”
Though the encyclopedia still has time until its release date, it has already sparked a particularly heated argument amongst the mom-blogger community. While groups like Parents Against Bad Books In Schools are already rallying around petitions to keep the reference guide off shelves, other parents look to Urbancyclopedia as a shred of hope to regain “street cred” with teenage children.
“You know, since he’s started high school, I’ve felt like Jeff has just been speaking this other language,” said Paula Marshall, a self-proclaimed “cool mom.”
“I don’t get it. How am I supposed to know what it means when I eavesdrop on his conversations? If I didn’t know better I’d feel like he was trying to keep me in the dark lately. ‘Edward Forty-Hands,’ ‘sloptarts’ and the weird things I’ve been hearing… I mean, I know my Jeffy, and I’m sure it’s all innocent fun, but I’d sure like to know what’s good with him and the broskis these days.”
Luckily, Marshall placed her order weeks ago. Releasing just in time for the holidays, Urbancyclopedia has already received thousands of pre-orders from readers eager to make their friends feel unhip and naïve. Since this is the first time an UrbanDictionary guide will ever be available in hard copy, editions will be snapped up quickly by an audience of young adults and urbanites desperate to defend their own use of politically incorrect terms.
The publisher had originally intended to share the encyclopedia’s release date with the launch of Urbancyclopedia Junior, a slang guide for the playground set, but the release has been delayed indefinitely as the website has only generated eight pages of youngster-friendly content.
Karen Muller is a junior IMC major who will only read the Urbancyclopedia when it comes out on CliffsNotes. Email her at kmuller1[at]ithaca[dot]edu.
Bomber: (n.) A mysterious, non-violent and non-tangible concept intended to encapsulate the spirit and spunk of the college’s 27 varsity athletic teams. Sure, we don’t quite know what a Bomber actually is — but thanks to the discarded mascot search in spring of 2011, we’ve started to narrow down what it isn’t: it’s not a phoenix, or a lake monster or a flying squirrel, and it has absolutely nothing to do with bombs or bombing. As determined by so many students and alumni, having an actual mascot is just too mainstream.
Cortaca: (n.) A giant, outdoor day-drinking party held in mid-November that purportedly also involves some kind of sporting event.
Domelet: (n.) Campus Center dining hall’s famous weekend brunch omelets made exclusively by Dom. There is no specific recipe or list of ingredients that are included in a Domelet; the only way to elevate a regular omelet breakfast to Domelet status is to have it made by the man and legend himself. The Domelet is the center of a growing, cult-like following on campus.
Ithacalves: (n.) Those sexy, sculpted gams hard-earned by the Ithaca College student body. Toned and defined by eight rigorous months of climbing up and down the countless staircases and slopes of one of the most vertically demanding college campuses in the country, it’s safe to say that your legs look good in shorts — if only it was ever warm enough to wear them. See also: Ithaquads.
Ithacating: (v.) Relentless, all-at-once pounding of sleet, hail and snow, concocted by freaky lake effect weather patterns and almost certain to pop up just in time to ruin your Saturday night plans. The one form of precipitation that might stand a chance at actually freezing hell over.