Everyone interested in the etymology of surfer lingo should watch the series "How to speak American" on PBS. They travel across the country studying the different dialects of Americans. They do go to Smith Island, but unfortunately they dont visit Delmarva. Anyways there is a segment where they find that surfer lingo really starts in California (big suprise) and then subsequently becomes part of the average americans vocabulary (through movies, music, ect). A woman in the series coined the term "Bro-Bonics" which makes me chuckle every time I hear it.
Take for example the phrase "for sure". I first started hearing that when I was in Europe and ran into mostly Californians. Every time they ended a sentence it seemed like they would tag the phrase "for sure" on the end. That was 5 years ago, now my grandma uses it.
This is food for thought since I've read many complaints about incorrect usage of a word or overusage of a word i.e. stoke, stoked, ect.
Now I wonder if there are words only used by surfers in the delmarva area. If not, we should. What about on a larger scale like east coast vs. west coast? I'd like to hear from the older surfers who have probably seen words and phrases come and go. But also from the the younger surfers who wield the power to invent these new terms which permeate through our american vocabulary.
. . . and let me guess what prompted this- another post where people disputed the phrase "going off." Suffice to say, given the origins of the sport itself, that the real etymology began in Hawaii, many years before California. I always thought the notion of Californians using "Dude" at the end of every sentence was just a bogus stereotype, until I visited there and constantly heard "Dude" uttered all around me in the water, Dude. Jeff Spicoli is alive and well, and living in So. California. Thankfully, I'm not one of them. And that's totally gnarly, killer, off the hook, crunchin, suckin' out, closin' out, overhead, and maybe even double or even triple over head, but rarely on the East Coast. You might as well start a discussion about how to measure wave height- be it from the back of the wave or the front of the wave. It's all relative. . .
As for Smith Island- the last time I checked, they were still a part of Delmarva, albeit a remote part to be sure. And rest assured, there is NO surf on Smith Island.
*Note- the preferences on this site bleeped the word "B**chen" even though that's been part of my surfing language from day one. Who knows, maybe it got bleeped again in this note. Giddyup! Yep, it did. As Lenny Bruce once said, Language is Power- but then Lenny's dead now, isn't he? So much for power.
Last edited by MDSurfer; Jan 16, 2008 at 04:03 PM.