ShortyI learned something last week and I am glad that I did because it has been bugging me for a while now. With the proliferation of rap, hip hop and R&B on 5FM, the only radio station that I am generally tuned into, I find myself reaching for the mute button far more often than what I ever used to, wishing that some bright spark out there will grab the initiative and start up an entirely rock/alternative based radio station instead.

Of course, I am not an idiot and know that will never happen because that would be a financial disaster so I guess I need to seriously learn this black ghetto vernacular because damn, I’m completely lost. For example, every single song on the radio at the moment has some bloke that includes the words ‘shorty’ or ‘boo’ in the lyrics and I have no bloody clue what he is going on about. For some time I even thought that shorty was referring to his manhood! (Which didn’t make sense because why in the world would any normal man call himself ‘shorty’?)

So anyway, after expressing my bemusement out aloud in the car last week, Chantelle promptly set me straight and told me that Shorty (and Boo) actually is the name these guys use to refer to women. WTF?? Shorty? Boo? Where the hell did they come up with that?!?

Okay, we do have ‘Chick’ in normal English which doesn’t make that much sense either, but Shorty? What happens if the girl is tall? What do they call her then? ‘Tall-ly’? Or is it Shorty because it is useful for when you need to name your new beer mug stand? I just do not get it.

And don’t even get me started on Boo!

What, do they usually give a woman a fright when introducing themselves? Do they step up to a lady, cover their face with their hands and then pull them away and shout “Peek-a-boo!” as an opening line? Do they grab unsuspecting women, pull them into a dark corner in an alley and then shout “Boo!” at them? Or maybe they yell out in an excited voice “Boo!” when they drop their pants for the first time in front of the girl?

In any event, at least some of the song lyrics make slightly more sense to me now, though I still don’t quite understand why none of them seem to know how to pull up their pants or that gold necklaces are usually meant for the necks of ladies.

Oh well, guess this white boy will just have to keep on scratching his head in bemusement then…