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Playground for Prose: A Bro-file of a Book About The 20-Something Male Vocabulary

While thumbing through the Fashion issue of The New York Times’s monthly supplemental magazine, I came across a book review by Holly Brubach related to gendered language, which sparked my interest. Brocabulary: The New Man-i-festo of Dude Talk (quite possibly the most obnoxious intro-to-subject-in-title ever, besides mine) is an analysis of the argot that has evolved to permit ease of communication for Millennial generation men. Spawning from the celebrity-couple naming blitz of the early 2000’s - Bennifer? - the book acts as a dictionary for popped-collar set. For example...

Manecdote- an anecdote that shows what a man you are.” I’m assuming this could be used in reference to almost anything said by P. Diddy regarding sex. Or Sting, for that matter.

Cupgrade- to upgrade to a girl with a bigger bra size.” I think to “pull this off,” a guy would need to be wearing a Puka shell necklace and have highlights, or a slick suit and a cell phone clipped to his belt. And in Hollywood, a cupgrade could technically happen with the same girl (and usually does).

Hornery- ornery and horny at the same time.” I’ve completely been a party to this. Ladies, am I right?


Brobituary- a wedding toast that basically amounts to a eulogy for the groom, since “your bro’s life is over as he knows it.” True dat!

TV and Film are well-populated by such players, the “ladies’ man” character who gets all the girls. I’m going to assume (safely, I’m sure) that Charlie Sheen uses these on Two and a Half Men...and probably in real life, as well. I can also imagine every guy on The Hills (see Mr. Jenner atop this post) thinking these terms are "sweet!"

I would offer a caution, however. As pointed out in the book’s review, all of these terms and the associated @#$%% behavior can lead to an unwanted side-effect:

Maliena[tion]- aliena[ing] a woman with male behavior.” I already feel the need to throw a wine cooler in someone’s face and I didn’t even read the book! I recommend it, though, if only as a way to keep up with pop culture vernacular, and to spot a literate, and yet mindless guy from the first thing he utters.

Personally, I know few men who use the “brocabulary,” unless “Let’s Bounce” and “Dudes’ Night” fit the bill. And it seems like more and more often, I’m addressed with “cow bo-cabulary,” the jargon of 1950’s Westerns, when men were men and said sweet, slightly patronizing things to women they didn’t know. For example (said this week by 50-something men, in regards to my bike-riding)...

“Wow [sweetcakes]*, you sure can pedal. I bet all the boys underestimate you.”

“Hello, there [Little lady].* You set quite the pace for me back there.”

*My additions, but I swear, from the tones of their voices, that’s what they were thinking. Cheesy, yes, but I still prefer it to being “Strongcharmed.”**

** “to strongarm a woman with your charm.”

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  1. Blogger chris | 11:15 AM |  

    There's an entire BOOK about these words? That's both impressive and frightening. Do they go into more detail about just a handful, like the ones mentioned here, or are there literally like hundreds of bro-themed words that I do not know about?

  2. Blogger Sean | 1:06 PM |  

    hahah, there's no way people actually talk with these words. maybe in some tv show but in real life? that'd be awful.

  3. Blogger Nicole | 2:57 PM |  

    It also has axioms of manliness, like "Thou shalt keep the Sabbath wholly for football." My favorite vocabu-combo has and will always be "bromance," because it's just so beautiful when men have someone to share their feelings, a bro with benefits!

  4. Blogger qualler | 3:32 PM |  

    I assume this is the book the regular watcher of Spike TV's "MANSwers" gets his bro friends for Christmas.

  5. Blogger cmussack | 12:02 PM |  

    It's hard to consider a 20 something who makes up words a man at all. Back in my 20's when I only had three kids, I made up words, and now my kids are all smartenhiemers, teaches me!

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