A Lesson on Wicked

If you were raised in southern Massachusetts, then chances are you have a habit of using the word ‘wicked’ quite often. “That’s wicked cool!” “Check out that mansion…it’s wicked huge!!” “I took a wicked bad spill down the stairs.”

And all through my childhood, my cousins from New York would always mock me for using this word. Recently my brother met up with some friends of his from NY…and even though he’s 37, he still uses ‘wicked.’ His friends made some comments, then they made the mistake of trying to copy him, “That’s wicked!” So, with a look of confusion on his face (as any pure blooded MA resident would have), he said, “Wicked what?” And waited…but they had no answer.

Make fun all you like, people, but if you’re going to imitate, then get it right. Wicked is used as an adverb! We don’t just say, “That’s wicked!” You have to follow it up with an equally unique adjective: “Wicked gnarly!” “Wicked sweet!” “Wicked fresh!”

And to answer your question: No, I don’t think I’m too old to be saying ‘wicked cool.’ Even the words we speak can have emotional meaning, and using that terminology keeps me somewhat connected to that little girl who, decades ago, was raised in MA.


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