Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A guide to youth slang in East Sussex: Part Four

Today's lesson about slang words left me in rather a confused and slightly embarrassed state.

Discussion on the themes from Of Mice and Men was going quite well with my Year 11's period 4 today. I was trying to emphasise a really important point that I knew would be in tomorrow's mock exam- I was trying to drop a hint in other words. So, I stated something like this, "Candy feels isolated and without a sense of place because, due to his age and injury, he could be tossed off the farm at any moment". At this point the whole class burst into fits of laughter.

Really unsure as to what had caused this I asked what I'd said. There was quite a pause, some couldn't stop laughing, but mostly it was due to no one really wanting to say it.

"You said 'toss off' miss".

I was still confused.

"Well", said George at the back, "I could draw you a picture".

Matt and Duncan at the front endeavoured, in quiet voices, to explain, "Well miss, you know what someone normally does when they're alone, well it's when a girl does it to a guy instead"


"What do you think it means, miss?"

"To throw, fling or discard" I explained, trying quickly to find an example, 'toss those sausages off the BBQ' is probably not going to work, "Toss another log on the fire", I added.

Whew, think I might be able to retrieve this lesson, better get on with it now they've gained composure.

"So, as I was saying, Candy's isolation, because of his old age and because of his injured hand..."

(shrieks of laughter)

Only a fool would try to continue. I set them paragraph answers to do and resigned from the front of the class.


  1. Better be careful not to ask the boys if they are going to do batting practice after school and definitely don't say your are going to let Jack off doing his homework. Similarly don't ask the girls if they are doing finger painting or having a night in with the girls.

  2. Toss off is something I have heard loads of times - but I don't think it would send teens in to a laughing fit in NZ as it did there. I will use it in a sentence tomorrow and let you know how it goes.

  3. They sound like a bunch of wankers, toss-pots, and scumbags

  4. I too will try. My 11 EGErs laugh at anything though and got quite excited when I read about Martin making out with Natalie in Face, it could all go terribly wrong. I feel a flying in 5 coming on.

  5. They are actually a wonderful class and I love teaching them. Please ladies let me know the results of your experiments. You watch LP- they'll all think Natalie's a bitch by the end of that novel (if past experience proves me right).

    Nice to meet you Ashley :)