Everything passes. It has to.
“Are you down?” asked my new roommates as they planned to grab a pizza and then bar hop on a Friday night. We had all just moved into our new apartment in Boston a few days ago and wanted to hang out to get know each other better. You know, the kind of ice-breaker sessions which determine whether you will get along and be BFFs and walk into the glorious sunset or find out the level of bitchiness each one is capable of. I wanted to tread the ground cautiously with roommate dynamics.
But frankly, I was stumped!
Was I down? Down where? Down what? Down in the dumps? Down with something? Down and out…? Phrases with the word “Down” felt like multicolored gumballs in a bowl that I had difficulty choosing from, as I tried to wrap my head around the concept.
Thinking they assumed I wasn’t game for it, I replied “Heck, No..!!”
An awkward second later, I clarified “I sure am up for it!”
My roomies cracked up at my ignorance of American lingo and explained that when someone asked you that, they wanted to know if you were game for some planed activity. Hmm…weird!
Funny how two opposite phrases can mean the exact same thing. Or how the meaning of certain phrases changes when you cross continents. Me being Indian with the English language handed as a legacy from the British and Hollywood beings a big influence, I have had a mixed vocabulary all my life. Yet I’m amused at its variance across countries. For example, a “rubber” would mean an eraser for us – a common usage in India and England. But I dare you to ask a fellow American “Mind if I borrow your rubber? Need to correct a mistake”, and not get a funny stare!
I bet the British must be gritting their teeth every time they saw their language being mutilated. “These Americans are daft”, they would say, upper lip suitably stiffened.
Well, if you are “down” for more such “Daftinitions”, check out this interesting video I found on YouTube.
(Video credit: Kaelyn and Lucy)