We Came, We Saw, We…Shramp? Shrump?

“Hey, want to come over for some shrimp? We went shrimping yesterday.” If you can “go shrimping,” then “shrimping” must be the gerund of the verb “to shrimp.” With me so far? Yes?

Alright then. What’s the past tense of shrimp? Don’t tell me “shrimped”–I’m just not buying it. At the moment I’m leaning toward “shramp,” but I thought I’d let Wing’s World weigh in on the question.

Back story: The Mate and I have a Kind Neighbor with a boat. Since one of my mantras is, “Don’t have a boat, have a friend with a boat,”* we were delighted when Kind Neighbor invited us to go shrimping with him last week, just off the rocky shore where I take my daily walks.

*incidentally, this mantra also applies to horses, airplanes, and puppies.

Off we went.


Rough, yes–but what a gorgeous evening, and what a treat to get a new perspective on my usual (admittedly gorgeous) view!


OK, time to get to work.


Hello, dinner!


Thanks, Kind Neighbor, and thanks, Mate, for doing all the work while I took photos. But I did my part, cooking those shrimp while they were still fresh enough to kick in the pan.


We had a wonderful time shrimping. But we still don’t know what to call what we did. What do you think? Shramp? Shrump? Any other ideas?

What’s the Wildflower Equivalent of a BirdNerd?

Birdwatchers call themselves Bird Nerds. What does that make someone like me–a Wildflower Wonk? Consider this a slang contest–best entry gets highlighted in the next Wing’s World post. 

Just so you know what you’re dealing with, imagine this conversation between us. I’m returning from my walk in the meadows and woods of my beloved isle. You’re…indoors. Doing whatever you want.

Me: The chocolate lilies are blooming!!!

You: Uh. Chocolate lilies sound special. Do they smell like chocolate?

Me: No. They’re uh, just, like, really rare.

You. Uh-huh. Are they outrageously gorgeous?

Me: No. Just kinda brownish. That’s why they’re called, you know, chocolate. But they’re rare! They’re special.

You: That’s nice.

Me: And did I mention the spotted coral root? It’s out, like, a month early!

You: When’s dinner?


My Mate is not that bad–which is why I made you the other half of the conversation, not him. But you get the idea. I get so excited about rare wildflowers, I don’t care if they’re pretty or sweet-smelling or even mildly attractive. I am a total…


What? Who can do better than Wildflower Wonk? Let me hear your ideas.

Teen Slang Contest Results: And The Sick, Epic Winner Is…

Winners, actually. Several classrooms of ’em.

I got some great responses in my last post’s Teen Slang Contest, What’s current slang for “good”? Some folks just dived in with their best guess–some as hopelessly out of date as my attempts. Others asked their kids. But the winner did the smartest thing: she asked a WHOLE BUNCH OF KIDS.

Easy for her, because this week’s contest winner, Marie Muai Laban, happens to be a teacher at Ford Middle School in Tacoma ! So she just asked for responses from three different classes, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. Here’s what she got:

Swag, dope, oohh kill ’em (?), filthy, fine, crunch, awesome, clutch, that’s dipped, boss, sick, tight, beast and a few that’s bomb. 

Did I mention that Marie used to be my own student, once upon a time at Franklin Pierce High School? I’m so proud.

(Courtesy slideshare.net)

(Courtesy slideshare.net)

Still, I can’t help but notice a few things in this list.

“Awesome” has been around since the 80s, so it’s nice to see there are still a few kids in middle school who listen to their parents.

Likewise “clutch”–or maybe it’s making a comeback.

And speaking of comebacks, “boss”? All the way back from the 1950s? That’s–well, that’s just boss.

“Sick” was seconded by Nate Drew, the 13 year-old son of my friend Gianna Drew, and by my 21 year-old son, so they are Runners-Up.

Honorable Mention goes to Christi Angermeir, who came up with “epic”. Duh! Epic is awesome. Clutch. Dare I say boss?

So, a swag prize will be heading down to Tacoma this week. Since the quarter has just ended and Marie won’t be seeing those exact classes again, I’m just going to send a big batch of chocolate chip cookies, which she can distribute as she sees fit…or keep ’em all herself. Either way would be just dope with me.

Thanks for playing! See you at the next contest!

So That’s What the Kids Are Calling it These Days: What’s “good” Now, If Not “bad”?

Update me, people!

I know, I can’t even remember the last time I had a “Word!” Slang Contest on Wing’s World. Probably so long that no one even says “Word!” anymore.

I’ve started Book Three of my trilogy, and I need modern terms for “good.” In the 80s, really good things were “bad.” In the 90s things were “wicked good” (more in the Northeast, maybe). More recently, “killer,” as in “That was some killer onion dip!”

(orig. image courtesy shutterstock.com)

(orig. image courtesy shutterstock.com)

Over the Christmas holidays, I heard my son say some Youtube bike-daredevil’s moves were “pretty sick.” But my son’s 21. Maybe he’s aged out.

So help me out here, folks. Quiz your children and your younger siblings. What’s the most up-to-date slang for “good”?

Winner gets his/her name in lights on Wing’s World, and…you never know what other prizes might come your way. Depends on how awesome your answer is.

Ya feel me? (Did she really just say that?)

More tissue boxes in more places (Finis)(courtesy vanherdehaage, FlikrCommons)

Okay, people. I got a sore throat last week, then the sniffles. They’re gone now, but I’m still recovering from the shame of no longer being able to brag claim that I CAN’T REMEMBER WHEN I WAS LAST SICK.

It’s true, I couldn’t–or, as they’d say back in NC where I’m from, I useta couldn’t. After a dozen years of teaching high school, handling germ-covered essays and having close conversations with people saying things like, “I’m really sick but my mom made me come to school,” I was IMMUNE TO EVERYTHING. My last six or seven years of teaching were a happy glide path. The only sick days I took were really nice, sunny ones, or else comfortable dennings-down in a Starbucks armchair with a day’s worth of grading. Hey, mental health is still health, right?

But now I can feel those little white blood cells slipping away. After nearly three years out of the classroom, I am losing my immunity. Last week was just the overture, I fear, to those timelss classics,The Twice-Yearly Cold, The Winter Flu, and everyone’s favorite, That Stomach Bug You Gave Me. Playing soon in a body very near me.

But that’s not the worst of what I’ve lost by leaving the teaching profession.

I’ve lost my fluency in Teenager.

My own kids are no help: they’re ancient 20somethings now. The high schoolers who work with me sometimes at the bakery, they try, but we all live on a teeny little island.

Who knows if they’d get laughed out of an urban high school just as much as I would if I said, “Ya feel me?”


Source: someecards.com via Sarah on Pinterest

Help me, blogworld. Ask the hippest teen you know.  Then get back to me pronto. And if they laugh their heads off at you say no, ask ’em what DO teens say now when they wish to inquire about the level of someone’s understanding of one’s emotional statements if someone gets ’em. (Or, if you ARE that hipster, ask yourself.)

The best current translation of “Ya feel me?” wins a million bucks front-page status on Wing’s World, so let’s hear from y’all!