“Obvs.” 60s slang. Salad dressing. Troy Jackson.

I’m going to call this post “Ruminations from the Back Porch.” Just sitting on the porch, gazing off into the trees and our little cove somehow helps me to think. It’s especially satisfying when it’s raining and the porch roof offers its irregular but hypnotic drumbeat. Great spot to lubricate the imagination…



Millennial slang: Can’t they just say the whole word?

The crossword puzzle constructor part of me is obligated, so I’m told by my muses, to stay current with modern lingo and text-speak – beyond the usual LOL, NSFW, WTF, and the like – just to give my crosswords a little more contemporary flair – and so I don’t come off to my audience as the unspeakably blackhearted, foul-tempered cave-dweller suffocating-in-his-own-cynicism Baby Boomer that I really am. I’m told that I need to fake it, and pretend that I actually have a tiny shred of interest in Millennial lingo. Fat chance, but I can play along for awhile.

So I checked in with my son (who’s a Gen Xer, not a millennial, but seems to know these things), and here’s how the phone call went.

“Hey,” said I, “do you know much about how young people talk these days? Like their slang – you know, millennials?”


“Okay, then. So you know this stuff, fine. But you’re not that into it, are you?”

“I’m into it like totes.”

“All righty then, maybe I’ll call back when you recall the tiniest shards of your native language, with which I assiduously raised you.”


So a fond arrivederci to obviously, totally, whatever. And to the new slang, I offer a hearty, thunderously enthusiastic meh.

*(Among many other things and talents, my son is actually an accomplished poet. He’s published poems in The Paris Review, and his book of poems, The Goddess of the Hunt is Not Herself, is available on Amazon. So he’s a word guy, too, even if he doesn’t recall the conversation above quite the way I’ve presented it.)


60’s slang – remember when you first heard these? (for Boomers only)

Having always been a “word guy,” I have a pretty good memory of when I first heard now-common expressions or slang that originated in the 1960s. Each time, I thought “That’s pretty cool,” or something similar. If you’re also a Boomer, try to recall when you first heard these —

  • Spring 1963, a high school classmate and a pretty hip kid told me some band or song or thing was far out. I liked that! Soon enough, the phrase would migrate to far ***king out, which was a bit more poetic and chuckle-inducing, especially when blurted out amidst polite company.
  • Summer 1964: I was mixing and shoveling cement in a hellhole of a decrepit building somewhere near Boston, and my co-mixer said something was a bummer. Did I dare ask him what it meant? Yes, I did, and he told me, but he thought I was moderately verbally disabled.
  • 1965, sometime. Heavy, man! Heavy as in intense or something similar. I don’t use this expression, actually. It feels a bit dated at this point.
  • April 1968. Senior year in college. A friend of mine was frustrated with something and said, “There just ain’t no way.” That soon shortened to no way, then expanded again to no $#@%& way! It’s so common now it’s hard to believe I was actually intrigued and fascinated when I first heard it almost 50 years ago. But trust me, it was new then, and fresh. No way it wasn’t, I swear.

Just sayin’.


Here’s a reposted recipe from about a year ago… good stuff!

“Salad” … in those thrilling days of yesteryear…

When I was growing up, we didn’t have salad very often. The veg was usually peas, or creamed corn, or whatever else was available in a can in the 1950s. When we did have salad, it was always iceberg lettuce. Like a wedge of it. And just the lettuce – no onion or tomato or seeds or nuts or olives or cukes or bits of carrots or raisins anything else. Just lettuce. Which has all the nutritional value of a Post-It. And the dressing was, as we called it back then, Russian. Iceberg lettuce with Russian dressing. It was never anything else.

No blaming parents for this lockstep salad routine – they ate what they knew, what they liked, and didn’t risk pushing the boundaries of culinary exploration. Fine. The ugly truth is, I loved Russian dressing! Ketchup and mayo smoothly blended! No relish or spices or oils, just ketchup and mayo, smooth and semi-sweet and virtually exploding with fat.

resized“More fat, anybody?”

“More Russian dressing?” my father would ask.


Well, things do change. Here’s a great recipe from a friend down in Tenants Harbor. No ketchup. No mayo.

Knockout celery seed salad dressing

DSC_0201asmallCanola oil, chopped onion, vinegar, celery seed… wonderful!  (my pic)

Make this an hour ahead of serving time so the ingredients meld together.

You’ll need:

  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (the raw organic stuff is the best)
  • 2 oz. white sugar (a little less or a little more, depending on your taste)
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 cup canola oil (do not use olive oil for this!)
  • 1 tsp. celery seed (key ingredient!)

In a bowl, combine the vinegar and sugar till fully dissolved. Stir in the chopped onion. Add the mustard, salt and pepper. Now slowly drizzle in the canola oil and mix well. Finally, mix in the celery seed.

Now just let it sit for an hour at room temp to let the spices infuse the liquids with their flavors. Transfer to a glass jar, shake well, and serve.


There it is, for now. And I hope you’ll have a look at my novels website…

4CoversJan17 copy

Ned White

About Ned White

Ned White is a writer, novelist, crossword puzzle constructor, traveler through 49 states, and at times a danger in the kitchen. He lives with his wife in South Thomaston.