|Slang City Mail|
|February 8, 2007|
Slang of the Week: tea (noun)
Elspeth was delighted with Margo’s offer of tea, but became suspicious when she noticed there were no cups or saucers in the kitchen.
“I knew that jazz musicians smoked ‘tea,’ but if I’d been asked, I would have said marijuana was some kind of Mexican musical instrument.”
—actress Kitty Carlisle
If you’re old enough to know who Kitty Carlisle is, you probably remember her as a panelist on the TV game show To Tell the Truth—not from her younger days in wild marijuana movies. But if you’re not old enough to remember either, let me give you a quick recap.
On the show To Tell the Truth, which ran on and off from 1956 to 2002, three contestants would all claim to be the same person—someone who had an unusual job or history. Four celebrity panelists would ask them questions and vote on who was telling the truth. Lying contestants who convinced the panelists they were the “real McCoy” got money for every wrong vote.
My younger sister actually appeared on the show in 2000, pretending to have invented “Boyfriend in a Box” (don’t ask!) However, it was comedian Paula Poundstone she fooled—
Take a look in our bookstore for books and DVDs on all kinds of slang! This week’s pick: The Hippie Dictionary: A Cultural Encyclopedia (And Phraseicon) of the 1960s and 1970s. Now there’s a reference book likely to have plenty of marijuana information! Cultural and political listings such as "Age of Aquarius," "César Chávez," and "Black Power Movement," plus popular phrases like "acid flashback," "get a grip," and "are you for real?" will remind you of how revolutionary those years were.