Slang City Mail

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May 19, 2005

Slang of the Week: You smell me? (phrase)
Do you understand what I am saying?

Listen Mr. Landlord, the shower in our apartment has been broken for a month and I’m getting really annoyed. You smell me?

Celebrity quote:
“Everything you do when you’re in music is a write-off. My whole lifestyle is hip hop. Everything—my toothbrush is hip hop, my toothpaste. I gotta brush my teeth thoroughly before I go in the booth and do my record—we writing that off. You smell me?
- Rapper Jim Jones of the Diplomats, explaining how he saves money on his taxes in the April issue of Vibe Magazine.

Jones writes off some odd things to reduce the amount of money he is taxed. But hopefully, the government isn’t looking too carefully. Later in the interview, he says, “When I figure out how to write trees (marijuana) off, I’m gonna buy 13 pounds of that good stuff.”

While “You smell me?” is more recent, there are many older synonyms, from the simple “Got it?” to “Get the message?” the more poetic “Do you catch my drift?” and the old-fashioned “Savvy?

Although that last one is over 200 years old, many young people are familiar with it because Johnny Depp used it heavily in the 2003 movie Pirates of the Caribbean. “I can let you drown,” he explains to Will, “but I can't bring this ship into Tortuga all by me onesies (by myself), savvy?”

What’s new at Slang City?
"Gonna get a touchdown, gonna take you out, that’s right, put your pom-poms down, getting everybody fired up" Our translation of Gwen Stefani’s Hollaback Girl. And new in movies, learn about all that good old pirate slang in Pirates of the Caribbean.