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June 12, 2003

Slang of the Week: trash (verb)
1. criticize (a person) 2. destroy (a place)

Example:
After Bob left Jeanette for a waitress at the truck stop, she trashed him to all her friends. Then she trashed his car by pushing it off a cliff.

Celebrity quote:
“When you have 2 guys fighting over the same girl, one has been trashing the other, you know the other guy isn't going to be too happy."
-Jerry Springer, explaining how he predicts fights on his talk show

If you’ve never seen the Jerry Springer Show, you have missed out on some essential American culture. Topics of discussion center on love triangles, especially those involving brothers and sisters, men in drag (women’s clothing), and illegitimate children. Because of the violent arguments that make up much of the hour, the most commonly heard word on the show is bleep! (the sound made to cover offensive language).

Trash is appropriate vocabulary for Springer’s show, since the word can also be used to describe most of his guests. As a noun, it means a person of low behavior, usually from a “bad” family. An interesting subgroup is trailer trash: poor, trashy people who live in prefabricated homes (trailers) in trailer parks. Though you can find trailer trash anywhere in the US, they are usually stereotyped as ignorant Southerners.

Redneck, a related term, describes a bigoted rural Southerner. According to southern comedian Jeff Foxworthy, you might be a redneck if you have more tattoos than teeth, shave your legs with your husband's fishing knife, have a Jack Daniel's poster in your living room, answer the door carrying a shotgun, and have at least once thoughtfully placed a six-pack of beer into your friend’s casket before he was buried. While rednecks are not identical to trailer trash, it is entirely possible to belong to both groups at the same time. For more information on trash, check out our new movie quote offerings below.

What’s new at Slang City?
Classic trash cinema explained! Our new translated movie quotes highlight the work of “king of trash” film director John Waters: Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble and Hairspray.

Slang City Bookstore
The Hipster Handbook. Learn about being fin and deck in this month's pick on ultra-cool people and how to become one.