Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Funny (If You Like Teenagers)

Oh those kids! Turns out there's a high school in Danver, Mass. where the principal has banned a word from school. And the word is....meep. Yes, that's right - meep.

Now there is allegedly some character from the Muppet Show who said this word (but I seem to recall that on Sesame Street there were two alien-like characters who communicated with this word and I think it might have been what the Coneheads from SNL used to say when they touched cones).

The kids say it's just a greeting and it has no real meaning. Well, if you Google it (as a verb, meeping), the urban dictionary has quite the meaning and this being a family blog, I won't repeat it. (Really, don't be me and Google it - it's not good. This is the second time in a week I Googled a word and was sorry I did.)

But these kids, whether they mean it in a dirty fashion or just the cool greeting of the day, are teenagers pushing the envelope. I'm surprised the principal (who I'm thinking must spend a lot of time in his office instead of out in the halls) would react this way. Ignore them. It will go away and they will move onto the next thing.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for civility and discipline in high schools. Anything does not go. But teens love to annoy/challenge/shock/(insert adjective here) so you have to pick your fights carefully.


hschinske said...

I'm officially confused. The urban dictionary definition is extremely mild.

The most versatile word in the English language, or in fact any language!

Can mean whatever you want it to mean, but the most popular uses are:
1. An exclamation akin to 'ouch' or 'uh oh..'
2. Filling in the blanks where other (rude) words would go.
3. A greeting! I personally say meep instead of Hello...
4. A random expression of happiness used to fill gaps in conversation.
The principal incident reminds me of the time my father came upstairs and yelled at my older siblings, who were supposed to be asleep and were instead playing around, "I don't want to hear another peep out of you!" Whereupon, of course, he heard "Peep! Peep! Peep!"

Helen Schinske (who would have been a willing participant, but was unfortunately not yet born)

ttln said...

Thanks for the heads up. I can say as a middle school teacher, we often deal with the seemingly innocuous which turns out to be extremely offensive. I will google it at home, though. It sounds like something I don't want on my computer history at work.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I said "meeping", not meep. That's the confusion. Meep doesn't really mean anything bad but add the "ing" and oh boy!

Helen, your story reminds me of an episode of That Girl (yes, I know, I'm old). Ann Marie goes to a company party with her boyfriend, Donald. She is trying to stick with him because she knows no one and he tells her to mingle and walks off. So she goes up to these groups talking to each other (and paying no attention to her) and says to each group, "Mingle, Mingle". It was pretty funny.

h2o girl said...

Ok, you tell me not to Google something so of course I do, and AAAAAGH! Feeling very prudish and glad my kid is only 12 right now.

But I agree with you that principals should just ignore this type of thing. Apparently a kid has been suspended now - yikes.

hschinske said...

Ah. Well, the urban dictionary def. of "meeping" is the only nasty use I can find (I didn't go through *all* the Google results, but I went through a bunch, and usually you hit nasties a lot sooner if anyone is seriously using a word nastily). I think that might be a made-up usage.

And mind you, I am the mom who won't let her kids say "butt" in front of me.

Helen Schinske

seattle citizen said...

ah, schnargleblug! The vdip and the treplaid say this is barzle!

hschinske said...

Meep. So there.

seattle citizen said...

"meep meep!" (fast exit in a trailing cloud of dust)

mkd said...

pickin' on those teens, why that is so janksy. That is so bogus. Then again, in the 70's I was a real fox and stacked like a brick house. Life was bad and everything was cool, probably because of the doobies. today, everything is so freaky-deaky, and let me lay it on, that's a bummer. I'm audie. Keep On Truckin!

mkd said...

Don't forget "friggin'"

seattle citizen said...

The one "slang" word that drives my father absoltely nuts is "cool." I don't know why, exactly, but he studied the King's English (ol' Bill Shakespeare and all those dudes) and fancies himself a arbiter of what's "right"...

And "cool," he tells me...over and over and over again...Is just MEANINGLESS! He thinks it just doesn't CONVEY anything, and, worse than some more modern, uh, exclamations, this offends him.

But that's cool with me. It's cool. He's still cool. He's cool to it, but he'll chill.

Ah, cool, the one word that

mkd said...

Like your post is so cool, some people are just not with it.... I just missed the groovy generation

emeraldkity said...

If it gets them to stop saying " dude", I am all for it.

hschinske said...

Educational fact of the day: "groovy," in the 1880s or 1890s, meant almost the opposite of what it meant toward the end of the next century. From _A dictionary of slang, jargon, and cant_ (1889):

"Groovy (society), settled in one's habits, old-fogyish, limited to certain views.

After an absence of fifteen years I have just returned to England. ... I never aspired to being a nabob, or a "chappy," or a "masher" (indeed, I am past the age when attaining to these latter distinctions could be possible); nor did I intend to dissipate my hard-earned and modest fortune as a "plunger." Six weeks ago I was not aware that these terms formed a part of the English tongue; but now ... I make use of them, lest you should infer from what is coming that I am old-fashioned, prejudiced, or hopelessly groovy.—St. James's Gazette: Tht Culture of the Misses."

Helen Schinske, hopelessly groovy as ever

Michael said...

A lawyer out there in the wide-wide world sent an email to the principal of that school with the subject line of "Meep", and the body of the email saying "Meep". The assistant principal replied saying that her email had been forwarded to the local police department. See

They should just ignore it.

mkd said...

I preface this post with the following is not funny:

I found my younger son, an RBHS student, using one of our old homeschool books because it was the history text hardly used in his history class. PUBLISHED IN 1993, World Cultures: Global Mosaic, a text where I learned Saddam was still alive and in power and Myanmar was still Burma. This is the history text used in his class and I bet you'd agree with me that this text is way out-of-date. As I stated, this is the history text for one of the World History classes at RBHS. Thank goodness, wonder teachers choose to use their own curricula. Perhaps the money being donated (or if money is available in the budget) should be applied to new history books. (As for my copy, I bought it at a thrift store bag sale, $1.50 a bag.)

Josh Hayes said...

FWIW, the character on the Muppet Show who said "Meep!" was Beaker, the laboratory assistant.

And IIRC, the coneheads said "Meps!" I had at the time a cat (well, it was my girlfriend's cat, but, well, it was a long time ago) who said something that sounded much the same, so it's stuck in my vocabulary now as a general sign of disapproval: "Meps!"

As for this silliness, I have enough trouble with my 12-year-old using commonly understood vile language. I don't need hipster anarchist gunk confusing the matter.