Today’s workday provided a perfect illustration of how slang evolves over time—or, perhaps in this case, devolves. My coworkers and I were chatting, and somehow the conversation turned to how to make the best grilled cheese (for the record, the perfect grilled cheese is made with white bread, real butter, and yellow American cheese and served with a side of hand-cut fries, a couple of radioactive green pickles, and a bottle of ketchup). My coworker, a very nice and very clean-cut man in his mid-fifties (think Ned Flanders, only slightly hipper), said, “We used to get this special American cheese. It had some kind of wang, and it was wrapped in plastic.”
What now? Wang? My younger coworker and I were obviously speaking the same English here, because we just looked at each other, mouthed the words “Wang cheese? Eeeew!” and collapsed into laughter. All I could envision was a cross between some kind of disgusting social disease and a condom. The clean cut coworker said, “What? Does wang mean something different now?” Another coworker, a contemporary of the clean-cut one sighed and said, “You can’t say tool anymore either.”
That was it. I put my iPod back on and went back to work. I was not going to discuss the devolution of wang and tool with nice clean-cut men of a certain age.
***A few people asked what I thought wang meant. Well, it’s a slang term for a penis. urbandictionary.com gives an excellent definition. As to what cheese with wang means, well, I don’t know. I don’t want to know. The thought of it makes me cringe.