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Australians being hilariously Australian

The etymology of jive terms “hep,” “hepster,” and “hep cat”

The Aussies lied.
The Aussies lied.

Dear Hipster:

I saw a video the other day on the Australian National Geographic website, of all places, about how the Oxford English Dictionary gives the etymology of hipsters as having something to do with jive terms “hep,” “hepster,” and “hep cat,” which I think is fairly well settled and not subject to tremendous dispute. The video went one further, however, and it said the word “hep” originally referred to IV drug users, who would get hepatitis. Is this possible?

— Stefany

Isn’t the Google a wonderful thing? Exposing you to Nat Geo Down Under because maybe you once watched a video about koalas or something.

Unfortunately, the Aussies lied. I can laugh at myself as much as the next hipster, and I’m not too sensitive about slights against hipsters, but I daresay we’ve been slandered here! I looked in the OED, and I saw nothing about hepatitis in the etymology of any of those words. I mean, maybe they have some special version of the dictionary that only works in the Southern Hemisphere; but I sincerely doubt it. I suspect the whole thing is another example of Australians being hilariously Australian and “taking the piss” whenever they get the chance.

Dear Hipster:

Sometimes, I just want to stay in all weekend and do zero things. Is that so wrong?

— Emily

Objectively? Yes. You’re supposed to go out on the weekends and be social. You must see and, perhaps more importantly, be seen by, socially relevant individuals. Modern life is basically a desperate struggle for Instagram likes and knowing the bartenders’ names at as many public houses as you can manage.

Subjectively? Different story. Stay home and binge watch Daredevil season three.

If you want to get away with it and still stay hipster relevant, the trick is to do it every now and again, but then be super on-the-nose about it to all your friends. By Tuesday, you need to have told at least 80 percent of the people you know about how you slimed around the house all weekend instead of being social. People will think you’re onto some secret, so long as you don’t try to pull the same trick too often.

Dear Hipster:

Please rank all Thanksgiving (or generally autumnal) pies in order of hipness. Thank you.

— Suze

Very well, then. Ranked from least to most hip, your seasonal pie options are:

  • 1. Pumpkin
  • 2. Banana Cream
  • 3. Peanut Butter
  • 4. Apple
  • 5. Mincemeat (no suet)
  • 6. Sweet Potato
  • 7. Pecan
  • 8. Custard
  • 9. Shoofly
  • 10. Rhubarb
  • 11. Buttermilk
  • 12. Marlborough
  • 13. Mincemeat (with suet).

Cherry and blueberry pies, while all well and good, have no place in the world after roughly Labor Day weekend. Don’t even talk to me about lemon meringue. Welcome to fall, boys and girls.

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The Aussies lied.
The Aussies lied.

Dear Hipster:

I saw a video the other day on the Australian National Geographic website, of all places, about how the Oxford English Dictionary gives the etymology of hipsters as having something to do with jive terms “hep,” “hepster,” and “hep cat,” which I think is fairly well settled and not subject to tremendous dispute. The video went one further, however, and it said the word “hep” originally referred to IV drug users, who would get hepatitis. Is this possible?

— Stefany

Isn’t the Google a wonderful thing? Exposing you to Nat Geo Down Under because maybe you once watched a video about koalas or something.

Unfortunately, the Aussies lied. I can laugh at myself as much as the next hipster, and I’m not too sensitive about slights against hipsters, but I daresay we’ve been slandered here! I looked in the OED, and I saw nothing about hepatitis in the etymology of any of those words. I mean, maybe they have some special version of the dictionary that only works in the Southern Hemisphere; but I sincerely doubt it. I suspect the whole thing is another example of Australians being hilariously Australian and “taking the piss” whenever they get the chance.

Dear Hipster:

Sometimes, I just want to stay in all weekend and do zero things. Is that so wrong?

— Emily

Objectively? Yes. You’re supposed to go out on the weekends and be social. You must see and, perhaps more importantly, be seen by, socially relevant individuals. Modern life is basically a desperate struggle for Instagram likes and knowing the bartenders’ names at as many public houses as you can manage.

Subjectively? Different story. Stay home and binge watch Daredevil season three.

If you want to get away with it and still stay hipster relevant, the trick is to do it every now and again, but then be super on-the-nose about it to all your friends. By Tuesday, you need to have told at least 80 percent of the people you know about how you slimed around the house all weekend instead of being social. People will think you’re onto some secret, so long as you don’t try to pull the same trick too often.

Dear Hipster:

Please rank all Thanksgiving (or generally autumnal) pies in order of hipness. Thank you.

— Suze

Very well, then. Ranked from least to most hip, your seasonal pie options are:

  • 1. Pumpkin
  • 2. Banana Cream
  • 3. Peanut Butter
  • 4. Apple
  • 5. Mincemeat (no suet)
  • 6. Sweet Potato
  • 7. Pecan
  • 8. Custard
  • 9. Shoofly
  • 10. Rhubarb
  • 11. Buttermilk
  • 12. Marlborough
  • 13. Mincemeat (with suet).

Cherry and blueberry pies, while all well and good, have no place in the world after roughly Labor Day weekend. Don’t even talk to me about lemon meringue. Welcome to fall, boys and girls.

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