Gen X Lexicon

Generation X are a grungey group of never grown up kidults reared on early MTV while our parents were drink driving, dealing and divorcing; we remember the day Kurt Cobain died not the day JFK was shot. As a fully fledged Gen Xer, I started this list originally on a scrap of paper on Campbelltown train station when I spotted a 14-year-old girl wearing a Katherine Hamnett T-shirt last seen in a Wham video in 1983. She told me it was ‘vintage.’ Her remark made me realise that pop culture has gotten out of hand, so here is my translation service for the new millennium.

A is for AFFECTED
Elle Macpherson and Kylie Minogue’s strangulated speaking voices. Pretentious? Moi?

B is for BACK IN OUR DAY
Something we never thought we’d hear ourselves say

B is also for BO-HO
Stuff your mum wore in 1972

C is for COVER
Original version of the song sounds better

D is for DABBLING in every job that came along

E is for EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT
Glorified Receptionist

F is for FAUX
Overpriced copies made in China

F is for FITNESS INDUSTRY
Meatheads who get paid to work out, AKA I can’t fathom the cult of the personal trainer

F is also for FLIGHT ATTENDANT
Glorified waiter in the sky

G is for GRUNGE
You wore a flanny and a pair of ripped jeans because that was all you could afford. Apparently now it is an ironic fashion statement

H is for HEAVY Metal Music
We Gen X’ers lived through the glory days of Slayer, Metallica, Anthrax and Poison (not)

I is for IRONY, the defining characteristic of our generation

J is for JUSTIN BIEBER
Every generation has at least one heart throb. JB is this year’s Davy Jones, Donny Osmond, David Cassidy, Leif Garrett, or Mark Wahlberg

K is for KNEES UP
The Beastie Boys trained us to fight for our right to party

L is for LOVE
We loved Space Invaders, Doc Martens, Siouxsie, Ackadacka, 80s faaaashion and dancing ironically

M is for MOVING out of home as soon as you could. We were the last generation in the western world to do this

N is for NIRVANA, one of the defining bands of our generation

O is for ORIGINAL music, which last happened in the 1980s before talent shows took over the world

P is for PISSED off we didn’t buy a house when prices were cheap in major capital cities

Q is for QUALITY TIME, a phrase that helps us get away with not spending much time with our kids

R is for RETRO
Stuff your dad wore when he was 18

S is also for STATEMENT PIECES
Designer knock offs of 80s originals copied in Bangladesh

T is for TWITTER
Twats are people who send tweets about their every fart. I try not to worry my hypocritical little head about trying to make sense of the narcissism of social media

U is for USED
E.g. Cheap stuff bought on Gumtree then sold for ten times the price on Etsy

V is for VINTAGE CLOTHING
Overpriced second-hand stuff bought at Vinnies or the garage sale of a recently deceased old lady, resold to you by an opportunist on eBay at inflated prices. Opening your parcel you exclaim,
“Why didn’t I keep that polyester shirt and tie I wore with my winklepickers in 1983?”

W is for Wardrobe Malfunctions, think Janet Jackson, Al Grassby, Duran Duran videos circa 1982 and Sigue Sigue Sputnik

X is for XRAY vision AKA If I knew then what I know now I wouldn’t have worried about a thing

Y is for Y is the generation after us such a bunch of entitled brats?

Z is for ZEITGEIST
A word we used a lot before we dropped out of our third university course


4 Comments on “Gen X Lexicon”

  1. ophelia says:

    I kept my winklepickers!

  2. loupollard says:

    Yes, I kept some nylon and rubber mesh tops from Boy London from the late 80s and they fell apart in an old chest in the garage


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