Boston, MA– Late night television talk shows are no strangers to joking about how generations are routinely pushed away by younger generations due to things like new slang. One of the best ways to know you are getting older is to hear youths speaking in tongues that are borderline incomprehensible to you. It makes for a great source of jokes for late night hosts from Jimmy Kimmel to Stephen Colbert. One host who has leaned into it the most is New England native Seth Meyers, who has his own "Seth Explains Teen Slang" segment, on Late Night with Seth Meyers. But now, we are seeing the slang gap between generations reaching The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Every now and then, Jimmy Fallon will share local news clips from around the country that he finds funny, and this past Wednesday evening, he shared a clip from a local Boston news station. The segment was based around the "man in the street" style of news reporting where the station hangs on to a topic that is of particular interest to them. In response, they send a reporter out onto the streets of Boston (or any city, really) to interview locals, passersby, and pedestrians to ask their opinion on the topic.
Often times, they will get opinions on local politics or sports games from these Bostonians, but sometimes, they are just asking them about a topic that has piqued some sort of interest within the community. This recent instance saw a local Boston reporter asking people about youthful slang and he asked one man what he thought, "take an L" means.
Obviously, in terms of the actual slang, to "take an L" means to "take a loss," meaning you accept your defeat. But this local Bostonian was not aware of this and his response to the reporter was the idea that "take an L" means "take a leak." It was a humorous miscommunication and, of course, it was right up Jimmy Fallon's alley, too, and he had to share it on his show during the monologue. Maybe it ended up being a learning moment for all involved!
Image via Flickr / jonsson