Sunday, February 22, 2015

Top Ten: Bye Felicia!

Okay, so check it. The other day I was talking to one of my two Grady BFFs and uttered this slang statement in passing. I could tell from the expression on Lesley's face that she wasn't familiar with that phrase, although the contextual clues mostly gave it away enough for her to follow me. What's funny is--when I said it, it didn't even sound like slang to me. Well, wait. I take that back. It did, but I guess when I am speaking to black folks, there is just this understanding that some words and phrases we all just sort of know.


Let me just be clear on one major caveat. There IS a genre thing with a lot of this stuff. So, yeah, there will be things my mom and dad will have NO idea about that my siblings completely follow. And since my friend Lesley is my age, that got me thinking. And since I am so very dedicated to cultural competency, I thought this would be a great time to pluck this into a little top ten while watching the Oscars. Especially since 95% of the following will be exactly what is discussed when I am in the hair salon on Wednesday.

I bring you:


Like to hear it? Here it go!

Hey:  For funsies--let me know how many of these you were familiar with and have used and share your score.

#10  Phrase: "That's a good look." 

No, this is not referring to your outfit or new hairstyle. This phrase refers to anything that relates to something that goes in your favor, particularly when another person has assisted in making said thing happen.

"Hey! I thought you had to work today and couldn't come to the Oscar watching party!"

"At the last minute Shanta agreed to cover my team. And said I don't even have to pay her back."

"Damn. That's a good look, dog." 

"I know, right?"


"Where are your kids?"

"Girl, my mama agreed to keep them for the whole three-day weekend."

"Dag. That's a good look right there."

"No doubt."

#9  Phrase:  "I ain't even mad."

Does this mean that your spouse can relax since you are in a good mood? No, not at all. This is just a way of saying that you don't blame someone for doing something or that you approve of whatever it is they've decided to do. Let me make sense of it.

"I traded in my SUV for a two door Kia."

"I ain't mad at you for that. Gas is expensive."

"Well, not really anymore. But it might get expensive again."

"Fo sho."


"Did you see Bruce Jenner on the cover of People? He's transitioning to a female." 

"You know what? I ain't even mad at Bruce for that. You gotta live your life and be true to who you are."

"I feel you  on that."

(Hmmmm. That reminds me that "feeling" somebody should be added, too. But you get the point.)

#8  Phrase: "That face was beat."

Just literally said this to a friend tonight. On social media while watching the Oscars. Did the woman to which we were referencing have a black eye? Nope. Quite the contrary. "Beat" refers to someone having a perfect application of makeup. Either by a professional or by their very careful hand.

"I didn't like that dress Kim Kardashian wore on the red carpet."

"Yeah, but that face was BEAT though."

"BEAT, girl."

"All the way down, chile."

And tonight:

"Jennifer Lopez looks pretty tonight."

"And that face is BEAT, do you hear me?" 

"Girl, what you saying! That make up artist beat her unconscious, chile!"

(These are the important exchanges I have during awards shows.)

#7  Phrase: "Bye Felicia!"

Sigh. Where do I start? Okay. So there's this cult classic movie that many of you are already familiar with called "Friday." There is this one scene in it where this neighborhood nuisance is bothering Chris Tucker and Ice Cube and as she keeps trying to talk to them, they finally end it by saying, "Bye Felicia!" Somehow, someway this became the way of telling people to shut up and keep it moving. Particularly when they are talking nonsense or are just working your nerves. Google "Bye Felicia" just for kicks.

"Did you hear Sarah Palin talking on TV the other day?"

"Mmmm hmmm. And I was like, 'Bye Felicia!'" 

"Me, too, girl."


"Some man was on the cover of USA Today with a shirt on that said, 'I CAN BREATHE.'"

"Anyways. Bye Felicia!"

"I know, right?"

Also see: "Girl BYE!" (similar use)

#6  Phrase: "I feel some type of way."

This is actually the one I said to Lesley. Ha ha ha.

Sigh. This is a line from this rap song that is aptly titled "Feel Some Type of Way." I have no idea what the song is really about. But the term "feeling some type of way" has stuck and is used to describe any complex emotion that you can't place a finger upon.

"Did you go out with him again?"

"Naaaw girl. He kept texting somebody on our first date and I felt some type of way about that."

"Yeah. Not a good look, girl. I ain't mad at you for that."


"Girl, let me get to my mama to pick these kids up 'fore she feel some type of way about me being late."

"Yeah, you better hurry up, girlfriend."

#5  Term: "Crumbsnatchers"

A universal term known by black folks to describe small children. I've mentioned it on this blog before so don't count it if you learned it here.

"Did you invite Jane to brunch?"

"No, girl. She always springs her crumbsnatchers on you at the last minute."

"Ooooh. So true. Not a good look."

#4  Phrase: "He could get it."

Ha ha ha. I am adding this one against my better judgement. This is the term used to describe any person--usually a celebrity--who is extremely attractive.

"OMG. Mark Ruffalo didn't win the Oscar!"

"Yeah but Oscar or no Oscar, he could definitely get it."

"Fo sho."

Or, while watching TV with the BHE:

"You know? Jennifer Anniston could get it."

"Oh yeah?"

"Her and Eva Longoria."

"I can see that." 

#3  Phrase:  "Sit down somewhere." or "Take several seats."

Ha ha ha. This funny little phrase is used a lot of ways. But mostly when you are tired of someone or they are just doing too much. Sometimes they deserve this phrase but sometimes they don't. Case in point:

"Ugggh. LL Cool J is hosting the Grammys again? I wish he would just sit down somewhere."

"I know, right? Him and Jennifer Hudson."

"Ha ha ha ha, I know! She sang the first two notes and I was like, 'Bye Felicia!'"

"Yeah, chile. She needs to take several seats."


#2  Phrase: "I'm cool."

Not like you think. This describes somebody or something that you've put on ice or a relationship you've redefined. Usually out of awareness or necessity.

"Would you like a Bloody Mary with your omelette?"

"Naaaah. I'm cool on vodka. It gives me a headache and a hangover."

"Gotcha. Hey, why weren't you at the book club yesterday?"

"I'm cool on that book club, man. The woman who organizes it said something crazy to me and I felt some type of way about it." 

"Awww damn."

"Plus I didn't read the book anyway."

#1  Phrase:  "I can't."

This is one of my absolute favorites. "I can't." The phrase for when you are at a loss for words at something being so foul.

"Oh Lord. Is Lady Gaga about to sing The Sound of Music? I just can't, girl."

"She sounds good to me."

"No way. She needs to sit down somewhere. Honey, I just can't." 

"Really? I thought that was a good look for them to have her sing that tribute!"


Phrase:  "She DID that."

Emphasis on DID. Anything someone did really, really well, you say it just like that. Especially if it is remarkably better than anything else you've seen in a long time. Case in point:

"John Legend and Common sounded great at the Oscars!"

"Yeah, they DID that."


"I love those photos from your birthday party, girl!"


"Who did your make up? That face was BEAT, do you hear me?"

"I did my own make up!"

"You did? Even the lashes?"

"Surely did."

"Damn, girl. You DID that."


See? I don't make this stuff up.

You are now officially ready to go with me to the hair salon this week. Woo hoo! I know I forgot some good ones but this is a start.

How'd you do? 10/10? 5/10? 0/10? What say you?

Happy Sunday.


  1. 3/10. Not bad for a middle-aged white girl. 😉

    1. Wait--which ones did you know? I'm curious!

    2. I know and use 1,3, and 9. I'm vaguely familiar with 5 and 7

  2. I got 10/10 but then I am a black woman between 25 and 55. As far as this list is concerned, you DID that


  3. Oh, my! #9, #5, and #2, I know. As for the others, well, though I am Black, I am WELL over 55, so I guess I have a good excuse. And as for the bonus, we old folks would say, "S/He put his/her foot all up in that!"
    I'm sure Poopdeck has a lot of these from our generation! LOL!

    1. LOL Mom! You didn't know about somebody's face being BEAT? LOL LOL LOL! And your FOOT gets put into food not everything. When you DID that, that can be food, a marathon, you name it. Ha ha ha.

  4. This right here made my day!!!! Yes, you DID that! 10 for 10 but I am 43 and regularly go to the hair salon.

  5. HA! You brought Luvvie in the house with "Unable to Can". I Love it! I have that t-shirt and wear it to work on casual Fridays. Lol. My child is a crumbsnatcher, that I say "Bye Felicia!" to on the regular. I feel and know ALL of these. This post had me laughing out loud at my desk. :)

    1. Awesome Luvvie is hilarious. And "Bye Felicia" is so regular on my text messages that Siri can do it without me even saying it. LOL

  6. I'm feeling real black - and middle aged - right now! 10/10 - I killed it ;)

  7. Man. I knew .5 out of 10. For "I can't," I know a version of it as "I can't even . . ." for when you can't even think of what to say about something.

    1. LOL Laura!!! Did I read that right? POINT five? Girl, BYE!!!

  8. #9 and #2! Coming from a white 20- something :) loved learning the rest!

    1. That's what's up! Here's something funny my friend just said to me: "Girl, I'm just sitting up in this house with my face beat just in case something jumps off on FaceTime." LOL LOL LOL!!! ---> not even exaggerating. 0_o

  9. I'm a 35 year old white lady, and I'm super proud of my 7/10. I will say that teaching mostly African-American teenagers helped me out. In fact, one of my students said a poem we were reading "got her all up in her feelings" and it was one of my proudest teaching moments. Lol.

    1. Yaaaaasssss! You DID that, girlfriend! And "all up in your feelings" is another good one! You get extra points for that one. :)

  10. I scored 7/10.

    For #3, I often use the variant: Find a seat and have it. And for #7: Baby BYE.


  11. I got 10 out of 10! One that's funny to me is "it's been a minute". I was in court and a witness responded to a question that with "it's been a minute". Since the event happened two years ago, the attorney tried to cross examine on the actual time period. The witness had to explain that "a minute" is actually a long time in slang. :-)

    1. Not to be confused with the "hot minute" which is a really, really short period of time. Wink.

  12. You know I got 10 out of 10! LOL!

  13. 10/10. 43, black, and frequent beauty shopper, lol!


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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