People have been frontin' that they're hard and/or down for as long as hip-hop has existed, and though I never (OK, rarely) perpetrated that I was from the mean streets, I did adopt many words into my personal lexicon taken from the lyrics and worldview of my preferred era of hip-hop.
A personal favorite that I still use today (and may or may not earn me snickers behind my back) is "word". Word is such a malleable word, and with the proper inflection it can be used in many situations when belaboring the point just isn't the right call.
Here's a decent definition stitched together from multiple entries at urbandictionary.com.
A versatile declaration, originating (more or less) in hip-hop culture. "Word" has no single meaning, but is used to convey a casual sense of affirmation, acknowledgement, agreement, or to indicate that something has impressed you favorably. "Word" is the shortened form of the phrase: "my word is my bond" which was originated by inmates in U.S. prisons. The longer phrase was shortened to "word is bond" before becoming "word," which is most commonly used. It basically means "truth." Or "to speak the truth." Can also be used as a question, meaning "really?"Word.
word salad : noun : a confused or unintelligible mixture of seemingly random words and phrases, specifically • (in psychiatry) as a form of speech indicative of advanced schizophrenia. • as a means of bypassing a spam filter for e-mail.Here's one you don't hear often but that I nominate for reconsideration:
word blindness : noun : less technical term for alexia , or (less accurately) for dyslexia .
word deafness : noun : an inability to identify spoken words, resulting from a brain defect such as Wernicke's aphasia.
wordage: noun : words collectively • quantity or amount of words • verbiage, wordiness
Which of course makes us appreciate the awkward (awkword?) word "wordiness" and makes me start humming Tom Tom Club's oft-sampled 1981 namechecker "Wordy Rappinghood".
You know what I like about blogging? Stream of consciousness writing. Faulkner would have been a helluva blogger.
The list of phrases that word is used in is too long to even consider playing favorites with, but if I must I'd pick "have a word with". Has anything pleasant ever resulted in a conversation that opens with "Can I have a word with you?"
I'm just trying to keep the "Word" in The Word Player. Knowhaimsayin'?
My Grandfather "Big Bill" was a veritable fountain of words to the wise, and one of my favorites was what he called "The Three B's of Public Speaking":
"Be Brief, Baby."It doesn't get much briefer than "Word".