Whatever (slang)

Whatever (slang)

"Whatever" is a slang term meaning "Whatever you say." The term is also used to dismiss a previous statement and express indifference.

W/E is not an acronym meaning whatever

Cultural impact

In the late 20th century and early 21st century, the word became a sentence in its own right; in effect an interjection, it is used as a powerful conversational blocking tool. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/6523155.stm How to respond to...WHATEV-AH..] By Tom Geoghegan, BBC News Magazine, 4 April 2007. Accessed 2007-04-04.] In the above examples, the first speaker is left without a convincing retort. Anything they do or say can simply be blocked by the retort of "whatever".

On the hit TV show All in the Family which premiered in 1971, 'whatever' was frequently used by the main character, Archie Bunker, as a dismissive response to his wife, Edith Bunker.

It was prevalent among the affluent "valley girls" of California in the 1980s, a sub-culture featured in the film "Clueless", according to slang expert Tony Thorne, who first recorded it there. It was a term used by WAGs - the wives and girlfriends of movie stars and producers - but picked up as part of the code of the 'valley girls'.

Michel Houellebecq's 1994 novel "Extension du domaine de la lutte" was titled as "Whatever", in its English translation, and describes the chronically disaffected life of a computer programmer.

A common abbreviation is "Whatevs" but an even more common form of the abbreviation is "Whatev." It is a way of showing one's indifference in slang form. It is an example of "slang of the slang."

A shorter version, "Evs", made it into American pop consciousness when used by Australian rocker Toby Rand on the American reality television series "" [http://www.hotindienews.com/interviews/2006/12/0007.php] .

In song lyrics

*British band Oasis released a single called Whatever in December 1994, while rising to fame in the UK. It peaked at #3 on the British charts.
*1991 the line of "Oh well, whatever, never mind!" in the Nirvana song "Smells Like Teen Spirit".
*"United States of Whatever" song by Liam Lynch, 1999.
* Canadian band Our Lady Peace recorded a track entitled "Whatever" that was used as the entrance theme song by pro wrestler Chris Benoit.
* Singer/songwriter Avril Lavigne states "she's like so whatever..." in her single, "Girlfriend."

References


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