In the late 90’s and early aughts (when I was a wee teen) the phrase “it’s my jam” was common. It meant “oooh, I love that!” or “this is my favorite song” or “I am really good at that.” I’m not wrong. Please, observe the use of the phrase by the lovely Busy Phillips in the 2004 classic piece of Wayans Bros cinema White Chicks.
That clip was shot ten short years ago, and here I’ve been using the phrase like it’s my job ever since. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ve probably seen it in writing. In fact, when Babble named The818.com one of the top parenting blogs of 2013 and asked for a few quotes from me including my favorite Disney movie, one of the things I told them was that Hercules had such great music, it was “my jam” and I wondered why they’d shortened my quote to simply say “Hercules” when it was published. Ah well, no harm no foul, right?
I’ve used it frequently on Twitter too, for thousands to see.
I made jam for the first time ever. And now I can’t stop running around yelling “it’s my jam!”. Damn I’m so old and so 90s it hurts.
— Morgan (The818) (@the818) August 27, 2013
And then this weekend, I called something “my jam” to my Sister and Brother-in-law, and watched both of their jaws drop in abject horror. (It’s worth noting that my Sis is four years older than me, but apparently way more hip. Or maybe it’s that she and my brother-in-law are raising a teenager. Either way thank Moses they were there to stem the flow of me embarrassing myself by mis-using slang any longer.)
Do you guys know what “it’s my jam” means to the kids today? SOMETHING VERY DIFFERENT. They sat me down to watch Pitch Perfect (which I know I should be shot for not having seen already, especially as a Teen Movie junkie of epic proportions) and OH THE HORROR. There was no question they were right. I give you, the shower scene from last year’s Pitch Perfect —
Are we all caught up now? I’ve been telling people I masturbate to any and everything, including Disney movies and my own canned preserves. Did you not get that that’s what Brittany Snow was saying in that scene? Then I’m sorry to inform you that you are also in danger of becoming old and out of touch.
So…this is a public service message to my GenX/Millenial cusp contemporaries: Check that the go-to slang of your youth hasn’t changed in meaning so you don’t freak out the entire internet, or at least your own kids. Y’know…kind of like how our parents thought “gnarly” was still a bad thing in the 80s, except way worse.