A is for Aight

Aight. Looks like a legitimate word, maybe even a fancy, little used word from an ‘improve-your-vocabulary’ list or something from the Scrabble Dictionary, but it actually doesn’t exist in any common dictionary. (I can’t say whether it might not be a word in some foreign language somewhere or in use as an alien’s name from someone’s imagination, but I do know where it is used with great frequency: Behind Bars… not those kinds of bars! Bars as in big house bars.)  If you want to use it, feel free, no pun intended, but make sure you pronounce it right.  It sounds like ‘ite’, and it is said quite quickly with the emphasis on the ‘i’ (long ‘I’ as in light).

So, this word is really two words contracted into one for convenience of use and speed of delivery.  Everything Behind Bars is done quickly.  Time, since everyone is doing it, is in short supply.  Scheduling is everything and there is little time during most of the incarcerated felons’ days for in-depth conversation.  Oh, they might get together at domino or scrabble tables in the evenings during free time in the day-rooms or on the recreation yards, but during regular work hours or school hours (if they are students), they might not have time for extensive chats with the people they really want to speak to, therefore, they learn to use the appropriate shortened words, custom vernacular speaking and hand signals to make the most of their brief encounters in the hallways, cafeteria/chow-hall or church-house.

Aight is a combination of ‘All’ and ‘Right’ and means yes, sure, OK, uh-huh or any other various positive responses to questions.  You might hear someone called Chicken Wing say“Say, Man, toss me a kite.” and the answer from his friend, Stinky Drawers, would be an affirmative “Aight!”  Or someone called Dice Man might say “Needa toothpick.” And the answer from Sticky Shank could be “Aight!”

You might think Chicken Wing and Stinky Drawers are talking about outside recreation in the first exchange, but it really means that Chicken Wing is telling Stinky Drawers to send him a note about something, probably something illegal.  The second exchange might be translated by someone unfamiliar with the system as Dice Man needing a toothpick, especially if he is on his way out of the cafeteria after chowing down on a big greasy pork chop and the Sticky Shank is agreeing to provide him with a tooth flossing pick.  However, this is certainly not the case Behind Bars.  In fact, if you overheard this particular exchange you might want to report who, what, when and where to the Security Supervisor post-haste before you find this particularly nasty ‘toothpick’ cleaning the space between your ribs rather than the space between Dice Man’s pretty gold toofuses (teeth).

(Thank you for coming by and reading! Please leave a comment for better or worse and I hope to see you tomorrow.  Happy Reading!)


12 thoughts on “A is for Aight

  1. seamsinspired says:

    Your first post in the Challenge is quite ‘aight’. ☺ Looking forward to reading all your posts. Happy Sunday!

    PS…What an interesting bio! You must certainly have an abundance of stories to tell. ☺

  2. seamsinspired says:

    Excellent start to the Challenge! What an interesting bio you have, which obviously gives you an abundance of stories to entertain readers. Looking forward to reading your posts. Happy Sunday! ☺

  3. Patty Craig says:

    Hi Brendan, I hear “aight” alot here in Philly. Every morning I ride the bus to work with the high school kids and that is when I hear it most sounding like ah-ite to me. Also on tv shows aimed at younger people like Glee.
    Also my grandfather was a corrections officer (turnkey) at Eastern State Penitientiary, and then Graterford when that closed( they have spooky tours at ESP now) so I grew up with some stories that my granddad somehow managed to make funny. Later in life I actually came in contact as a waitress with some of his charges, they said he was a fair man. They were second story men and still loved to tell stories of thier escapades. Thanks for the memories.
    PS: I should say that the stories from my grandfather were related by my mother and probably edited to be child appropriate.

  4. K.T. Hanna says:

    Wow, I did not know this. It’s more of a word by common usage then? Interesting. Looking forward to more of your posts.

  5. Very interesting word. Thanks for sharing!

    Konstanz Silverbow
    A to Z co-host
    nothoughts2small.blogspot.com
    http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

  6. fatreality says:

    In certain parts of the Caribbean we drop the ‘l’ and say ‘aright’ pronounced ‘ahr-ite’

  7. fitness says:

    Hi! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog. Is it tough to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any points or suggestions? With thanks

  8. brendancarroll says:

    Thanks to all of you for stopping by. I will certainly endeavor to keep up the blogs and the entertainment. Love the comments.

  9. crazidebi says:

    I think this A-Z challenge might jus’ b aight man, well done. Keep writing!

  10. Francene says:

    Oh, yes! I’ve heard this term, murmured out of mouths lax from the effects of drink or just too lazy to enunciate.

  11. tara tyler says:

    like the in depth discussion on this slang! awwww right! =)

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