Duff McKagan: Rad Is Reem

Duff McKagan is the founding bassist of Guns N' Roses and the leader of Seattle's Loaded. His column runs every Thursday on Reverb.
Nottingham is beautiful this time of year. So is Cardiff, Wales; London; and Edinburgh. But if one were just to think that all of the United Kingdom was the same, they'd be gravely mistaken.

I first thought of writing a narrative here on the actual geography of the UK, but it's the language usage over here that has piqued my interest on this trip.

First off, if you are called a slang term for a woman's hoo-hoo over here, it is a term of endearment. In the States, this same term is looked at as simply gross.

"Reem" is a great word that has come into common usage over here. When one says something is "reem," it simply means kick-ass, as in "Don't be jealous 'cause I'm reem."

"Jel" is short for jealous, hence "Don't be jel 'cause I'm reem."

Off-topic: In the 1970s, the word "choice" had far more wind in its sail, as a preferred way to say things were reem. "Choice" was replaced at some point in the later '70s by "rad" (short for "radical"). "Rad" sort of lost its way until . . . now.

We are on the road over here with Ugly Kid Joe and Alice Cooper. The wondrous lead singer of UKJ is the one and only Whit Crane. Wondrous, you say? Yes, wondrous. This dude is so full of spirit and good intent that it is impossible to be grumpy or tired in his presence. Whit uses the word rad all the time, and now so does everyone else on the tour. Rad is back, people.

Now when you need directions in England, Wales, or Scotland, don't expect to hear anything close to "Just go down two blocks and make a right." No, the directions from a local in, say, Plymouth, England, will take the form of the more poetic (but way less informative) "Carry on down the road, and it's just there." That sounds nicer, but can leave an uninformed outsider like myself cold and lost in the rain.

HERE is another good one. When you see some large man come out of a communal loo at a truck stop . . . and the odor is indisputable . . . you can say "That had some thump in it!"

Useful stuff here, I know. You're welcome.

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