Literary Classics With Slang Makeovers


Today marks the release of On the Bro’d , a parody of Jack Kerouac’s seminal novel in which the entire book is translated into bro-speak. In case you’re not quite sure what that means, here’s a quote you may recognize, totally bro-ified: “The only bros for me are the mad awesome ones, the ones who are mad to chug, mad to party, mad to bone, mad to get hammered, desirous of all the chicks at Buffalo Wild Wings, the ones who never turn down a Natty Light, but chug, chug, chug like f*cking awesome players exploding like spiders across an Ed Hardy shirt and in the middle you see the silver skull pop and everybody goes, “Awww, sh*t!” Yep — and you can read even more over at the On the Bro’d website. Inspired by the whole idea, we decided to take an amateur hand to translating a few of our other favorite classic novels in various kinds of slang. Click through to see what we came up with, and feel free to do some of your own translations in the comments.

The House of Mirth in Valspeak

(You’ll just have to imagine all the uptalking)

Mrs. Trenor sat up with an exclamation. “OMG Lily! Percy? Are you telling me you’ve actually, you know, done it?”

Miss Bart smiled. “As if! I only mean that Gryce and I are like, getting pretty tight.”

“Um, oh my god.” Mrs. Trenor stared at her. “You know, all the girls say he makes eight hundred thousand bucks a year – and he spends like nothing, except on his totally boring books. I mean, who reads books? And I totally heard, don’t ask me from who, that his mother has heart disease, and is so gonna leave him way more. Watch out, girl!”

Miss Bart continued to smile. “Well I wouldn’t, like, tell him his books were totally boring. Duh!”

“As if! I know you know how to talk to guys. I’m just saying, he’s like pretty shy, and kind of easily shocked, and, you know — ”

“Ugh! Oh my god! Just say it, Judy. Everyone thinks I’m a total gold digger?”

“Oh my god, I don’t mean it like that. Whatever! He’d, like, never believe that trashy gossip,” said Mrs. Trenor. “But you know when we throw our bitchin’ parties, they can get kinda, like, wild – OMG BTW I have to tell Jack and Gus about this – and if he thought you were like, what his mother would call like a total slut, ugh you know what I mean. Don’t wear that tight red dress to dinner, even though it makes you look like a total Betty, and so don’t smoke in front of him.”

The Sun Also Rises in Beatnik speak

I cut out and told the old plucked chicken what a rum punch was and how to make it. In a few minutes a groovy chick brought a stone pitcher, steaming, into the room. Bill came over from the piano and we drank the hot punch and listened to the wind, you dig?

“There isn’t too much juice in that.”

That was a drag, so I went over to the cupboard and brought the bottle and poured a half-tumblerful into the pitcher, ‘cause we were really a couple of juiceheads.

“Direct action, daddy-o,” said Bill and stroked his goat. “It sure beats legislation.”

The chick came in and set the table for supper.

“It blows like hell up here, baby,” Bill said. “You know what I mean, or something?”

The chick brought in a big bowl of far out vegetable soup and the wine. And after, man, we had some really groovy fried trout and some sort of a stew and a big bowl full of wild strawberries that was the absolute most. We didn’t lose money on the wine, and the chick was shy but hip about making the scene. The old plucked chicken fell in once and counted the empty bottles but then she split.

After we scarfed all that we went to the upstairs pad and smoked some tea and read in bed to keep warm. Once in the night I woke and heard the wind blowing, man. It felt hairy to be warm and in bed, you dig baby?

A Tale of Two Cities in Surfer lingo

Dude, it was the most tubular of surf days, it was most totally dead of surf days, it was the morning of scratching, it was the day of total lameness, it was the day of knowing where every wave was going to crest, it was the day of sackin’ it, it was the season of gnarly sun, it was the season of being caught in a fish net, it was the summer of big mammas, it was the summer of barn-schwags, everything was like totally there, and we were there, but we also kind of weren’t there, we were all going right to dawn patrol, we were all going to totally eat it — like, the time was pretty much like right now, and I don’t know, but some of the chubby checkers keep saying its like, the big kahuna, man.

Moby Dick in Faux Pirate Slang

Avast ye readers! Ye may call me Ishmael. Some years ago – belay how long precisely – havin’ little or no doubloons in me purse, and nothin’ particular t’ interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see t’ watery part o’ t’ world. It be a way I have o’ drivin’ off t’ spleen and regulatin’ t’ circulation, aye. Whenever I find meself growin’ grim about t’ mouth; whenever it be a damp, drizzly November in me soul; whenever I find meself involuntarily pausin’ before coffin warehouses, and up t’ aft o’ every funeral I meet; and especially whenever me hypos get such an upper hand o’ me, that it requires a strong moral principle t’ prevent me from deliberately steppin’ into t’ street, and methodically knockin’ all them bilge rats’ hats off – then, I account it high time t’ get t’ sea as soon as I can. Aye, thar be me substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his cutlass; I quietly take t’ t’ ship. There be nothin’ surprisin’ about it. If they but knew it, almost all lubbers in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly t’ same feelin’s towards t’ ocean with me. Arrr!

1984 in texts

“Lstn. The mOr men uve had the mOr ilu. U grok?”

“y, totes.”

“i h8 purity, i h8 good , i dont want ne good to be newhere. i want every1 2 b corrupt 2 the bones.”

“k. ill b perf. im corrupt 2 the bones.”

“u like this? Not just me, i mean the act?

“i ❤ it.”

That was above all what he wanted to hear. Not merely the love of 1 person, but the animal instinct, the simple undifferentiated desire: that was the force that would tear the Party 2 pieces.