In my last column, I wrote about a word — lentement — I use quite frequently that was inspired by a ride on public transit. The thing is, it’s only one of many.
The list, so far (you’ll recognize some of these):
Bus luh: A bus-based interaction between two people who are attracted to each other. The interactions vary widely, but participants are always: a) riding on or waiting for a bus; b) in love, lust, or very deep like; and, c) engaging in some sort of physical contact.
Bus mack: An attempted bus hook-up, in which one rider approaches another in a way that indicates romantic and/or sexual interest. On rare occasions, a bus mack can result in future instances of bus luh. (See above).
Bus foul: An action or behavior—on a bus or at a bus stop—that negatively impacts other riders. An example: taking up more than one seat when the bus is full. (See first two above.)
Bus chick/nerd bag: A reusable bag that experienced riders use to carry bus necessities. These necessities might include: bus pass, wallet, book, cell phone, laptop, bus schedules, umbrella, gloves, hand warmers, flashlight, glue stick, Swiss Army knife, compass, notebook, pens, pencils, hair implements, plastic bags, Chapstick, mascara, mp3 player, snacks, to-do list, city maps, lotion, antibacterial gel, digital camera. Bus chick bags take many forms but are most commonly backpacks.
Pack jam: An unfortunate incident that involves a strap or buckle of a rider’s bus chick/nerd bag (see above) becoming entangled with (or trapped beneath) some part of the bus or another rider at the moment the rider is preparing to disembark. This usually results in frantic shouts for the driver to “Wait!” and is often followed by extreme embarrassment.
Lentement: Any act or state of being that is—either literally or figuratively—slow or uncool. This term was described in detail in my last column [Feb, 28] and, unlike the other terms on this list, can be applied beyond the world of public transportation.
Here are a few that were submitted by readers:
“Corks: The people who prefer to stand in the aisle when there are seats open, thus giving other riders the impression that there are no extra seats.”
“Octopus: A rider who needs one seat for herself and one for her bag.”
“Pneumatic Motus Reversal: This is when the Driver slams on the air brakes when you are walking down the aisle, toward the back of the bus,” causing you to change directions abruptly.
Got any transit-inspired language of your own? Send it my way.
By Carla Saulter
Got something to say about public transportation in Seattle? E-mail Bus Chick at email@example.com or visit blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/buschick.
For copy of actual issue, go to https://www.realchangenews.org/2007/03/14/mar-14-2007-entire-issue