Mewing Ohio Passenger Princess

It’s time for another edition of Trendspotting!

An Evening with All Five of Us

I’m fascinated by the evolution of language and culture, and it seems like a few trends or phrases have recently come into my life — on more than one occasion, from more than one source. So, I want to capture these trends here on my website, both for my own reference and for posterity.

Mewing

The first trend that I’ve spotted is mewing. Yes, the word is spelled and pronounced like what a kitten does. But in this case, it’s a human phenomenon that involves making one’s face look smoother and cooler, with a more defined jawline — trying to look good for pictures, especially, it seems. The pictures in this post help to demonstrate the phenomenon. I first learned about mewing from a video on the internet, but my appreciation for the term became more pronounced when my college-aged kids reintroduced the phrase and the action during a family hang-out earlier this evening.

I honestly don’t know how widespread this term or this phenomenon happens to be, but it seems to be mostly tongue-in-cheek: both literally and figuratively. Kind of like a more masculine version of the “duck face” that’s been popular on Instagram for a few years now.

Ohio

When I was interacting with some Middle-Eastern youths in the northwest neighborhoods of Stockholm, recently, they thought it was hilarious when they learned I was from Ohio. “O-Hi-O…” they kept saying, and smiling to each other. I didn’t know if they just liked the sound of word, or if it meant something different in their native languages, or what. But later, one of the Kent State students who was traveling with me explained that middle-schoolers in the United States have also started using the word “Ohio” as an adjective to describe something weird or inexplicable.

An Evening with All Five of Us

It’s apparently building off of a series of internet memes (generally more visual in nature), where it was more typically formulated as an image of something ludicrous or absurd or unsettling happening, with text superimposed saying, “Only in Ohio.” Or something like that. More recently, however, the trope seems to have shortened to just the word “Ohio,” and it’s become more verbal than visual. Like, maybe someone will be doing something antisocial in a group situation, and someone will say “Ohio” (it often seems to be emphasized on the middle syllable) and roll their eyes to their friends.

I don’t know if I’ve got this one completely correct, but it’s an intriguing trend.

Passenger Princess

A colleague (from the Millennial generation) recently used this phrase to refer to a work situation where he played more of a supportive role than a lead role. He said it like it was something positive. A few days later, I saw a different friend (also from the Millennial generation) post a BeReal literally showing her feet on the dash of the passenger side of the car: toenails painted, sunny sky out the front window.

From what I understand, it’s generally understood to mean a woman who always lets her husband do the driving, so she can put her feet up… read a good book… listen to her favorite podcast… stick her head out the window in the breeze… That sort of thing. But the term can be used far more broadly than that. It can mean anytime that a person gets to ride on someone else’s coattails. I think it’s an amazing phrase that prompts an amazing mental image that communicates this concept amazingly.

Isn’t it fun to keep learning and adapting and growing?!? I sure think it is!

This entry was posted in Adolescence, Culture, English, Family, Kent, Language, Ohio, Recreation, The United States of America, Trend-Spotting, Young Adulthood. Bookmark the permalink.

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