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Christina Brewer

on 11 December 2014

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Transcript of Cool

From Black Culture to Mainstream
Modern Cool
An adjective referring to something that is very good, stylish, or otherwise positive. It is among the most common slang terms used in today's world.
Hot Jazz

"Lively," "energetic," "passionate"
"Dixieland music"
Original non-slang meanings:
Low temperature; moderately cold

not affected by passion or emotion, dispassionate; controlled; calm
Cool has transitioned from musical slang into a catch-all term for the attitudes, actions, and items we consider good and important both as a group and individually. In this transition cool has expanded in usage to cover the vast majority of the English speaking population.
Cool Jazz
"Restrained" or "relaxed"
Miles Davis
"A quietly rebellious response" to "slavery and post-Civil War injustices" (Skinner 37).
1950: Beat writers popularized cool
- "Hipster" "The White Negro"
-Norman Mailer
(Moore 71) (Skinner 35)
A word to use when you don't know what else to say, or when you are not that interested in the conversation.
What exactly is cool?
"The objects and people that are cool, change across time."
"Cool is locally defined."
- Gerber
The Cool Constants
Utilitarian items are not cool.
Highly social in their peer group, but anti-social towards other groups
Rebelliousness in some form, but not past the point of criminal behavior
Coolness is not a Personality Trait
What is cool changes
Cool changes depending on group
Cool Cat
"Enthusiast of jazz"

"An admirably fashionable or stylish person"
-Oxford English Dictionary
"Expressing approval or assent: 'All right!' 'OK!' 'Great!'"
"Attractively shrewd or clever; sophisticated, stylish, classy; fashionable, up to date; sexually attractive"
"Composure, relaxedness; poise, self-control"
"The quality or condition of being cool; hipness, stylishness."
1920s-1950s: "most widely used slang term" (Moore 66)
Rebellion against "old Victorian earnestness, propriety, righteousness" (Moore 65, 66)
Meanings similar to cool.

Now is corny
Cool, originating from chill as in chilling out
Now used in many ways:

Cool- Agreement
Cool- Impressive
Cool- State of being
Cool- Type of person's popularity
Cool- Agreement
"you'll go this way and i'll head round the back... yeah?"
"Cool, yeah..."

Cool- Impressive
"Wow that show was pretty cool"

Cool- State of being
"How you feeling? Any better?"
"yeah I'm cool, don't worry."

Cool- Type of person's popularity
"hey theres those cool kids going for a smoke"
1950s: teens rebelled against (parental) authorities

1960s: cool used in teen culture, rejection of adult culture.
(Moore 75)
Your computer is very cool.
Mary: "I saw a cute kitten just now!"
Tom: "Cool."
- Urban Dictionary
-Urban Dictionary
- Urban Dictionary
Cool has shifted from its roots in African American jazz culture to wide usage throughout the English language and holds consensus in its numerous definitions by modern day speakers. For this reason cool deserves to be considered less of a slang term and more of a real word.
Cool Jazz
Popularized by
beat writers
Current day
Locally defined can mean geographically, but it can also mean group/interest wise
Adopted into
teen culture
- Stephen King
"Remember, cool is not a way of life; it's a state of being. Like your height. I can't help being 6'3", and I can't help being cool."
Ironic Use
Too cool for school
Barksdale, Jeremy, Felicia Doswell, and D. Scott McCrickard. "Understanding Cool: An Analytic
Exploration of Contributing Factors for Teens." PsychNology Journal Volume 10 Issue 2 (2012): 93-102. 26 Nov 2014
"Cool jazz."
The Oxford English Dictionary,
Oxford University Press, 2014. Web. 7 December, 2014.
"Cool cat."
The Oxford English Dictionary,
Oxford University Press, 2014. Web. 7 December, 2014.
Fitton, Daniel, Horton, Mathew, Little, Linda, Toth, Nicola, Read, Janet C. "Too Cool at School-
Understanding Cool Teenagers." PsychNology Journal Volume 10 Issue 2 (2012): 73-91. 26 Nov 2014.
Geiman, Carly and J.P. Gerber. "Measuring the existence of cool using an extended Social
Relations Model." PsychNology Journal Volume 10 Issue 2(2012): 103-115. 26 Nov 2014.
"Hot jazz."
The Oxford English Dictionary,
Oxford University Press, 2014. Web. 7 December, 2014.
King, Stephen. "Cool and the Gang." Entertainment Weekly 964 (2007): 84. A
cademic Search
. Web. 3 Dec 2014.
Moore, Robert L. "We 'Re Cool,Mom And Dad Are Swell:Basic Slang And Generational Shifts In
American Speech
79.1 (2004): 59-86.
Academic Search Premier.
Web. 10 Dec. 2014.
Skinner, David. "The Rise Of Cool."
35.4 (2014): 32-37.
Academic Search Premier.
10 Dec. 2014.
Full transcript