The following definitions are from the 1st. edition of the American Heritage Dictionary

hip - adj. Also hep. Slang. 1. Aware of or in accordance with advanced tastes and attitudes. 2. Cognizant; wise: hip to the plan. [variant to the earlier hep.]

hip.ster - n. Slang. One who is aware of or in accordance with advanced tastes and attitudes. [hip + -ster.]

hip.pie - n. A member of a loosely knit, nonconformist group generally characterized by emphasis on universal love, withdrawal from conventional society, and a general rejection of its mores, especially regarding dress, personal appearance and living habits. -adj. Of, relating to, or characteristic of such people. [From hip(aware).]

beat generation - A group belonging to the [first] generation coming to maturity after World War II that asserted a loss of faith in Western cultural traditions and rejected conventional norms of dress and behavior.

beat.nik - n. 1. A member of the beat generation. 2. A person who acts and dresses with pointed, often exaggerated disregard for what is thought proper and who is given to radical and extravagant social criticism or self expression. [beat + (nud)nik]

bo.he.mi.an - n. A person with artistic or literary interests who disregards conventional standards of behavior. [A Gypsy - from the belief that Gypsies came from Bohemia.] 


Well, they did a pretty good job with the first edition, but look how badly they blew it in the 3rd. edition:


hip2 (h¹p) also hep (hµp) --adj. hip·per also hep·per, hip·pest hep·pest. Slang. 1. Keenly aware of, knowledgeable about, or interested in the latest trends or developments. 2. Cognizant; wise: I am hip to what's going on. 3. Very fashionable or stylish. [Perhaps from Wolof hipi, hepi, to open one's eyes, be aware.] --hip n. & v. --hipôly adv. --hipôness n. 


The latest trends or developments? Fashionable or stylish? Come on folks, that's everything that hip is not. That's the definition for a yuppie, not a Hippie (we buy our clothes at thrift stores, not at the goddamn mall). Here's how Abbie Hoffman put it in an interview on the Haight-Ashbury on the Sixties CD-ROM:

At the height of the American empire, where we had for all intensive purposes, all the bombs, all the cops in the world, it was all ours. We had...the two car garages, the split-level ranch houses. We were number one and there was no competition. 

At that particular moment, pushing that lifestyle of the of the status seekers, the upward mobility, what today are called yuppies, style-conscious, anxious, desperate to always be at the head of fashion. 

Well enough people looked at that and said, wait a minute, this is boring, this is spiritually unrewarding, it's unjust for all the other people that can't participate and we don't want any of it. There must be something else. If there isn't anything else we'll take death. Even death's better than this fish.

So slowly, people started to question authority, to be outraged about racism, to pay attention to other things...

I hope all of you will write the folks at American Heritage and tell them that they should be for shame...and that's my editorial comment for today.

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