September 15, 2007


Omri Ceren writes from LaLa Land, with an update to my 8/3/2007 post on abbreviated forms of whatever:

I thought you should know that at least as far as Los Angeles is concerned, "whatevs" is so six months ago. "Evs" is the vernacular now. Example: "He was like 'baby I didn't know she was your roommate' and I was like 'evs'."

The entry for evs in the unreliable-but-interesting Urban Dictionary gives popularization credit to Australian rocker Toby Rand, from (the reality TV show) Rockstar Supernova. His Live space does have a considerable density of evs, which he spells EVS, generally with two or more exclamation points. The exclamation points are unexpected, it seems to me, and so are his contexts of use, which seem to express some sort of strange down-under enthusiasm in place of the expected hip resignation:

Oh, and one more thing, EVS!!!

The performance show was great this week. I felt everyone stepped up…I thought my version of “Layla” was really good, however, it proved not good enough to keep me out of the bottom 3. Although, I’m happy my term was broadcast on TV…EVS!!

All-caps EVS seems to be the show's official spelling, although others seem to have a better command of what the expression means -- thus in another contestant's Live space:

Going shoe shopping later for my next performance this week. Got the outfit, just need the hooves. I’m really happy about my song this week. It’s my mom’s favorite song & it brings back so many childhood memories. I only wish that she knew I was here & that she could hear me sing this one. EVS…

"Evs" might be the hot interjection in L.A. these days, but it's not easy to find real examples on line. Most of the 3,950,000 hits for {evs} seem to be abbreviations for "electric vehicles" or "European Voluntary Sevice" or "Eastern Vascular Society" or etc. The search string {"was like evs"} turns up only this single excellent example, from November of 2006:

this halloween was like the best ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! omg we saw a certain person we wanted to see and we went to this awesome house that like had a haunted house u had to walk through to get candy. this really hot kid like popped out at me!!! i was slightly embarrassed but it was halloween so i was like evs about it.

and {"were like evs"} turns up this (on a myspace page from Sidney, Australia, which suggests that Toby Rand's usage is idiosyncratic rather than regional):

i had LE wierdest drunken dream last night.. we were at some party and i was talken to julian and then somehow i heard that you and dan were in a room hooking up.. and brianna goes, yeah i made it happen, im so proud.. and im all like wtf-ing all over the joint... and then i was like what about matt? and you were like.. evs bro evs... LIKE WTF KINDA DREAM IS THAT???? and yeah then i woke up in a very wtf mood
wtf? stfu. gtfo. pwned.. LAWL

Posted by Mark Liberman at September 15, 2007 10:10 AM