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Encyclopedia > Square (slang)

The term "square", in referring to a person, originally meant someone who was honest, traditional, and loyal. The evolution of American culture transformed the term from a compliment to an insult to an obsolete term.


In the parlance of jazz, a square was a person who failed to appreciate the medium, hence (more broadly) someone who was out of date or out of touch. Such was the opprobrium attached to "squareness" among jazz lovers that musician Thelonius Monk adopted the middle name "Sphere". The term, with its broader meaning, has persisted and has permeated mainstream culture, as exemplified in Huey Lewis's 1986 hit Hip to be square. In ultimate self-reference, this song was later used by Sesame Street to illustrate the geometrical meaning of "square". Jazz is a musical art form that originated in New Orleans at around the start of the 20th century. ... Thelonious Sphere Monk (October 10, 1917–February 17, 1982) was a jazz pianist and composer known for his unique improvisational style and many contributions to the standard jazz repertoire. ... Huey Lewis, sporting a Tape a record, go to prison sleeveless T-shirt. ... 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A self-reference occurs when an object refers to itself. ... Sesame Street is an American educational childrens television series for preschoolers and is a pioneer of the contemporary educational television standard, combining both education and entertainment. ...


In the counterculture movements that took momentum in the 1960s a "square" referred to someone who clung to repressive, traditional, stereotypical, one-sided, or "in the box" ways of thinking. The term was mostly utilized by beatniks, hippies, yippies, and other individuals who took part in the movements which emerged to contest the more conservative national, political, religious, philosophical, musical and social trends. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Beatnik cartoon The term beatnik was coined by Herb Caen in an article in the San Francisco Chronicle on April 2, 1958. ... Singer at contemporary Russian Rainbow gathering Hippie, usually spelled hippy in the United Kingdom, refers to a subgroup of the 1960s and early 1970s counterculture that began in the United States, becoming an established social group by 1965 before declining during the mid-1970s. ... The Youth International Party (whose adherents were known as Yippies, a variant on Hippies) was a highly theatrical political party established in the United States in 1967. ... Conservatism is a political philosophy that usually favors traditional values and strong foreign defense. ...


The term found its way into various parts of popular culture. Perhaps the most obvious recurring reference today would be this line from "Jailhouse Rock", a song most famously sung by Elvis Presley: Jailhouse Rock is a song written by Leiber and Stoller that first became a hit for the American singer Elvis Presley. ... Elvis Aron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), often known simply as Elvis and also called The King of Rock n Roll or simply The King, was an American singer, musician and actor. ...

The warden said hey buddy don't you be no square
If you can't find a partner use a wooden chair

The term was used in the American Cub Scout Promise until 1971. The Cub Scouts are a membership division of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), part of the overall Scouting program. ...


The chorus of the George M. Cohan song "Mary's a Grand Old Name" concludes with this line: George M. Cohan George Michael Cohan (July 3 or July 4, 1992 – November 5, 1942) was a United States entertainer, playwright, composer, lyricist, actor, singer, dancer, director, and producer of Irish descent. ...


Madison Hyer, of byron Georgia, commonly uses this adjective for any scenario, but mostly refering to fellow byron native Scott Allen Maynard

And there is something there / That sounds so square / It's a grand old name.

L7 is also a derivate term for square. The square shape is made by putting together an "L" made with the left thumb and index finger and a "7" made with the right thumb and index finger. This is similar to the "whatever" "W" and other communications with the hands, such as gang signifying and American Sign Language. L7 (sometimes spelled L-7) has several meanings: L7 is 1950s slang for square, based on the shape made when putting together an L made with the left thumb and index finger and a 7 made with the right thumb and index finger. ... American Sign Language (ASL; less commonly Ameslan) is the dominant sign language of the Deaf community in the United States, in the English-speaking parts of Canada, and in parts of Mexico. ...


See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Square (slang) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (341 words)
In the parlance of jazz, a square was a person who failed to appreciate the medium, hence (more broadly) someone who was out of date or out of touch.
Such was the opprobrium attached to "squareness" among jazz lovers that musician Thelonius Monk adopted the middle name "Sphere".
The square shape is made by putting together an "L" made with the left thumb and index finger and a "7" made with the right thumb and index finger.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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