truly the catch all adjective of Southern California. i hear it constantly and un-ironically in serious, adult conversation by people of all ages. before my arrival i heard it exclusively on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (original cartoon. don’t get me started on the subsequent movies) and Saved by the Bell. thus, i only use it in jest and enjoy tacking it on at the end of a description (“some might even say it’s ‘gnarly’”). but maybe i’m missing out.
since i keep track of important life events here’s what i've heard “gnarly” used to describe thus far:
- gum surgery. yoga teacher, early 40s. “i checked this morning and it’s pretty gnarly in there. so i’m just juicing.”
- an apple fritter. a date, early 30s. (one date only, FYI)
- traffic. different yoga teacher, 40s
- a nephew’s boss. random lady, 50s. “he got the gnarliest one”
- strep throat. random girl, 20s.
- the subconscious. astrologer, 30s. “it’s gnarly down there!”
i mean…is it me?