A Beginner’s Jersey Shore Glossary
After many months of waiting, MTV’s trashy pop culture sensation Jersey Shore has mercifully returned to us. Though the location has changed, from Seaside Heights to Miami, the formula remains the same: four girls and four guys – for whom the word ‘guido’ is not only complimentary but has become an entire way of life – live together in a house and party and fight. Oh, and they’re supposed to be working or something too, but that’s unimportant. It’s a pretty uncomplicated setup. However, if you’re coming to the show for the first time, there is a fair amount of Jersey Shore vernacular that you’ll need to learn if you don’t want to miss a moment of nuance or subtlety in the cast’s repartee. To that end we offer here a primer to get you started:
A dance style that arises organically in response to House/techno music, it is characterized by rhythmic, frenetic movements, fist pumping, and hitting the ground with fists as the tempo increases. Explains ‘DJ’ Pauly D: “We’re beatin’-up-the-beat, that’s what we say when we’re doing our fist pump. First, we start off by banging the ground, we’re banging it as the beat builds ‘cause that beat’s hittin’ us so we’re fightin’ back, it’s like we beat up that beat.”
A men’s hairstyle popular with many self-described “guidos,” the blowout involves hair faded from the bottom up and spiked in chunks using large amounts of gel, often dried using a blowdryer to achieve the ‘blown out’ appearance. The popularity of the hairstyle peaked in the early 2000s, but has recently re-entered the popular lexicon thanks to Pauly D, who not only proudly sports the look but has produced a viral video with tips on how to create and maintain a blowout.
Used to describe an unappealing female, especially one with an unattractive face. Not to be confused with ‘Hippo’ (see below).
To stalk or otherwise lecherously hit on a member of the opposite sex, often when one or both parties are under the influence of alcohol, in order to initiate sexual intercourse (see ‘Smush’ and ‘Pound it Out’ below).
Fist pump (n)
A simple yet popular dance move characterized by the pumping action of the fist into the air at regular intervals. May constitute an element of ‘Battling’ (see above).
The less attractive friend in a pair of females, given to a ‘bro’ or ‘wingman’ so that his friend may attempt to hook up with the ‘grenade’s’ more attractive counterpart. Most commonly the ‘grenade’ is either ‘busted’ or a ‘hippo,’ though her unattractiveness may only be relative to her friend. Conceptually, the term is related to the heroic wartime act wherein a soldier throws himself on a live grenade in order to save his fellows.
An acronym popularized by Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino for ‘Gym, Tanning, and Laundry.’ Used to express the notion that extreme physical fitness (which may include steroid use), prolonged tanning (often using a tanning bed), and recently laundered clothing are crucial for effectively ‘creeping’ on girls, especially if the objective is intercourse.
Guido, Guidette (n)
A derogatory term for lower class Italian Americans, ‘guido’ has been reclaimed by some as a point of pride, even a way of life. In the current vernacular, ‘guido’ refers to young Italian American men with a penchant for macho posturing, working out, protein and/or steroids, muscle shirts, gelled hair, fake tans, and nightclubs. They often have a gaudy personal style and tend to hail from the Tri-State area. Guidette’s are similarly self-identified, and are largely characterized by their extreme attachment to their male counterparts. Beyond their attraction to guidos, guidettes tend to use large amounts of makeup and spray tan, wear tight or revealing clothing, and also enjoy Tri-State nightclubbing. They may become aggressive or confrontational if provoked.
An overweight female, who may or may not also be ‘busted’ (see above).
Juice head (n)
A ‘guido’ who works out constantly, usually with the assistance of protein shakes and steroids, and displays a body builder-like physique. Often irresistible to ‘guidettes’ (see above).
A women’s hairstyle first popularized in 18th century France, the Pouf has been modernized and generally involves the hair being pulled back and layered on top of the head in a kind of bump. On ‘Jersey Shore,’ this style is frequently worn by Nicole “Snookie” Polizzi, who is largely responsible for bringing her signature pouf into the mainstream.
Pound it out (v)
To engage in sexual intercourse (see ‘Smush’)
The act of stealing a girl that a friend is ‘creeping’ on or has been hooking up with, most frequently while said friend is in the bathroom or going up to the bar to get another drink. This has been known to provoke confrontations, for example: “How do I taste, bro? How does my dick taste, bro? Congratulations on my sloppy seconds” (Vinny, responding to “The Situation’s” act of robbery).
Ron Ron Juice (n)
A potent alcoholic cocktail consisting of watermelon, cherries, cranberry juice and copious amounts of vodka blended with ice. Named after its inventor, Ronnie, who says of his namesake: “Oh, the Ron-Ron Juice is the shit that gets the night going. I mean whenever that shit comes out it’s always a filthy night.”
Situation, The (n)
Cast member Michael Sorrentino’s self-designated nickname. The term originated as a euphemism for his abdominal muscles, but quickly came to be an appropriate replacement for his given name. Sorrentino often refers to himself in the third person as “The Situation,” despite the term’s ultimately ineffable nature: “Yo, I mean, this situation is gonna be indescribable, you can’t even describe the situation that you’re about to get into with The Situation.”
To engage in sexual intercourse (see ‘Pound it out’). As in, “we smushed” (Ronnie, on his relationship with Sammie). Alternative spelling: ‘smoosh.’
Stage Five Clinger (n)
A former hookup (or simply someone towards whom one has previously displayed a modicum of interest) who subsequently becomes overly emotionally attached, calling constantly, becoming possessive, and even stalking.
To feel a mutual attraction with a potential hookup. This may lead to ‘smushing’ or possibly ‘pounding it out.’