“What’s up?” Why would you ask that?

What a level of ubiquity the phrase has achieved. Every other person we talk to, the first words that exit our mouth and enter his/her ears are, "What’ sup?" or "Sup?" or any other random variation of the same. The slang has infected the virtual communications more than the verbal ones. Think of a time when you typed something other than the above mentioned clichés to initiate an online chat? Still thinking? News for you- You have been infected by the Sup-Epidemic.
Sup-i-demic

Of course, it is only our generation and the upcoming generations that have this knack of trying to be chic. We saw it in movies, in TV series, read it in books and tried imitating their style.
Thus took place the transformation of our salutations from "Hey, how are you?" to "Yo! Sup?"
Someone who refrained himself from jargonizing and tried to be sophisticated was tagged as a démodé nerd by the cool hipsters.

But how many of us actually know the words’ raison d’être? The not-so-hysterical mystery of the not-so-mystic history?

Why, of all the things in the world would you want to ask a person "What exists above you?" implying that you want to inquire about his well being! And why does he not reply something like, "The ceiling" or "The sky", rather has the telepathic power in understanding your hidden implication and replies, "Nothing much". Then the further conversation seems logical, with “Same here” coming as the expected reply in majority of the cases.
Not to be done when faced with the question.
Not to be done when faced with the question.
So, from where actually did it originate?
Many brains in the world have come down to the common conclusion that the phrase arose from our very own grey bunny character munching a carrot and asking the bald guy or the red bearded guy, "What's up, Doc?".
So bugs bunny was indeed the person ( or the rabbit ) who created the orifice in the perfume bottle, which lead to the spread.
Case file not closed yet. There also exists someone who created the perfume.

American writer, O' Henry's short story from Sixes and Sevens (1911), The Adventures of Shamrock Jolnes ( Sounding familiar? ) had these two words joined together for the first time.
Who would’ve thought that the parodied character of Dr. Watson, “Whatsup”, would become one of the most popular words in the world?
Yes!, Whatsup was the NAME of Shamrock's side-kick.
So the dialogue, went like, "Good Morning, Whatsup", when Shamrock addressed him.
And that is how, we greet each other now! “’Morning. What’ sup?” 
And that is how the word came into the world.
...
“O. Henry made you famous, Whatsup!”
“Nothing much.”
“Whatsup’s your name ,Whatsup”
“Oh. Right”

Even Yo. Do you even know the meaning of the word you keep shouting every chance you get?
It was a sailor or huntsman’s call in around 1420. It became popular in Philadelphia during World War II, as an answer to the roll calls (the word “io” in Italian refers to I ).
I bet there are people who thought it was derived somehow from yoyos. Do refer the article to them.
YO!!!


After that of course, there was no end to the diffusion of the perfumes. After Bugs bunny, there was no dearth of people and media popularizing the words to the zenith.
Various variations of “Whatsup” had to follow in.
You can never stop laughing at and imitating the Budweiser commercial "Whassup"s. Sticking out your tongue with the Whassup has a different euphoria attached to it.

So the next time, you hear "What's up", you know its not some random thing generated out of nowhere. It has deeper, darker meaning attached to it. Something that would make you realize, that you need not turn your head upwards whenever someone shoots the query at you. You need to say “Nothing much” with a huge fake smile, even though you’re doing loads of stuff. Because that’s the way it works!

4 Comments:

ARPI said...

Very interesting :)

Chandan said...

ssup !

Alok K. said...

ssup' man?

You got me in that yo thing. :D I actually believed that it had something to do with yoyo ;), or may be related to 'yes' in some way.

Quite an interesting article!

Mohi said...

Wassaup Doc! Yo Bugs! :D