Pretty fancy red pepper – “hot” “bougee/boujee” meanings & uses

Welcome back to another Adventures of Charles! We’re going to look at just two words today, but these two pack a lot into them. Both of these are considered slang or informal words, and I’ll explain more about how they are used with some example dialogues. So, let’s read on.

Red hot peppers, Photo by Laker on Pexels.com

HOT

So you know the first and most obvious meaning of this word. When the temperature is high, you get “hot,” or when food comes out of the oven, it’s “hot.” Similarly, there’s another meaning that has to do with food. A lot of the time we use hot to mean spicy, like a chili pepper. It’s used so frequently that often when someone says their food is hot, another person will ask if it is “hot hot” (temperature hot) or “spicy hot.”

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It was a bright and sunny day, great for an ice-cold drink. Charles was finally “going out” to eat with his friend Sheila after several unofficial dates.

Charles — Goodness, it’s hot out. Is there a specific place you want to eat?

  • The weather is hot, high temperature.

Sheila — I know right? Let’s see … What about that Indian place. They have some good cold drinks there.

Charles — You like Indian food? I don’t know, I haven’t tried it before.

Sheila — Come on, it’s tasty! Super flavorful. The food can be a little hot though.

  • It can be a little spicy, have lots of spices.

Charles — Hot? You mean spicy?

She opened her eyes wide and gave Charles a big nod.

Sheila — Yeah!

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A “hot” day at the beach 😉 Photo by Shifaaz shamoon on Unsplash

Besides the meanings above, “hot” can mean a few other things. When referring to a person as hot, it usually means they are very attractive. It’s basically a synonym for “sexy.” When referring to an item or object, however, it usually has one of two meanings. Calling something hot might mean that it is really fresh, brand new, and so it is really good. Think of how a cake, loaf of bread, or pizza are best when fresh and hot out the oven (at least in my opinion). Another meaning for hot when referring to an object is that it is stolen. That’s right, stolen goods can be resold for a bigger profit, and those goods are known as “hot.”

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The two friends entered the Indian restaurant and sat down to order their food.

Sheila — So, what should we order?

Charles — I don’t know, you’re the Indian expert. Which one is less hot?

  • Less spicy.

Sheila — These options in green are less spicy. One thing I like about these restaurants is they always have Indian T.V. shows and Bollywood movies playing. Look.

He looked up at the screen and saw a small group of women dressed in loose colorful dresses and garments. Their heads and necks were covered in gold accessories, and they were shaking every inch of their bodies.

Charles — Yeah, I see what you mean. They’re kind of hot.

  • They are kind of sexy, attractive.

Sheila made a snort laugh at this comment and shook her head.

Sheila — Bold man. Hey, what’s that guy doing?

A strange vendor entered the restaurant with a bag full of random items.

Vendor — I’ve got items for sell, I got it all. Everything’s hot off the store shelves. Hey, nice young couple. Y’all want to buy a DVD, bottle of wine? Let me see …

  • Everything is new, in good quality, fresh.

Suddenly the restaurant owner comes out from the kitchen.

Owner — Yeah, I bet all of that stuff is hot! Go away, sir. This is the last time I tell you!

  • I bet all of that stuff is stolen, you’re selling it illegally.

The vendor left without saying a word, probably next door to try to sell his stuff.

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Bougie – Boujee

The last word we’ll look at is this. Both of these are the same word, and in fact, they are pronounced the same way too. Spelling depends on the individual, and there are probably more ways to spell it. This word comes from the French term, bourgeoisie, which was used especially in the 1700s to refer to the French upper-middle class. The term became more derogatory because it referenced the materialistic values and stuck-up ways of the upper class. It got into English and apparently, “boujee” is an easier way to say it. Nowadays, it’s used almost in the same way, to refer to people who are stuck up, who put lots of value on material things, or those upper-middle-class people. Boujee is also used the same way as fancy or for someone who has expensive taste. Think of the song “Bad and Boujee” by Migos.

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The food was finally ready and arrived at their table, sizzling hot.

Sheila — Oh, and here. I ordered you a lassi. It’s like a mixed yogurt and fruit drink. Maybe it’ll cool you off.

Charles — Thanks!

Sheila — Hey, slow down! You’re not gonna have any drink to wash down all this spicy food.

The waiter stayed and asked if they needed anything else.

Sheila — No thanks.

Then she said a few things to the waiter in a language Charles had no chance of understanding. The waiter smiled at her and walked away happily.

Charles — I didn’t know you spoke another language.

Sheila — Yeah, you’re not the only foreigner here, haha. Well, I was born here, but my parents weren’t. All my friends think I’m boujee for eating here because it’s kinda expensive. I’m just trying to keep connected with my roots. And the food is amazing.

  • My friends think I am trying to be fancy, have expensive taste.

Charles nodded in agreement and took a bite. He immediately started sweating.

Charles — Oh my God, this is so hot!

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Like most of the words I cover in this series, boujee and hot may or may not be considered offensive when you’re describing a person. It really all depends on the tone of voice, the way that you say these words, and the perception of the person you’re talking about. For example, men usually don’t take offense to being called “hot,” but for women it could go both ways; some women might take offense while others could be flattered. It’s similar with boujee, because some people are proud to have expensive tastes. Others might be offended by being called stuck-up or trying to look rich. Regardless of if you use these words or not, you will definitely hear them in common speech and especially in popular music. And calling food “hot” is never offensive!

Practice Questions:

  1. Can you use hot and boujee in your own sentences? What situations are best for these words?
  2. Why might someone take offense to being called hot or boujee? Why might someone be flattered?
  3. Have you heard these words in your English studies or listening to English? When was that?
  4. Have you tried Indian food before? What did you think?

Don’t Americans only speak English? – Languages of the USA

Official Language?

Do Americans speak English? Sounds like a simple question. The short answer is …

Well, English is the main language of business, government operations, and daily life for most Americans. There are a few interesting, and perhaps confusing, points to be made about this, though. For example, the U.S. is one of the few countries without an official language. English just happens to be the main language in use because of the long history of British immigration in the beginning, and later, the consistent assimilation of other immigrants into the British turned American culture.

Despite this, thirty of the fifty states do have an official language (English), while the rest, just like at the federal level, don’t have any.

Washington, Rhode Island and Oregon:

  • “English Plus” policy, meaning there is a wider inclusion of languages available for public and governmental use, even though English is still the predominant language in those states.

French has a special status in Louisiana, as with Spanish in New Mexico, but they aren’t official state languages. Cherokee also has official status within the Cherokee lands inside Oklahoma. Other states with native (pre-colonial) languages in an official status are:

  • South Dakota (Sioux)
  • Hawaii (Hawaiian)
  • Alaska, which has over twenty official languages besides English that I don’t dare try to pronounce.

Many states, such as California, Arizona, and Texas, have policies that facilitate public procedures and information in other languages like Spanish, Tagalog, Korean, and so on. And don’t forget that the most linguistically diverse city in the world is located in the United States. New York may have about 800 languages spoken within the city with Queens as the most diverse borough.

Immigrant Languages

With that said, it is common to think of other languages as being very popular among immigrant communities. Few know that the nation home to the second-most Spanish speakers in the world is the U.S. of A., only behind Mexico. That’s 53 million Spanish speakers, or over 16% of all Americans.

Nearly half the population of America’s five biggest cities don’t speak English at home.

In some areas, like Hialeah, Florida, East Los Angeles, California, and Laredo, Texas, it’s over 90% of the population. In a big city like Los Angeles alone, it’s almost 60% of people who speak a language other than English. This trend isn’t just confined to places near the border. Other locations all around the country such as Connecticut and New Jersey (northeast), Illinois and Michigan (Midwest), and Colorado and Nevada (west) have cities or counties where over a third of the people speak a language other than English.

Languages that have over a million speakers:

  • Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Arabic, French and Korean

That doesn’t include second-language speakers. Haitian Creole and several languages from the Indian subcontinent are also on the rise. Even though English is the main language in the U.S. by far, there are tons of languages spoken all throughout the country. So, don’t be surprised if you meet some Americans that respond to your “How are you?” in Gujarati.

You can find more posts discussing American society in the About Americans section. Thanks, and until next time!

More reading:

the U.S. has no official language

Chart showing official languages of the states

The Languages of the U.S.

For Languages spoken in Alaska

Languages spoken in New York City

Spanish speakers in the U.S.

Linguistic diversity in U.S. cities

U.S. communities where English is not the majority