The other day on the car radio, a travel writer was holding forth about going on holiday to India in the winter. She was saying, “Just make sure you get yourself all the inoculations, don’t get carried away by too much of that red hot curry and everything is going to be copacetic.”
Copacetic – I have heard the word being used often, but only after I migrated to North America. The interesting thing is that in order to understand the meaning, one doesn’t have to look it up. It is the way the word is used that makes the meaning clear.
And that is the beauty of American English – it skewers the meaning of a word and shoves it full in your face and there is simply no way you’re going ta say,’ Now what the f—k did he mean by that?’ For those who are having a hard time understanding the meaning, when someone says ‘everything is going to be copacetic’ it means ‘everything is going to be just fine’.
I fell in love with copacetic the first time I heard it and ever since I have been using it every chance I get. Even the kid who lives in my home fell for copacetic and for a month when he was 12, he would use it for just about everything. I recall once, he was in the loo and I had to go and he wouldn’t come out.
“Boo, you okay?” I shouted through the toilet door,” How long you gonna take? I can’t hold it, I got ta go.”
“Then go ahead and do it in your pyjamas, ChooChoo. It’ll be copacetic, trust me,” he shouted back.
Of course, I didn’t take the kid’s advice, but I was glad to hear him use the word. The fact that he had just gotten tired of using ‘doohickey’ the previous month and latched on to ‘copacetic’ meant he was integrating into North American culture. Doohickey is any small object that you wish to refer to but can’t recall it’s name at that instant. Something like ‘thingamabob’ or ‘whatchamacallit’.
The origins of copacetic are unknown but I am guessing copacetic was early African-American slang……
“Did you bale the hay, boy?”
“Yes, Massa, everything is copacetic.”
American English – second only to American humor. Love them both.
If you keep reading my blog, yeah, you’ll be copacetic.