kicks meaning shoes

HSS

Senior Member
Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
I just came across 'kicks' meaning 'shoes.' Is this use of 'kicks' popular, or already used to be popular and gone? Could you use it for flip-flops?

You're wearing nice kicks! Where did you buy them?
 
  • perpend

    Banned
    American English
    I had never heard it it in my life until that song "pumped-up kicks". Maybe I just don't know the right people! :)

    I didn't even realize in that song that they were talking about shoes. I thought they really meant enthusiastically kicking high, like cheerleaders do.
     

    -mack-

    Senior Member
    American English
    It's somewhat common for youth in American English to say kicks for shoes (especially exceptionally flashy/unusual shoes like high-top skate sneakers or basketball shoes), but using the term should be avoided in most situations as some people may perceive the term as clichéd or trite. In music, it's completely okay (kids with the pumped up kicks, who's that chick that's rockin' kicks), but in conversation, just say shoes unless the other people use the word kicks first.

    Also, as a note, kicks would not be used for shoes other than sneakers.
     

    -mack-

    Senior Member
    American English
    Well, coming from me (50+) it would sound plain weird. I'd never use it anyway.
    Absolutely. If you're over 30, don't ever say it. It will just sound like you're trying to act like an 18 year-old or trying to be "cool." Even if you're young, the term may not be well-received by other youth. It's very slangy, which is why it's okay in music but in conversation may be almost humorous.
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    mack, But what if I'm a fortysomething dating a twentysomething, and I want to sound hip with the lingo? :) That would be so chill.

    Sometimes you do have to try to be "cool".
     

    -mack-

    Senior Member
    American English
    Perpend, that entire sentence made me laugh, thus proving my point. ;) Besides, if he/she's 20-something dating a 40-something, he/she probably has some reason to date someone older. Dude, just, like, you know, be, like, yourself, like.

    (Also, I think using chill as an adjective is a California thing — I dunno if that's nationwide. But that's off-topic.)
     

    morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    mack, But what if I'm a fortysomething dating a twentysomething, and I want to sound hip with the lingo? :) That would be so chill.

    Sometimes you do have to try to be "cool".
    I'll be honest with you. A man in his...well, not early 30-s may be, but in 40-s looks a bit laughable when he is trying to look "cool".
    And, a twenty-something dating a forty something is looking in him for something else than being hip and look like a 20-yea-old. She has 20-year-olds for that,

    I would not use it. I am fine with using my generation slang. Not too much. Using "kicks"...nah.

    (I can see Mack and I said the same thing :) )
     

    -mack-

    Senior Member
    American English
    I think perpend meant to make a joke. :)

    Anyway, my final point is that I think this is one of those cases where it's important to realize that American music uses a lot of slang that is okay in music but laughable in everyday conversation. After all, I think music and movies are how most people around the world encounter American English.
     

    morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    It can't be emphasized enough.

    I think we can even ask moderators to write some good warning for those learning languages, so they don't try to learn from songs' lyrics (or, from poetry, for that matter). But especially from lyrics.

    When I was young, there was no one to tell me that and I had to figure it out the hard way.
    Big waste of time and effort, plus makes you sound ridiculous.
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    Well, I was trying to make a joke, but when it's said that "no one over XXX age should say that" ... hmm ... that's a bit harsh. There is, as we all know, a context for everything under the sun. :) And, I'm supportive of cross-generational relationships, for what it's worth. So, maybe HSS (the original poster) is curious.

    That said, I agree, mack, with your overall "sick" assessment. I indeed first heard "chill" used in CA as an adjective, and my ears went "what?". It is commonplace among youth there. (I lived there a long time.)
     

    -mack-

    Senior Member
    American English
    Yeah, I go to the University of Southern California (in Los Angeles), and "we're like," "Oh, that's chill​" all the time. I was born in Ohio, though. I picked it up here. Then again, slang from California has a tendency to spread across the rest of the country moreso than slang from other places.
     

    -mack-

    Senior Member
    American English
    Yes, it's used like cool. Also, these posts are probably going to get deleted because they're not chill because they're off-topic, but I liked this discussion. :)
     

    morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    I hope it survives: the discussion is germane to the topic; it tell the asking pasrty about the usage, providing examples.
    I agree - we probably have enjoyed it enough; time to stop.
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Kix is breakfast cereal to me. Kicks used to mean shoes is totally unknown in my world, dude.

    This term used like this may be a fleeting wave, or it may turn out to be an enduring term in the future.

    My guess is it's going to end up sounding like groovy down the road.
     

    morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    Every generation has its slang. Some dies, some lives. What lives, eventually becomes an old slang, and old people say it. May even become classy. Like "groovy". For me it associates with Simon and Garfunkel, and what can be classier than that.

    But I will stick to my generation slang.

    "Kicks" for me is "for kicks", "kicks ass", "get your kicks on Rte 66".

    I am not greedy. I will live something to the young. In all honesty, I don't even feel like saying "nice kicks; goes well with your glass frame". Not for me. Not for me.
     
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