Vocab Lesson: The Transitive Vibe

2023-03-16  hungry

We all know and love the word "vibe." It probably tops my list of most overused words of the present day. I don't actually have a list but often I do feel like I need to stop putting "vibe" at the end of my sentences all the time! I'd wager that every reader of this post is familiar with the various ways we can use "vibe," for example: - as a noun: "That last hungry post on moodring.nyc was such a vibe!" "Idk, It was funny but it kinda gave me libertarian vibes." - as an adjective: "I miss Danny's, it was always so vibey in there." - as an intransitive verb: "My hinge date and I were really vibing last night! She had to leave after 30 minutes but I think it went really well!" But during my time as a Big Jazz Boy, I often heard another use of "vibe" that deserves a place in the lexical spotlight. When we take the happy, intransitive verb form of vibe and add a direct object, the meaning becomes more sinister... In the colloquial jazz world, "to vibe" means to be rude, or passive-aggressive, or condescending, or generally unpleasant to someone. Suppose you and I are at the jam, and every time you call a tune I give you the stink eye and audibly sigh before counting things off. Then after you say you'd rather not play Giant Steps I say "oh, I mean it's a pretty easy one..." You might go home after and think, "That drummer was really vibing me tonight! What was his problem?" Notice that "vibe" is now transitive—I am vibing you, not vibing with you. Each of these acts by themselves is me vibing you, and as a whole they are still me vibing you. This phrase often feels useful to me when I want to indicate that someone has been actively impolite to me, but not necessarily directly mean—"getting bad vibes" from someone is mild but passive, while "being a dick" to someone is active but extreme. "Vibing" someone fills a much-needed linguistic gap of mild and active disrespect. I hope you learned something today in this vocab lesson. Let's conclude with some more examples of the difference between the transitive and intransitive "vibe." Feel free to post your own for practice! Intransitive: "I was vibing with the bassist in rehearsal yesterday, I'm excited for our gig!" Transitive: "I was vibing the bassist in rehearsal yesterday, I hope she quits the weezer cover band!" Intransitive: "They and I always vibe! We spent the whole dinner laughing with each other." Transitive: "They always vibe me! They spent the whole dinner laughing at me for being in a weezer cover band." Intransitive: "Her new boyfriend really vibed with us last night, he seems great!" Transitive: "Her new boyfriend really vibed us last night, even though we were so nice when he showed us his rapey anime dvd!" (this one is real)