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The Big Picture

What does chickenjagging mean?

chickenjag \ 'chik-ən-jag\ vb 1 slang a: to go slowly b: to hold others back 2 slang a: to leisurely enjoy the company of another without regard for instrumental consequences b: to stop and smell the roses.

I talk about the creation of this word in my upcoming book, The Big Picture: A Sociology Primer (McGraw-Hill). The short version is that my daughter, Eleanor, was riding on my shoulders while we were on a walk in the mountains in Oregon. My wife and other daughter, Emily, were falling further behind, talking and taking in the scenery. El turned around and yelled back to them, "Stop chickenjagging!" It was the perfect word at the perfect time. But in order for it to truly be a word, it must be shared and used by others. This site is devoted to spreading the word (and to saying a thing or two about language and reality).

Language is often invisible to us. What I mean is that we take it for granted without noticing the power it has over how we think and act or even how much we need it.

We are the sources of the meanings we share, yet once we construct the meanings of words and their relationships to each other, we are constrained by them.

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