The History of the Word 'Banter'
Banter. This word is one of the defining words of our generation, and also one of the most controversial. It covers both harmless fun, and loud mouthed joking, but is it time to send our friend ‘banter’ a get well soon card and retire this phrase once and for all?
Now we at cardshit.com are all for a bit of harmless buffoonery and joking around; you just need to look at our range of “Congratulations On The Divorce. Happy Clunge Hunting” or “Congratulations on the Divorce. Happy Cock Hunting” rude break up and divorce cards to see that we love a bit of profanity and controversy, but has ‘banter’ become boring? A recent article by The Tab seems to think so, and we would be inclined to agree that ‘banter’ is on its deathbed.
‘Banter’ used to represent clever and fact based jokes and comments being exchanged wittily between friends, but over time the meaning has shifted to mean anything from trying to be the most obnoxious cunt around, to attention seeking comments that are neither smart, nor funny. Nowadays hitting a random stranger in public and filming it on your shitty Samsung phone is considered ‘bantaaaahhh’, as is rubbing your balls on your best mate’s coffee mug and not saying a thing. One of these things is funny, and one is just cruel, but both can be described as ‘banter’. Herein lies the problem.
Synonymous with tracksuit wearing chavs and little shits who think that hanging around outside the local pub and jeering at anything in a skirt is tremendous fun, banter has lost its once cheeky charm, and has since been replaced with a rather sour tasting boisterousness that reeks of Union flags, louts and cans of lager. So send your rudest and most controversial get well soon cards to ‘banter’ to save this once iconic form of humour before it’s too late. May we suggest our “Hope It’s Not An STD #getwellsoon”, “Strap a Pair On #getwellsoon” or even our “man up you pussy #getwellsoon” offerings for a start. Good clean fun, and not a lawsuit in sight.
Apparently the word ‘banter’ is over 300 years old, so it’s only natural that over time its meaning and application has been altered a bit, but we really do miss the good old days of cleverly offensive fun. Looking back on the past 5 years of ‘banter’, we think happy slapping, cheeky Nandos and the so-called ‘comedian’ Dapper Laughs’ have a lot to answer for. The roguish online personality went viral a few years ago with his unique blend of swagger and crude commentary, but has since plummeted back down to earth with a nasty bang, and crowds of angry women as his door. Calling his misjudged and unfunny stand up routines ‘banter’ may have seemed like a good disguise at the time, but it has just served to simultaneously destroy the true meaning of the word, and his career too. Actually, maybe Dapper is in need of a few get well soon cards instead…
So stand up for ‘banter’ as it should be and refuse to stoop to the level of cheap laughs and thoughtless jokes. ‘Banter’ is all about smart one-liners and giving your mates a real run for their money, rather than just going for the lowest common denominator to get a laugh. So bring back real humour and do us Brits proud!