If you've every been in Nashville long enough, then you know that there is more to this city than country music and seriously committed Elvis impersonators. Nashville (and its surrounding cities) has a language all to its own. A few weeks ago I was venturing into the Nashville community once more after 3 years of almost exclusively working with clients outside Nashville. In less than one week I was worn out with all the uber-religious language that naturally seeps in and out of transactional language (believer and sub-par-believer alike). On a couple of occasions I was actually dumbfounded at how to steer the conversation back on business-course (Rarely am I tongue-tied).
In mulling over these expressions, I thought I would try my hand at defining a few of these idioms and giving them accurate illustrations. While I recognize that these terms have other meanings (and probably more legitimate meanings) I submit to you 13 examples below that represent ACTUAL conversations based upon my interpretation of these conversations:
1. hey, broth·er! [/ˈhā brəT͟Hər/]
- Hey, brother! You're such an encouragement to me which also can mean I can't think of any specific way you have helped me but you have assets I want to reserve now in case I need them in the future. That's why I'm being nice to you! or Hey, brother! We should do coffee sometime which also can mean I need thousands of dollars of free, professional advice from you because I've gotten myself into major marital, legal, or financial trouble.
2. covet [/ˈkəvət/]
- More than your money, I covet your prayers which also can mean Did I not make it clear the first time that I'm asking you for money? or You are obligated to give me something because either I am very spiritual and to be admired or I am in dire straits and YOU are the answer to my prayer.
3. root of bitterness [/ˈro͞ot əv bidərnəs/]
- Don't listen to anything that person says because it comes from a root of bitterness which also can mean That person knows too much and can ruin us. If you listen to that person or associate with him or her in any way, then consider yourself fired or, at the minimum, dead to me.
4. praise the Lord [/'prāz T͟Hē lôrd/]
- Well, praise the Lord! It's so good to see you which also can mean I have nothing of importance to say to you, but I'm too cowardly to tell you... but at least I'm being friendly by being religious about it.
5. the Bible says [/'T͟Hē bībəl sez/]
- I know that you have issues with such-and-such a person or organization, but the Bible says that talking about others is sin which also can mean Shut your mouth or If you know what's good for you, then shut your mouth. Or else.
6. in the name of Jesus [/'in 'T͟Hē nām əv jee-zuhs/]
- I rebuke that evil spirit in the name of Jesus which also can mean I have no interest in listening to any critique because it might be legitimate, making me feel bad about myself and ruining my day.
7. for the glory of God [/'fôr T͟Hē ɡlôrē əv ɡäd/]
- We need to confront those lies for the glory of God which also can mean If we need to character assassinate or alter the truth to annihilate our opposition then it's permissible because... well, because we are especially special.
8. anointed [/'əˈnoint id/]
- I received an anointed word that I need to quit taking my medication which also can mean I'm naturally oppositional and don't like taking medication or taking doctor's orders, so screw that crap.
9. God told me [/'ɡäd tōld mē/]
- God told me that he will prosper us because we've been persecuted for so long and our day is coming which can also mean We've been buttholes to people for so long that everybody hates us. Things have gotten so bad that something HAS to get better or we're done for.
10. Christ-centered [/'krīst sen(t)ərd/]
- Our business offers a Christ-centered service even though we are a start-up which can also mean Even though we have no interest in anything but minimal compliance (because the government sucks) and even though we have a high turnover rate of clients, at least we have the freedom to talk about Jesus while we are working (even though we probably should be working).
11. serving the Lord [/'sərviNG/ T͟Hē lôrd/]
- We need to be busy serving the Lord instead of living like the world which can also mean Whatever normal people are doing, we don't have to be doing because we are special people. No one will understand us, and no one can understand us because they are all idiots.
12. child-like spirit [/'CHīl(d)līk spirit/]
- I like her because of her child-like spirit which can also mean She lets me touch her boobs, and then apologize, touch her boobs again, and then apologize AGAIN. This is great!
13. answer to prayer [/'ansər/ to͞o prer/]
a. Getting what one wants.
- That thunderstorm was really an answer to prayer which can also mean I didn't know how I was going to meet all of my obligations today, but then one of my customers had to go to the emergency room... so I had four hours free to catch up on work!
Providentially, you get the point!
P.S. Please, add your own definitions below.