- “Hi there, I am exceptionally aware of or interested in the latest trends and tastes, and am a devotee of modern jazz.”
Thank god the Times grammar nerd column, After the Deadline, decided to look at the usage of the word hipster in that publication (mainly because it has given something to write about). Citing the O.E.D and the American Heritage dictionary we learn that “hipster” is derived from the 1940s slang “hepcat,” and that a hipster is: “One who is exceptionally aware of or interested in the latest trends and tastes, especially a devotee of modern jazz.” Which, as we have all learned, is obviously the case.
We also learn that way back in 1990 the Times used “hipster” on only 19 occasions (most likely in reference to the now apparently batshit crazy John Lurie… Have you read that New Yorker profile?! Holy shit), bumping up to a more impressive 100 in 2000, and finally plateauing to the annual average of 250 in 2005. The good news (I suppose) is that, at least per the Times, Brooklyn is hipper than Manhattan, insofar as last year 96 articles that used the word “hipster” also used the word “Brooklyn,” compared to a paltry 87 when it came to “Manhattan.” Pyrrhic victory, etc.