Am I still ‘Cool’?

Posted by Colin Higton

When I told my 14 year old that I was writing a blog, he mumbled that it would not be ‘cool’.

I’m hoping that what he meant is that blogging is not cool, but there’s no getting away from the fact that in a 14 year olds eyes, I am not cool.

When did I stop being cool? Do I want to be ‘cool’ ? Was I ever ‘cool’?

So I began to think about the word ‘cool’. We use it all the time in the studio, “yeah thats cool..”, “now that would be cool..” and quite often ending a sentence with just that one word ‘cool’. So where did it all begin?.

Cool as a slang word was first used in the Eighteenth Century to describe someone who was ‘cool as a cucumber’ or ‘ keeping a cool head’, so really referring to someone who was unemotional, calm and in control of themselves. At about the same time a second meaning developed from this standard English term and cool meant ‘ exciting’, ‘enjoyable’ and ‘acceptable’.

In the 1950s ‘cool’ meant controlled or discreet as in ‘stay cool’. Over in America it meant the complete opposite and was used from the 1930s in the same way as ‘bad and ‘wicked’ are used today. Turning the meaning and spelling around, so we now have ‘kewl’.

So ‘cool’ has been around for a lot longer than either I or the grumpy teenager realised and it’s as popular today as it was in the 50s and 60s.


Back to the Blog