Posted by Marian on January 06, 2002

In Reply to: sketch posted by masakim on January 06, 2002

: : My kids are home from college at the moment. They say that the word 'sketch' is in use among their friends there as an adjective. So far as I can tell, it means 'questionable; may even prove unsavory upon further examination.' I asked for examples of the word's use. They gave me these:
: : "We drove up to a hostel in Chicago. It was pretty sketch," one said. "What do you mean?" I asked. "It looked run-down. We weren't even sure we wanted to check it out." Another:
: : "An Internet friend can be sketch."
: :
: : Is anyone familiar with this term? On a slightly different tack, could this be an example of a "flash in the pan," which, as I understand the phrase, refers to something or someone that only momentarily basks in popularity before it fades into obscurity?

: From Cassell's Dictionary of Slang by Jonathon Green:
: sketch adj. [1980s+] (US campus) risky, dangerous [SKETCHED OUT]
: sketched adj. [1980s+] (US campus) bad, bizarre, weird [SKETCHED OUT]
: sketched out adj. [198os+] (US campus) suffering paranoia due to the effects of hallucinogenic drugs; thus _sketching_, coming down from a drug-induced high. [SKETCHY ]
: sketchy adj. 1 [late 19C+] flimsy, insubstantial, vague. 2 [1980s+] (US campus) confused, unstable, strange, unsettling.

Thank you for that very complete answer.