Clash of Concepts

November 16 – Chief

I have one chief complaint with this day’s word: The only phrase that surfaced with enough force to write about was “my chief complaint.”

Sure, there are other phrases and titles and contexts. Chief of police. Fire chief. Chief executive officer. Editor-in-chief. I could probably write a story about any of those and reference people from my past, but no significant story came to mind.

I googled the word. Sports teams. Definitions.

I learned that chief could be used as a verb. The Urban Dictionary says chief means to smoke tobacco or marijuana, as in, “He was chiefing a cigarette.” I didn’t believe it, so I asked one of my sons, who basically said, “Well, yeah.”

Another quick Google search showed the phrase used in context on several sites, so I suppose it’s actually a thing.

Language—especially slang—is ever-evolving, and if we’re open to it, we can learn something new every day.

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