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play ahab: Urban Word of the Day

From the inbox:

play ahab

In reference to the novel character who relentlessly pursued the white whale, which is a metaphor for the unattainable or for what the searcher believes to be perfect. So playing ahab is searching for a specific elusive something among a vast group of the like.

Forget her, I'm living in the ocean and I refuse to play ahab.

1 definition

That's a pretty cool slang.  ♥


First I've heard of it, actually. That's pretty obscure.

Not really surprising, 'cause many slangs on UrbanDictionary are really obscure.  Obscure but cool.  :)

To me they fall into the same category as diagnostic LEDs or LED displays on the front of server computers: NBVU.

Neat But Virtually Useless. XD

Practicality is one thing; intellectual cud is another.  It's actually quite fun to spark some conversation out of those random obscure slangs.  See how Sean responded about the novel itself, totally unrelated to the slang itself?

The point here is that words and phrases can mean more than what they are supposed to mean.  The art of “codes,” so to say.  (Damn, where's talinthas when I need him? XD)

The thing that strikes me about it is that it is easy to invent a new expression, but that in itself doesn't make it a general idiom. I still maintain this "play Ahab" thing is really obscure and seems rather limited from a usability standpoint.

It's kind of like ninth grade sex education, I mean, Lifestyles class (and actually, that one is not so bad compared to what they called seventh and eighth grade sex education), where one kid at the back yelled out a slang word for the female genitalia and the teacher turned around and demanded that we "get it out of our systems" and lob at her every single slang word we could think of for human genitalia, and that degenerated to people inventing new words at the end just to be funny. In that same way, inventing new bits of language isn't particularly noteworthy to me.

Practically useless, perhaps among engineers, scientists, and any other non-human-study-majors; I say this because:

(10:33:53) talinthas: well
(10:34:02) talinthas: ahab and his white whale
(10:34:13) talinthas: are rather common metaphors among english majors
No wonder we never understand them, then! XD

C'mon, you'd never know if you would make a good friend with someone who majored in English.  :)

In fact, that obscurity is why I am subscribed to Urban Word of the Day.  It wouldn't be exactly fun if I happen to already know 9 words out of 10, would it?  :)


I had to read it for AP English (although I didn't actually read the last 600 pages) and we spent 2 months on it in class discussing it endlessly oh god why won't it end
I'm digging it... i'm really digging it. I think I'm taking it, in fact.