Meaning of "this shit is bananas"

Hi again, I often wonder what kind of lyrics people in Europe listen to every day on the radio. Take this example by Gwen Stefani, in one her songs (which is quite popular in Switzerland) she sings: “… this shit is bananas” and I’m sure 99% of the people here don’t know what this means and I’m one of them. So can you please tell what Gwen Stefani is talking about? She also claims “I’m no holla back girl”. I looked up holla back girl in the Urban Dictionary and the definition says that a holla back girl “… is willing to be treated like a booty call.” Then there is a definition of “booty call”. What I would like to know is the origin of “holla back”. Does it originate from “holler back”, that means, a holla back girl is a girl that gets hollered back at all the time? And what about the origin of booty call?

Thanks for enlightening me!

“This shit is bananas,” means, “This nonsense is insane.”

The lyrics you’re talking about are in ghetto slang, and by the time white people learn it, it’s already out of date.

“Holla back” is “holler back” in US black vernacular. (Not all blacks talk that way, by the way, and many are ashamed of the dialect.) “You holla back,” would mean, “Call me back.” It could be the kind of girl you can ignore until you just want to use her, and she doesn’t seem to mind. The man doesn’t care about her, and he only calls her for sex.

In slang, “booty” means buttocks. (In standard English it means stolen goods or a baby’s knitted shoe.) So a “booty call” is calling up a girl for “booty shakin’” which means sex.

Speaking of that kind of language, at advertising agencies the supplier representatives often bring goodies for the staff to eat. Once, around Christmas time, one graphic design rep visiting an agency where I worked brought us three chocolate chip cookies, each the size of a large pizza. Because Christmas was coming, there was writing on the cookies that said, “Ho, ho, ho!” when you opened the box. That’s supposed to be Santa Claus’s laugh. The most central place to put the cookies was on a secretary’s desk, one on each, so that everyone would see it, cut it up and eat a piece. This meant, however, that each secretary would come back to her desk and see a big cookie that said “Ho” on it. One black secretary put her hand on her hip, gave the supplier rep an indignant look, and shrieked, “Who you callin’ a ho?!” (She was only joking, though.)

Have you seen the movie “Guess who” ?
A white guy wants to merry a black girl, and his father-in-law forces him to tell black jokes to the whole family to prove he’s not a chicken.
One of his jokes:
Why don’t black guys like country music?
Because any time they say “ho down” they think someone’s just shot a syster.
(He’s got two more jokes before the fight’s starting)
By the way, what’s “ho down” in songs?

I haven’t seen that movie, but I like the fact that it was made. It’s a satire on a movie from the 1960s, called “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”. Some white girl brings home her black fiance, and her racist parents are freaked out but try to act civilized at the same time. It’s a depressing film that was supposed to make people think. This later movie, called “Guess Who’s Coming” is a spoof on the earlier one, I guess, where the black father is the racist. Both ideas have truth in them, in my opinion.

Normally a “ho down” is a country music festival with a lot of dancing. Of course, it doesn’t have to take place in the country, because every year amid the skyscrapers of my city, they hold the “Downtown Ho Down” with very famous country stars.

Hi Nicole!

don’t get too frustrated - I live in the US and even I had to ask about some of those words… I’m not that young but I sure didn’t think I was too old to figure it out!


First, you guys are hilarious and i feel so delighted to have come across a forum with such amusing conversation. I’m not being sarcastic either, each person that has posted to this thread seems like someone id love to sit down and interview and write a story about.

Anyway, i suck at ghetto talk, but i have a friend who upon hanging up the phone never forgets to say “HOLLA AT A BROTHA, PEACE” and it is sexy.

However, for all of you who really want to get in touch with your ghetto side, you should check out which i havent explored fully, but i do believe you can type in a sentence and then it makes it into some ebonic form for ya. and you can even send ghettograms to your friends.

enjoy yo.

Hey Nicole,

Bananas is often used for crazy.
Don’t try and understand Gwen Stefani, she’s ever-so-many-levels of incomprehensible.

English is my first language and i was very interested in this thread. I have often wondered what she was talking about in that song too!

For years I worked in a factory where I was the only person who spoke standard English. On one side of me I had foreigner English or a Sicilian-English pidgin, and on the other side I had Ebonics. Since I’m a good accent mimic, I got very proficient at Ebonics, but I don’t keep up with the latest slang. When I speak it, people claim it sounds like another person was inside me speaking out of my mouth. Beyond that, I can sound like several different people.

Hi Jamie, can you also do a Spanish accent? We have an American guest prof at our university who can imitate the way Spanish speakers speak English and it is absolutely great. He sounds as if his native language was Spanish. But he also speaks very good Spanish. Do you think it is possible to imitate an accent without actually being able to speak that language?

I’m not Jamie, but I’m sure he’ll agree with me in that it is quite possible to imitate any accent without knowing languages. I’ve been doing it all my life! It’s a matter of ear, just as with music. Speaking Spanish with an Argentinian accent is one of the easiest for me, by the way, since it’s so characteristic (although it’s not an example of the point we are trying to make)!

I can do several Spanish accents, even in Spanish. I can do espa?ol, ethpa?ol, epa?ol or ehpa?ol. Some Mexican students in a pronunciation class got aggravated and upset because I was speaking Spanish with “our accent” (so they said), but they were working hard and failing to acquire an American accent in English. I am told I can repeat Chaldean with no accent, even though I have no idea what I’m saying.

I can do a Spanish accent, a Russian one, a German one, an Austrian one, a Hindi accent, a Japanese one, and some others. I can also do Brooklyn, New York, (everybody can do that one), Philadelphia, Chicago, parts of the southern US, Canada, and Warren, Michigan. I can do the accent of an elderly American from a Polish neighborhood.

The strangest part is that for many years I’ve been able to tell where people come from just from very subtle things in their speech and movements that most people wouldn’t notice. When I was 22 I could tell that some girl had gone to Our Lady of Mercy High School in Farmington Hills, Michigan, just by seeing her walk into a room and hearing her say a sentence or two. Once when I was 25, I was introduced to a woman about the same age, and I said, “You grew up in Grosse Pointe Woods along Morningside Drive somewhere between Lochmoor Road and Barnes Elementary School.” Her jaw dropped open, because I was evidently right. I know a German guy who can do the same thing with Germans. He doesn’t only get the region right, but he can often even tell what neighborhood they’re from! We don’t guess 100 percent correctly, but we’re right often enough to make it fun.

I’ve had fun with accents since I was about 4.