Tuesday, September 19, 2006

People v. Matye (Cal. Ct. App. - Sept. 19, 2006)

I'm not as young as I once was. (That said, who is?) Accordingly, I don't always know the latest terminology.

Much less am I routinely cognizant of whatever hip street terms the kids are using these days. Though I can use the word "cognizant" in a sentence. Which has to count for something, right?

Regardless, I love learning new stuff in judicial opinions. They're a font of information, and often in areas you don't necessarily anticipate.

Like here. Until I read this opinion, for example, I didn't know what a "bag whore" was. It's just not a term with which I was familiar.

Fortunately, Justice Scotland helpfully explains that a "bag whore" is "a person involved in sex and drugs". (More accurately, I think, it's someone who trades -- formally or otherwise -- sex for drugs.) Which makes sense, once you think about it. I just had never heard the term used before. Now I have.

It turns out, by the way, that unlike many phrases, the term "bag whore" hasn't been used that often. At least in judicial opinions. So, for example, I could only find a single other case that has ever used the term. Justice Callahan used that phrase back in People v. Leonard in 2002. And Justice Callahan defined the phrase a bit less delicately -- and probably more accurately -- than Justice Scotland, and explained that a bag whore was someone who "was prostituting herself to make money for drugs."

But, other than that, no other references to bag whore. Contrast that discussion, by the way, to other -- more familiar -- euphemisms. So, for example, "motherf***er" appears 1317 times. Though that term is fairly self-explanatory, no? Or "crack whore", used 21 times. Or, more unusually, "gutter slut", used twice. (I especially liked the colorful use of that term in an opinion from the Supreme Court of Virginia, rendered just last week, in which the defendant wrote the prosecutor, among other things: "[F]**k you, you fat, c**ksucking, c*m guzzling, gutter slut. I guess I'll see your b*tch ass on Dec. 18 at trial because I'm not pleading to sh*t." Nice. )

But, unlike these terms, California has an exclusive patent on the term "bag whore". Only used twice, only in California, and only in the 21st century.

California. We lead the nation. In bag whores and in so, so many other things.