Invading Bro Nation

I started a job hunt this summer, sure that I'd land where I was supposed to be. The interview went well, I betrayed loyalty to a rival sports team and still got the job.

That's when I met the Bros.

You know who I'm talking about. The great hair, the sculpted eyebrows, lean frames, girlfriends they refer to as "Baby Girl" and the like. Athletes, fantasy football heroes, Mumford fans. A tan that a pale guy like me could only buy in a store.

In my first week, I didn't find the right moment to say, "Are you as excited about Celine's new English-language CD as I am?" After all, I was busy getting used to my new surroundings.

I've learned a lot in my first few months. And very little of it was about beer pong.


Let me help bring you into the fold here. Our first lesson is in language.

Accept right away that you'll never understand it.

Don't believe me? Let's try the following exercise. Try translating the English text below, into proper Bro-Speak:

Oh boy, Jeff, I had some really good guacamole last night, and that
reminds me that I'm pretty hungry now. Would you like to split a
bagel with a bit of cream cheese, or maybe get a turkey sandwich at lunch?

That's tough, right? I've got a round of cocktails for you if you guessed this:

Bro, I crushed that guac overnighties. Mad h(o)ngry now dude.
Wanna go quarty cheesy scoops on that bagel? Maybe grab some turks, some turks and cakes?

Now, you might wonder a few things. The first thing that might cross your mind is "What the hell did you just say?" And trust me, that's natural. It may sound alien, but this language is a completely normal way for Bros to communicate in their natural environment. The second thing you might find yourself thinking is, "Jeez, Anthony, why did you replace the "u" in "hungry" with an "o"?

Alright, now that was an advanced technique I used, seen often in more highly-developed Bro cultures, where vowels are modified in a way that makes every word sound distinctly Californian. When attempting to communicate with Bros, the trap you'll find yourself falling into is to over-Brooklynize your vowels; this is a folly that will leave you on the outside looking in.

Ready for another exercise? Try translating this into Bro-Speak:

I'm angry with Ben, he stole my client and I should say something to him about it, it doesn't seem fair.

This seems like an important translation for you, fellow academics, because it has to do with communicating an emotion. Here's how that shakes down in Bro-Speak:

That squid is a snake bro, he's a(n) shark.

Here, the use of animal imagery helps to convey a tone. By using animals that seem vicious and ornery, our Bros are able to communicate their feelings openly, or at least, through G-Chat.

I want to be clear, my new co-workers have been very polite to me, very helpful in teaching me the systems and processes of my new job. I have learned from their experience, and am better at my job because of their help. They're just playful with each other, that's all. Know what I mean?

Oh! Great example of how playful Bros can be! When you're walking through the office, be sure to watch your head. In any given setting, Bros are able to make it into a game, where anything that is not nailed down is fair game, to be picked up and throw at, or into, anything that is. Don't limit yourself by thinking this applies exclusively to balled-up paper and a garbage can. Think outside of the box! Paper clip down the back of the shirt? Yes! Stress ball into the coffee cup? Absolutely! Clementine into the cubicle? Why not?! It's when you limit yourself that you become your limits.

So that takes us through language and playtime. I don't want to overwhelm you in our first lesson. Let's stick to the comedy rule of three.

This is a pretty easy tip. When you find yourself in a situation where you disagree with someone, don't have the answer to a question, or simply don't want to answer it, just reply in the negative. All the time.

"Henry, I know you're not a Devils fan, but you've got to admit that
Marty Brodeur is a great goalie." <NAH BRO.>

"Jeez, I have so much paperwork on my desk." <NAH.>

Do you see what I've done there? In the first example, my inquiry about a sports player was refuted through a Bro's use of the word "nah." In the second example, you'll see that the Bro's use of "nah" became less about engaging, and more about simply saying something in the empty space after someone has spoken. It's through the balanced and nuanced use of negative responses that your transition into fully-functioning Bro-Speak will find its firmest roots.

Sometimes, another Bro will hear the negative "nah" response, and he'll respond in kind with "Is." That's an affirmative-negative exchange response, and that can loop for dozens of rounds.


And so it will continue, for too long.

Now, for bonus points, I want to posit this. It is a result of my personal experiences that I believe you are guaranteed a Bro-Chuckle if you elongate words. This might be contrary to your instinct. You might be thinking, "Anthony, don't Bros refer to each other by last name only, and shorten even those to mostly mono-syllabic utterances, ending in a 'y'?"

Yes, yes they do. My last name, Romeo, is shortened to Romy. Schuppel is Schuppy, Steinberg is Steiny, and Marshall is Marshy.

However, if you can elongate a word, the Bros will smile upon you. Next time you're in a wild Bro Pack, throw this one out, and you'll do just fine.

Hongry dude, could really crush some can-deeeeeeeeeeeee.

If this doesn't result in the nearest Bro throwing candy at you, towards you, over you, or towards your garbage can, you're doing it wrong.

We've learned a lot here today, and I hope you've found the lesson informative and helpful. I can be reached with any questions you might have.

And Christ on the cross, please keep giving me amazing material every day.

This is Anthony Bro-meo, signing off.