If you’re a young person who enjoys Snapchatting memes on the 4chans, you know that these days, all the hippest ‘net lingo moves at lightning-fast, 2400-baud speed. Fortunately, you can always log on to the cyberspace skate park that is Time Magazine’s “Viral” section, where you can Netflix what all your fellow kids are saying. Today, Time informs us, all the cool kids are saying, “Hold My Avocado.” Streaming!
“’Hold My Avocado’ Is The Viral Catchphrase Millennials Have Been Looking For,” Time proclaims, bringing to an end their long, nomadic quest by alerting them to this tweet from millennial icon Ken Norton, Google Ventures partner, A$AP Product Manager, and reluctant voice of a generation:
As Time explains, Norton’s cheeky, imaginary exchange perfectly captures the current anxieties over escalating tensions between the U.S. and North Korea—all while touching on growing economic disparity and common stereotypes about millennial consumption—in one “zeitgeist-encapsulating” phrase. Time, holding its avocado aloft like a beacon unto rocky rhetorical shores, points out that “hold my avocado” is a clever play on the common “hold my beer” joke construction, often used to wryly denote an implied competition between two persons or groups to see who can screw up worse. As in:
A PATHETIC OLD PERSON OF APPROXIMATELY 38: I attempted to use a joke I’ve seen on Twitter, but somehow I can never quite grasp the irony, and now I just feel like the world’s most desperate relic of an era that’s rapidly becoming obsolete.
TIME MAGAZINE: Hold my beer.
“The thing that makes this catchphrase relevant is the canny swap-in of ‘avocado’ for beer,” Time, the “hold my avocado” of jokes, helpfully elucidates. After all, the avocado has become a “shorthand for the trends and priorities that millennials, in particular, embody” through their love of artisanal, mortgage-obliterating avocado toast. And thus, Time concludes, “‘hold my avocado’ is a quick way to denote the contemporary millennial experience: seeking luxury wellness, but potentially derailed by sociopolitical developments.”
Quite! And now that the semiotics of this Twitter joke have been explained, in the thorough manner that millennials enjoy, go forth and use it! Cast off your old millennial slogans, like “Can I Have A Job?” and “Please Stop Writing Trend Pieces About Me” and “Whoopity Whoopity, That’s Some Dadgum Good Gravy! Also, I Hope I Don’t Die!” and come on home to “Hold My Avocado”—the pithy delineation of generational concerns over future stability amid a period of political chaos and threats of nuclear war you’ve been searching for.