Harsh My Mellow

“Harsh My Mellow” Definition, Origin, etc. Volume 1.1

Original Release: 3/17/2009

Dear Subscribers to Rema’s: “I grew up in this country and still don’t know their Idioms.”

First heard: In cab en route to the Kill Bill restaurant in Tokyo with Chloe, Chris and Rob.
Context: Rob was about to summarize the readings for global strategy class he did earlier on the computer and Chloe said, you better do it now before dinner and drinks rather than “harsh my mellow.”

BASIC DEFINITION: buzzkill (when used with “don’t harsh my mellow” intention is “don’t be a buzzkill”)

ORIGIN: From Worldwideworlds.org: The longer expression seems to have originally been West Coast drug and hacker slang of the middle 1990s. It became more widely known in 1997 when it turned up in The Online Adventures of Ozzie the Elf on ABC television. When Ozzie is criticized by an elf in Santa’s workshop, he says, “Don’t harsh my mellow”. Since then, as you’ve discovered, it has begun to appear from time to time in mainstream newspapers and magazines; I’ve seen it in Time magazine and also in the issue of Fortune for March 2003: “That guy really harshes my mellow, and I don’t appreciate it”.


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5 responses to “Harsh My Mellow

  1. Steve

    Don’t always believe what you read on the internet. Totally off on this one. My friends and I were using “don’t harsh on my mellow” back in the early ’80’s. I’d like to say it was a Cheech and Chong album quote, but I can’t find reference and I don’t have copies. It was common in the West Coast stoner lexicon of that era (and I lived in Idaho). It became main stream enough by 1991 to be used as an album name, “Harshing My Mellow,” by the band Bewitched, which was a side-project for Sonic Youth drummer Bob Bert (see: http://www.allmusic.com/artist/bewitched-mn0000052652). Possibly Pauly Shore in Encino Man, 1992, as well?

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  4. Joe Hall

    Yeah, I was a teen in mid-70s Chicago and we were using that phrase back then.

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