Day 587: It’s Been Real

(opening music video found here, on YouTube)

“It’s Been Real” is a way people say “Goodbye.”

Is that a particularly American way people say “Goodbye”?  Is it a sarcastic way?  Is it a cool way? Is it a way to — even unconsciously — acknowledge that being real with each other, during any encounter, seems important?

Sometimes I wonder whether my personal interpretations and experiences match other people’s.  Therefore, I just googled “It’s Been Real” and found this:

it’s been real 
A farewell greeting, but with a negative connotation. The speaker is usually disappointed or annoyed at the person to whom (s)he is speaking.
It’s been real. Have a nice life.

Aha!  Urban Dictionary thinks that it’s a particularly negative way to say “Goodbye.” However, I’m not sure if I want Urban Dictionary to be the final authority. After all, Urban Dictionary also says that “It’s been real” is “a farewell greeting,” which seems like an oxymoron, to me.

Let’s see what Yahoo Answers has to say about “It’s been real.”

What does “It’s Been Real” mean?   When you hang out with someone and they say this to you as you’re saying goodbye, what does this mean? Positive/negative connotation?

While that reminds me of All-or-Nothing thinking (judging something as either all positive OR all negative, with no shadings in between) … I still think it’s a good question.

And here is the “best answer”:

It’s positive. It means the time you spent together was genuine, without pretentiousness or egoism.

Wow. That’s confusing.  The first two definitions I find, through Google, are completely contradictory.

I’ll try a third  definition, as a tie-breaker.

Hmmmm. I don’t know if Slang Dictionary — which is the third and final entry coming up for me in Google —  is really going to help much. That says:

It’s been fun, nice

… with no other explanation or connotation, except for this mysterious line:

See also: I don’t know who is fucking skinning this cat, but I’m getting scratched.

Okay. Now my mind is totally blown, and I’m not sure HOW I’m going to finish this post.

There ARE some things I want to tell you, this morning:

  1. Today is the last day of my son Aaron’s appearances as John Wilkes Booth in the Sondheim musical Assassins. (For more about that, see yesterday’s post.)
  2. In less than a week, Aaron and I are boarding a plane to Edinburgh, Scotland, for wee-bit-less-than-a-complete-week of fun at the Fringe Festival.
  3. I love a good pun as much as anybody, and I remember seeing a great pun in Edinburgh, when my son and I were at the Fringe Festival last August.


So what’s the connection? What’s my point, if I do have one?

Just this.  I see a lot of farewell greetings coming up, in the near future.

Thanks to Michael Brecker (for “Itsbynne Reel“), to Edinburgh Scotland, to anyone I’ve ever greeted or farewelled, to those who do their best to define terms, to people who make a real effort to say hello or goodbye, and — of course!  — to you, for reeling by here today.  It’s been real.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , | 46 Comments

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46 thoughts on “Day 587: It’s Been Real

  1. I have never come across this expression before!

  2. Its been reel 🙂 Love it Ann.
    I’m excited for you going back to my home town so soon 🙂 “Amne jealous!”
    Val x

  3. I think of “it’s been real” as sort of negative, know that I think about it. And as an avid pun-lover, that sign made my day. Don’t you just love Edinburgh? A treasure of a city.

  4. I never use the phrase, but I have always assumed that it means, “It’s been fun/nice”. However, I think, as with anything that starts out positive, it has been twisted with ironic meaning: “It’s been fun (yeah, right)”.

    • Yeah, right, Trent! Actually, I’m not being ironic. I think you might be right. And it’s been fun and nice that you commented today.

  5. Two great puns, one post. Thistle Do Nicely indeed, Ann. I hope the Edinburgh residents have some more great signs to warm you and Aaron in your (almost) full week next week.

    • This comment was great for me, Mark, for many reasons. For one thing, it reminded me to check the 14-day forecast for Edinburgh. The prediction: some rain, partly cloudy and sunny, and a range of temperatures between 49 and 65 degrees F. It’s really going to help me pack.

      • Nothing like a 14-day forecast, Ann! Next up, the local Farmer’s Almanac. You know what to pack from last year, I have an inkling.

      • I can have a bad memory for details, Mark. However, I also have a bad memory for how my memory is. So I probably have more inklings than I realize. Again, it’s been real!

  6. I think this is one of those expressions that has moved from pejoration to amelioration.When it first appeared, it was a sarcastic remark meaning it was not a pleasant experience. Now, it seems that it has gained favor as a favorable farewell. I love the way we play with words and change their meaning. Have a great trip.

  7. wonderful!
    i’m sure this weekend i had
    and unreal experience with another 🙂

  8. Miranda Stone

    I guess in this case, the tone of the person matters most, since the saying can be construed in so many different ways.

    • I would say that tone matters, a great deal. How do we even understand each other when we communicate without those tones? Well, I’m picking up good tones from you, today.

      • Miranda Stone

        Good tones indeed! 🙂 I think that’s why we depend so heavily on emoticons when we communicate online. Without a sense of tone or being able to see a person’s body language, it can be very difficult to interpret their meaning.

      • I very stubbornly avoid emoticons, for the most part. If writers before emoticons could convey tone through other means, why oh why can’t I? And yet, people do misunderstand me, I think. I am glad you caught my meaning here!

  9. Ann, I was surprised to see that it had negative connotations as I’ve always seen it as a positive phrase. Then again, whenever I am unsure is something negative or positive was meant, I choose to believe it was positive!

    Diana xo

  10. If! By is, I meant if!

  11. I haven’t run into ‘It’s been real” except on television, so I’ve never had to wonder about connotations.

    Skinning the cat, though — WTF?

    (Your blog is increasing my vocabulary, IMHO)

  12. I’ve heard of “It’s been real.” I always thought of it as positive. But – it could be in the tone too. ?
    My farewells are usually – PeAce out!

    • I’m not surprised that you, who say goodbye with the word “Peace,” see the positive in things, RoSy! Thanks for dropping by and commenting today. Peace Out!

  13. Have a wonderful trip! Farewell for now my blogging friend.
    I usually laugh when someone says, “It’s been real.” as they are leaving. It tells me we talked openly. Apparently, I could be wrong on that point. 🙂

  14. Luis Del Castillo

    As always with your fabulous posts, I learned something new today, ……although I didn’t get the pun but that’s ok.

    Enjoy your trip


    • The puns were: (1) “Thistle Do Nicely” = “This’ll Do Nicely” and (2) “It’s Been Real” = “Itsbynne Reel,” which is the name of the Michael Brecker tune. A reel is a Scottish dance, so it was fun to include that as a reference to our upcoming trip to Edinburgh.

      Some people say that you shouldn’t try to explain humor. However, it’s been real important to me, from a very young age, for there to be clarity of communication and helpful explanations.

      It’s been real, having you comment today, Dr. Del Castillo!

  15. “I don’t know who is fucking skinning this cat, but I’m getting scratched.” — words to live by, I say. 😀

  16. What wonderful travel plans and I hope you have a wonderful time. I’m certain you will. And I love the play “Assassins” so I’m sure that Aaron must be very talented. i love a good pun, but I only identify them…I rarely come up with them on my own, except by lucky accident. 🙂

  17. Pingback: Day 632: Mixed up | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  18. Pingback: Day 644: Magical | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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