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In a Youtube video I was watching yesterday I heard some young kid shouting "grizzly status!" over and over again. According to urban dictionary, it applies to extremely extraordinary achievements which demonstrate high skill. What I'm curious about is what the origin of "grizzly" is. Anyone know?

By the way, the video was a compilation of amazing feats in the video game "Call of Duty Modern Warfare".

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I wonder when California teenagers say that word, if it's really from "gristle-y" (as in cartilege,) or "grizzly" (as in gray-coloured) - or are those two from the same place anyway? For that matter, is "grisly" (a grisly murder) from the same as one of those two mentioned? Bill and Ted's gri/s/st/zz/ly adventure! –  Joe Blow Jul 10 '11 at 16:09
    
I'd like to see that video. I bet that, like Joe suggests, they are saying grisly, not "grizzly". See en.wiktionary.org/wiki/grisly –  T.E.D. Jul 11 '11 at 14:59
    
I'll try to track that video down when I get home later. I'm not sure that it would be possible to distinguish whether the kid said "grisly" or "grizzly", not only because they have almost the same pronunciation and also because there's a lot of overlapping sound in the video. Incidently, I found via a web search a page for "grizzly status clothing". Also, in the Call of Duty "web-o-sphere" there are tons and tons of mentions of "grizzly"-this and "grizzly"-that. Damn, this is making me that much more curious! On another note ... not sure who down-voted this, or for what reason? –  jyc23 Jul 18 '11 at 16:03

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Without asking the kid, this reeks of an inside joke or internet meme. My hunch says that the reference is to Grizzly Adams, Bear Grylls, or the animal. (The first two seem unlikely since the kid probably has no idea who Grizzly Adams is and Grylls is distinctly different from Grizzly.)

If the reference is to the animal, than achieving grizzly status would mean to become a difficult to kill beast that is able to tear through enemy forces. Within the context of of Call of Duty video games, this would mean something similar to going on a rampage or killstreak. Notches above "grizzly" could be unstoppable, godly, demigod, etc.


Edit: Truncating to "grizz" makes sense, actually, and refers to a style of play that involves using sniper rifles without a scope and trying to spin around before shooting someone. As the comments below mention, it is named for a famous FPS player: zzirGrizz. YouTubing the name should reveal a few dozen clips of examples.

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From the very limited info I have "Grizz" was apparently the name of a highly-regarded player of the game. Perhaps that player adopted the name in reference to Grizzly Adams. –  jyc23 Jul 18 '11 at 16:17
    
Oh! grizz makes sense, actually, and refers to a style of play that involves using sniper rifles without a scope and trying to spin around before shooting someone. As you mention, it is named for a famous FPS player: zzirGrizz. YouTubing the name should reveal a few dozen clips of examples. I updated my answer to include this information. –  MrHen Jul 18 '11 at 16:47

I think I found the answer. From urbandictionary.com

Grizz is a well known member of the Youtube Call of Duty community. He is well known for his "Matrix" montages. These montages include various trickshots and multi-kills, mostly ending with his team-mates chanting "ohh ohh ohh, how did he do that?!?!!?"

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Heh, I hadn't noticed you posted your own answer. :) I think this is correct. –  MrHen Jul 18 '11 at 16:50

Etymonline gives the etymology as:

grizzly 1590s, from grizzle “gray” (see grizzled) + -y (2). Grizzly bear (ursus horribilis) is first recorded 1807 but belongs rather to grisly.

The reference to "grizzly status" is obviously from the meaning of grizzly bear, which is an awesome and dangerous animal, preeminent in its natural habitat. Cf. Sarah Palin's attempt to associate herself with the animal by calling herself a "Mama grizzly" ...

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I like the Latin name ursus horribilis! The mention of 'grisly' here agrees with wikipedia: "When naturalist George Ord formally named the bear in 1815, he misunderstood the word as grisly, to produce its biological Latin specific or subspecific name horribilis." –  z7sg Ѫ Jul 11 '11 at 14:08

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