In the example:

1 - "The most beautiful and perfect experiences of my life all happened when I was trippin' balls."

I belive "trippin' balls" is a reference to some thing being used to ilustrate a state someone is at.

Question one: is "trippin' balls" a phrase being used like a verb or an adjective here?

example 2:

2 - " I smoked some amazing bud and got ripped off my ass when I was supposed to be helping Jenna with her homework."

if we isolate "ripped off my ass" from the text it seems like ripped is a verb so "ripped off my ass" would be more like a verb phrase right?

question two: is "ripped off my ass" in this example being used like an adjective?

  • I'd never seen trippin' balls before, but it looks to me as if it derives from tripping = under the influence of LSD or other psychotropic drugs, and balls is just a quirky "adverbial intensifier" (cf intensely, like crazy). But syntactically speaking, the two-word term trippin' balls here is no different to any ordinary adjective, as in ...it all happened when I was young. Commented Mar 16, 2022 at 12:54
  • @FumbleFingers would you say the same goes for example number 2? Commented Mar 16, 2022 at 13:18
  • "ripped off my ass" (or plain "ripped", the additional adverbial element is syntactically irrelevant) just happens to feature a past tense verb being used adjectivally. For another past tense verb that could be used there instead, consider I bought some amazing beer and got drunk... Note that the fact that these are past tense verbs is a bit irrelevant once we consider how they're being used (adjectivally). Commented Mar 16, 2022 at 13:29
  • Consider I bought some expensive beer and got upset when I realised it was a low-alcohol drink. Strictly speaking, even there, upset is a past tense noun used adjectivally. If we change it to an ordinary (non-verb-based) adjective, such as I bought some expensive beer and got happy when I realised it contained a mescaline-soaked worm as powerful as a tab of acid, most native speakers wouldn't like got + happy at all (even supposing they didn't object to the meaning of my quirky example! :) Commented Mar 16, 2022 at 13:36


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