Philanthropy’s Kindly Origins: A Conversation with Ruth Ann Harnisch


Eight months ago we announced Wordnik’s not-for-profit status, and shortly after we launched our Adopt A Word program. To date more than 300 words have been taken into loving homes.

Each time a word is adopted we’re delighted and grateful — every cent helps to keep Wordnik ad-free — so you can imagine our surprise and delight when philanthropist and “recovering journalist” Ruth Ann Harnisch adopted not one, not two, but six words, and then going even farther by offering to sponsor a whole letter.

We had a chance to catch up with the founder of the The Harnisch Foundation (and 2014 honoree, along with Wordnik founder Erin McKean, of Forty over 40) and found out more about why she selected the words she adopted, how she arrived at sponsoring the letter S, and how anyone can be a philanthropist.

First of all, thank you so much for your sponsorship and adoptions! You adopted six words: feminism, feminist, philanthropy and philanthropist, and filmanthropy and filmanthropist. Why these words? How do they reflect your beliefs and what’s important to you?

I’m a feminist. I believe that women (and all genders) should be treated fairly and equitably, in equal rights under the law, and equal dignity in society. I’m grateful to everyone in history whose courage and cultural disruption are part of the change that will be a new way of life in the future.

I’m also a philanthropist. I know the joy and satisfaction of actively working to disrupt unfair institutions and helping to create a world that works better for everyone.

People are intimidated by the word or concept of “philanthropy,” but I’d love for everyone to look at the origin of the word and see that it’s not very intimidating at all. [Editor’s note: philanthropy comes from a Greek word meaning “kindliness, love to mankind”.] Philanthropy doesn’t equal money. Money is only one way to express one’s value of caring for others.

In addition to being a philanthropist, I’m a filmanthropist — I make philanthropic investments in film and other media. While others engage in filmanthropy to advance the environment, stop war, etc., my specific intention is putting more women’s stories on the screen, and hiring more women and other underrepresented people to direct, produce, write, edit, shoot, star, and fill the crowd of extras.

How about the letter S? What’s so special about it?

I picked the letter “S” because as is my custom in making philanthropic investments, I did research to see what would produce the biggest bang for the buck. When Erin told me about sponsoring entire letters, I asked if the “popularity” of the adopted letter affected the size of the donation required to sponsor it. When I was told that all letters were going for the same price at this time, I asked which letters would be the best bargains. Well, I’m always learning something new, and if you click the link you will too. Word to the wise: “C” what the next best bargain is!

What advice do you have for those who want to give more but may feel like they don’t have the time (or resources)?

Anyone can be a philanthropist. If you can give nothing else, giving your attention to a cause, an organization, or a leader you care about can be a welcome gift indeed. You’d be surprised how many opportunities there are for you to have impact by making the tiniest of contributions of time, skill, grunt work, or actual currency. Share their story on social media, retweet them, talk them up to others, and when an opportunity presents itself, be aware and be bold.

Word Buzz Wednesday: Night Witches; putsch; super-big

The Night Witches ready for a raid, 1944 (photo via Vanity Fair).

Welcome to Word Buzz Wednesday, in which we round up our favorite buzzworthy words of the week. The latest: badass female pilots; another strange word from Justice Scalia; and basketball players, extra-large.


Featherbowling was born from that medieval family of games that endure in no small part because they can be played with a beverage in the shooter’s free hand.”

Chris Koentges, “Believe in Featherbowling,” ESPN, Jun 19, 2015

Featherbowling — or trabollen in Dutch — originated in Flanders, Belgium, and is similar to curling. ESPN describes it as bocce except instead of balls “you roll discs that have been slightly weighted to rotate unevenly across the earth, exposing the shooter’s secret divine grace.”

Night Witches

“By the end of the war, the Night Witches had flown somewhere in the vicinity of 30,000 bombing raids, delivering around 23,000 tons of munitions right to Nazi’s.”

Eric Grundhauser, “The Little-Known Story of the Night Witches, an All-Female Force in WWII,” Vanity Fair, June 25, 2015

This month marks the 73rd anniversary of the establishment of the Night Witches, a Soviet “all-female squadron of bomber pilots who ran thousands of daring bombing raids with little more than wooden planes and the cover of night.”

The squadron was started by the “Russian Amelia Earhart,” Colonel Marina Raskova, who “lobbied to finds ways for women to take a more active role in the war.” In early fall 1941, Raskova’s efforts paid off: Joseph Stalin himself ordered that she set up a trio of all-women air squads, including one team of night bombers.

To stay hidden, the pilots would kill their engines when they neared their targets, “making a light ‘whooshing’ sound.” Soon German soldiers began calling them Nachthexen, or “Night Witches,” and even thought the women had been given special pills that “gave them the night vision of a cat.”


“But despite the initial plea from the artist who created an online page for the word and asked others not to use it anywhere else on the Internet, ‘parbunkells,’ which means ‘coming together through the binding of two ropes,’ immediately popped up all over cyberspace.”

Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska, “‘Parbunkells’ Conquers the Internet Against Artist’s Wishes,” DNAInfo, June 26, 2015

Julia Weist, a Brooklyn artist (natch), posted this rare 17th-century word on a billboard, which made a lot of people on the internet realize they don’t know everything. Weist unearthed the word in a 1627 publication housed in the New York Public Library’s Rare Book Division.

(H/t: Mededitor)


“He called the decision a ‘judicial Putsch’ and ‘a threat to democracy’, in which the majority discovered a right to marriage that all the US legal minds before them had overlooked.”

Anthony Zurcher, “Gay marriage: It’s a ‘judicial Putsch’ warns dissenting Scalia,” BBC, June 26, 2015

A putsch is similar to a coup, or “a sudden attempt by a group to overthrow a government.” The word putsch comes from the German Putsch, “revolt, riot,” or literally, “a sudden blow, push, thrust, shock,” which is imitative in origin.


“So often, super-bigs, as players like Meng and Sing are called, get overworked. Their feet, still growing, can’t handle the stress of carrying such large bodies up and down a court. They break down.”

Les Carpenter, “Satnam Singh: an NBA history-maker, and a new type of super-big,” The Guardian, June 26, 2015

Super-big is basketball slang for an enormous player — one who’s often over seven feet tall.

Word Buzz Wednesday: adorabilis, Brotox, symmetrization

Jellyfish 1

Welcome to Word Buzz Wednesday, in which we round up our favorite buzzworthy words of the week. The latest: a totes adorabilis octopus; Brotox for brow’s feet; a self-healing jellyfish.


“‘One of the thoughts I had was making it ‘Opisthoteuthis adorabilis’ because they are just—yeah, they’re really cute,’ she says in the video by Science Friday.”

Gwynn Guilford, “This tiny octopus is so cute, scientists want to name it ‘adorabilis,’” Quartz, June 17, 2015

Looking like something out of Finding Nemo, this tiny pink octopus dwells in the deep sea and is part of the family nicknamed “flapjack” octopodes, so-called because they travel by “flapping a fringe of webbing” between their arms as they hover above the seafloor.

In case you were wondering, octopodes, not octopi, is the proper plural of octopus. The suffix -i as the plural of -us is Latin while the word octopus comes from the Greek oktopous, “eight-footed.”


“While women still supply most of the demand for cosmetic drugs, Allergan is betting that by marketing to men, it can squeeze more growth out of well-known drugs such as Botox and create new markets with treatments like Kythera’s Kybella, for double chins. Call it the ‘Brotox’ strategy.”

Ryan Sachetta and Cynthia Koons, “Worried About Wrinkles, Guys? Allergan Bets You’ll Want ‘Brotox’,” Bloomberg, June 17, 2015

Brotox, a blend of bro and Botox, is just one in a long line of products “repackaged” for men, including broga, brogurt, murse, and meggings.


“Pranksters behind the mysterious ‘Fridgehenge’ have been revealed.”

Jon Livesey, “‘Fridgehenge’ pranksters mark summer solstice with homage to Stonehenge – made out of white goods,” The Mirror, June 22, 2015

Fridgehenge refers to several refrigerators arranged like the stones of Stonehenge.

Thousands of people descend on Stonehenge every summer solstice to celebrate the longest day of the year around the mysterious stones that might have been used in religious rites “by early Britons 4,000 years ago.”

Fridgehenge shouldn’t be confused with Manhattanhenge, the twice-yearly lining up of the sunset with Manhattan’s street grid

Holocene Extinction

“You’ve probably heard about the Holocene Extinction by now, or the catchier, media-friendly Sixth Extinction.”

Dan Seitz, “What Is the Holocene Extinction? An Explainer,” Uproxx, June 22, 2015

In this latest mass extinction (the last one occurred 66 million years ago and was the one that wiped out all non-avian dinosaurs), animals are going extinct “more than a hundred times faster than the average background rate.” Because of human activity, the number of species that should have gone extinct over 11,400 years have disappeared in just one hundred.

Holocene refers to an epoch that began 10,000 years ago and continues today. The word ultimately comes from the Greek holos, “whole.”


“Because jellyfish often suffer from injuries—sometimes inflicted by unsuccessful predators—symmetrization is an important method to heal themselves.”

Carrie Arnold, “The Surprising Way Jellyfish Put Themselves Back Together,” National Geographic, June 15, 2015

Symmetrization is a newly discovered phenomenon which refers to when an organism, post-injury, rearranges itself so that it’s symmetrical, like a jellyfish that has lost two of its eight legs and repositions its other legs so that they are “once again evenly spaced.”

[Photo via Flickr: “Jellyfish 1,” CC BY 2.0 by L. Church]

Wordnik at ALA San Francisco

Library Photography Competition 2011 entry

We here at Wordnik love libraries and librarians (and not just because the American Library Association adopted the words library and librarian). How much? So much that we’ll be holding our next meetup at ALA San Francisco at the end of this month!

Originally scheduled for the evening of June 30, we’re now meeting up at the conference on Monday, June 29, 10 AM, in the Moscone Convention Center. (Specific room to follow soon.)

If you’ll be attending ALA and are curious about Wordnik and what we do, as well as other online and offline lexical resources, we’d love to see you. There will also be snacks and  stickers, and you’ll have the chance to enter a raffle for some cool prizes.

Can’t make it? No worries: join the Bay Area Wordnik Meetup group and you’ll keep up to date with all of our upcoming activities.

Hope to see you soon!

[Photo via Flickr: “Library Photography Competition 2011 entry,” CC BY 2.0 by Loughborough University Library]

Word Buzz Wednesday: Cat Dad, champing, yuccies

Der Kitten office assistant

Welcome to Word Buzz Wednesday, in which we round up our favorite buzzworthy words of the week. The latest: watch out Tiger Mom; divine camping; and another generational acronym.

Bourbon virus

“US health authorities have just confirmed a second case of Bourbon virus, a rare illness doctors believe to be spread by ticks.”

Gwynn Guilford, “This rare bourbon that’s spreading across the US isn’t as tasty as it sounds,” Quartz, June 1, 2015

Relax, Jim Bean enthusiasts: the Bourbon virus has nothing to do with the drink. It’s named for where it was first reported in 2014, Bourbon County, Kansas. Symptoms include fever, acute muscle and joint pain, diarrhea, and a rash.

Cat Dad

“While Cat Dad may not be as well known as Tiger Mother, he’s actually been around nearly as long.”

Tiger Mum or Cat Dad? Claws out over parenting styles,” BBC, May 28, 2015

Unlike the strict and ferocious Tiger Mother, the Cat Dad takes a softer approach to parenting, “preferring to be emotionally sensitive, gentle and relaxed about rules and discipline, in the belief that it will make their offspring self-sufficient and independent.” The name comes from a popular Chinese television show, Tiger Mom Cat Dad.

A real-life Cat Dad was a father from Shanghai who debated Amy Chua, author of The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, and despite having a very different approach to parenting, like Chua had a daughter accepted to Harvard.

Another parenting variation is the Wolf Dad who is even stricter than the Tiger Mother.


“We’ve had such a positive response to our ‘champing’ breaks that we’ve decided to expand them to two more churches for the 2015 ‘champing’ season.”

Emma Mills, “Churches the new Airbnb as ‘champing’ proves popular,” The Telegraph, June 9, 2015

Champing is camping in churches, and plays on glamping, glamorous camping, or “roughing it” in fancy, comfortable tents.


“Bangladesh’s government is planning to recruit hijras, who have been officially recognized as a separate gender in Bangladesh since 2013, as traffic police in an attempt to rehabilitate and offer them new employment.”

Pantha Rahman Reza, “Bangladesh wants ‘third gender’ to serve as traffic police,” Public Radio International, May 31, 2015

Some male-to-female transgender Bangladeshis have adopted the feminine gender identity hijra, although the term may be considered derogatory in other languages.


“Not all yuccies follow such a direct path. There are plenty of 20-somethings who take a few steps down the road of traditional employment despite the growing suspicion that their unique intellect deserves more professional fulfillment.”

David Infante, “The hipster is dead, and you might not like who comes next,” Mashable, June 9, 2015

Yuccie, a play on yuppie, stands for Young Urban Creatives, “a slice of Generation Y, borne [sic] of suburban comfort, indoctrinated with the transcendent power of education, and infected by the conviction that not only do [they] deserve to pursue our dreams, [they] should profit from them.”

[Photo via Flickr: “Der Kitten office assistant,” CC BY 2.0 by snaxor]

Game of Words: Our 14 Favorite Words from ‘Game of Thrones,’ Season 5


Spoilers galore!

Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

The latest season of Game of Thrones is coming to a close. We’ve seen uprisings, great battle scenes, a giant we totally want to hang out with, another terrible, horrible, no good, very bad wedding, and finally — finally! — Dany flying on a dragon, even if it was a bit Falcor-esque.

And as with seasons past, we’ve been collecting the most interesting GoT words. Here are 14 of our favorites.

Black Wedding

“Game of Thrones is famous for its tragic weddings, but last night the show pushed that into even darker territory with what fans have dubbed ‘the Black Wedding.’”

Mallory Busch, “Twitter Was Not Okay with the ‘Black Wedding’ on Game of Thrones,” TIME, May 18, 2015

Another season of Game of Thrones, another horrible wedding. We’ve already had the bloody Red Wedding and the poisonous purple one. Now we have the Black Wedding to add to our GoT lexicon.

The Black Wedding is what fans have dubbed the nuptials between Sansa Stark and Ramsay Bolton, nee Snow, in the episode “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken.” The ceremony takes place in the darkness of the Godswood, but the situation turns even darker when Ramsay horrifically assaults his young bride on their wedding night.


Stannis: “You don’t look like a soldier. But I’m told you killed a white walker. . . .How?”
Sam: “With a dagger made of dragonglass.”

“Kill the Boy,” May 10, 2015

Dragonglass is Westeros vernacular for obsidian, a volcanic glass formed from rapidly cooling lava. The word obsidian comes from the Latin obsidiānus, a misprint of obsiānus, “lapis,” named after Obsius, the Roman who supposedly discovered the stone.

Dragonglass and Valyrian steel are the only two known substances that can kill White Walkers.

Faith Militant

Cersei [to the High Sparrow]: “In the days before the Targaryens, the Faith Militant dispensed the justice of the Seven.”

“Sons of the Harpy,” May 3, 2015

The Faith Militant are the barefoot and berobed army of the Faith of the Seven, the dominant religion of the Seven Kingdoms. The religious regiment was disbanded long ago by King Maegor Targaryen but has made a fast and furious comeback.

Author George R. R. Martin has said the Faith Militant are based on the medieval Catholic Church, complete with corrupt religious leaders, aggressive reformation, and one god with multiple aspects, in this case seven as opposed to the three of the Trinity of the Catholic Church.


Announcer: “Free citizens of Meereen! By the blessings of the Graces and her majesty the Queen, welcome to the Great Games!”

“The Dance of Dragons,” June 7, 2015

The Graces are priestesses of the Ghiscari religion in Slavers’ Bay. While they have yet to appear on the show (at least as of this penultimate episode), in the books they wear different-colored robes according to their hierarchy. Red Graces are “cult prostitutes,” or those involved with sacred prostitution; Blue Graces are healers; White Graces are “young girls of noble birth” with yet undetermined grace-y skills; and the Green Grace, of which there’s only one, is the high priestess.


Gilly: “What do you call it in the south? What happened to your face.”
Shireen: “Greyscale.”

“The House of Black and White,” April 19, 2015

Greyscale is a contagious and often fatal disease that leaves the flesh scaly, gray (hence, the name), and “stone-like to the touch.” Princess Shireen Baratheon survived the disease, only to be left disfigured.

Greyscale might be likened to such real-life diseases as leprosy and ichthyosis. Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, is contagious and causes ulcers of the skin, bones, and organs, often leading to loss of sensation, gangrene, and paralysis. Ichthyosis is hereditary and characterized by “dry, thickened, scaly skin,” hence its nickname, fishskin disease. The word ichthyosis comes from the Greek ikhthys, “fish.”

High Septon

Cersei: “The High Septon‘s behavior was corrosive, as was his attitude.”

“High Sparrow,” April 26, 2015

The High Septon is to the Faith of the Seven as the Pope is to the Catholic Church. “As the High Septon of the Faith of the Seven,” says the High Septon shortly after being found in a brothel, “I give voice to the will of the Gods and I am their foremost servant in this world.”

You probably won’t find this definition of septon in traditional dictionaries. The Century describes septon as “a principle formerly supposed to be the essence of infection,” while the Oxford English Dictionary says it’s a name for nitrogen, “from its being regarded as the agent in putrefaction.”

A discussion at describes septon as a word commonly used in science fiction and fantasy to describe the leader of a sept, or a division of a family or clan. Sept is probably an alteration of sect, which comes from the Latin secta, “course, school of thought.”

House of Black and White

Ternesio Terys [to Arya]: “The House of Black and White. This is where you’ll find the man you seek.”

“The House of Black and White,” April 19, 2015

Both a temple dedicated to the Many-Faced God and the headquarters of professional assassins known as the Faceless Men, the House of Black and White is so-called because half its door is ebony and the other half weirwood, which is white.

In the House of Black and White is the Hall of Faces, a crypt for the faces of the dead, which the Faceless Men use to change their appearance.

The Long Farewell

Tyene: “My dagger was coated with a special ointment from Asshai. They call it the Long Farewell. It takes time to work, but if a single drop makes contact with the skin, death.”

“The Gift,” May 24, 2015

The Long Farewell is native to the city of Asshai, which is to “the distant east of the Free Cities, Dothraki Sea, and Slaver’s Bay.” Other poisons of Westeros include Wolfsbane; Essence of Nightshade, a calming agent in small doses but fatal in large doses; and the Strangler, the culprit in King Joffrey’s wedding death.

Many-Faced God

Jaqen: “Lana is very impressive. Very industrious. She will make a fine servant for the Many-Faced God.”

“Hardhome,” May 31, 2015

In the books, the Many-Faced God is also known as Him of Many Faces, and is only called the God of Death in the TV series. The Faceless Men in particular worship this god and believe that the god “is unknowingly worshipped by most faiths, simply under different names,” and, presumably, faces.

Other gods with multiple faces include Janus, the Roman god of gates and doorways, depicted with two faces looking in opposite directions, and Brahma, the creator god in Hinduism, depicted with four faces for each of the four Vedas, or sacred texts.

Master of Coin

Cersei [to Mace]: “As the King’s Master of Coin, I can think of no one more qualified.”

“Sons of the Harpy,” May 3, 2015

The Master of Coin is basically the royal treasurer of Westeros. The position was previously held by Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish, who was seen as a true money master, “always about to conjure up gold to meet the Crown’s demands,” but who was actually borrowing huge sums from the Iron Bank of Braavos, leaving the Iron Throne in debt.

Master of War

Kevan: “What mission?”
Cersei: “That is not your concern as Master of War.”

“The House of Black and White,” April 19, 2015

Unlike the Master of Coin, the Master of War isn’t a “real” position in the Small Council but one Cersei devised to offer to her uncle with the purpose of stacking “stack the Small Council with sycophants.”

Sons of the Harpy

Daenerys: “Sons of the Harpy. . . .They’ve never killed before.”
Ser Barristan: “It was only a matter of time, your Grace.”

“The Wars to Come,” April 12, 2015

The Sons of the Harpy are gold-masked anti-Khaleesi marauders, hell-bent on killing the queen’s army. The Sons’ masks resemble the Harpy, which “takes the form of a giant gold statue atop the Great Pyramid, aka Dragon Queen HQ,” and which Daenerys covered with “a black banner bearing the three-headed red dragon insignia of House Targaryen.”

But who are the Sons of the Harpy the sons of? Some believe they’re controlled by the Masters of Slaver’s Bay, who lost everything when Dany freed their slaves. A fan theory suggests the Harpy is the Green Grace, the Ghiscari high priestess of Slaver’s Bay.

The word harpy comes from the Greek Harpiya, “snatchers.”


Kevan Lannister [to Cersei]: “They call themselves Sparrows. Bloody fanatics.”

“The Wars to Come,” April 12, 2015

The Sparrows are the un-armed version of the Faith Militant. This extremist division of the Faith of Seven was originally formed in response to “the suffering being inflicted on the commoners,” and become the Faith Militant after Cersei appointed the High Sparrow, the leader of the Sparrows, as the High Septon, and gave the Sparrows weapons. Of course this ends up being to her own demise.

Stone Men

Tyrion: “Stone Men. Good luck stopping this spread of greyscale with prayer.”

“High Sparrow,” April 26, 2015

Stone Men is the moniker given to those severely afflicted with greyscale and who have been exiled in a colony in the ruins of Old Valyria, much like lepers were once exiled to such isolated places as the Kalaupapa Peninsula of Hawaii.

Leper colonies, leprosariums, and lazar houses are all places used to quarantine those with leprosy. The word leper comes from the Greek lepros, “scaly,” while lazar comes from the New Testaments’s Lazarus, the “beggar full of sores” who would rise from the dead.

Want more GoT? Revisit our favorite words from seasons three and four, and definitely don’t miss the musical.

A Glossary of ‘Veep': Our 10 Favorite Words

VEEP òåðä 3

There’s so much to love about Veep: the biting humor, the swearing, the hilarious actors, and of course the words. Enjoy 10 of our favorites as this latest season comes to a close.


Amy: “Hey, Egan, is somebody gonna get fired over this AIDS-nami?”

“Data,” April 26, 2015

AIDS-nami, a blend of AIDS and tsunami, refers to the disaster of a massive White House data breach which results in the Reddit-outing of an 8-year old girl with HIV mentioned in the President’s speech.

The word tsunami is Japanese for “seismic wave.”

backup booty

Gary [to Selina]: “Listen, you are Beyoncé, and his is backup booty.”

“Storms and Pancakes,” May 17, 2015

The backup booty in reference here is that of Tom James, Selina’s running mate and potential out-shiner. Gary might mean that James is merely a backup (booty) dancer to Selina’s Queen Bey, or a backup booty call, i.e., not the voters’ first choice.


Ben: “Yeah, we just got to do a cock-thumb.”

“Joint Session,” April 12, 2015

A cock-thumb is when someone makes a radical suggestion in order to prompt the other person to make a more reasonable suggestion, which is actually what the first person wanted. In Veep’s case, the President’s office plans to propose “a radical cut to the military, cutting off the cock,” hoping that “the Joint Chiefs in turn propose their own more reasonable cut, cutting off the thumb.”

Colonel Kurtz

Amy [of Selina]: “She’s gone full Colonel Kurtz. Is she giving orders from under the desk?”

“B/ill,” May 31, 2015

The isolated, cruel, and possibly insane Colonel Kurtz is the main antagonist in the film Apocalypse Now, and is based on the character Kurtz in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.


Leon: “Are you seriously detaining me again? Am I being rendered?”
Ben: “No. You’re being friendered, so just please accept our compulsory hospitality.”

“Tehran,” May 3, 2015

Leon is an American journalist who has been detained in Iran, only to be further detained by the President to accommodate her schedule for a photo op.

Those who are usually rendered — or sent to countries outside the U.S. for interrogation, imprisonment, and sometimes torture — are untried criminal suspects. Both the U.S. and the United Kingdom are known to engage in this practice of extraordinary rendition.

Friendered means being rendered by friends.


Sue: “He’s half-dead.”
Ben: “Half-ecuted.”

“Convention,” May 10, 2015

Half-ecuted, a shortening of “half-executed,” refers to the recent botched executions of several death row inmates. Since pharmaceutical companies don’t want to be associated with, well, killing people, death penalty states are having more and more difficulty obtaining the right drugs, and end up using new formulas in “untested doses.”

the Jonad files

Ms. Bennett: “Do you recall a document shared on the J-drive titled the Jonad Files?”

“Testimony,” June 7, 2015

The Jonad files — where Jonad is a blend of Jonah and gonad — is a “glossary of abuse” containing insulting nicknames for the hated (and very tall) Jonah Ryan. Such nicknames include Jizzy Gillespie, Jack and the Giant Jackoff, Wadzilla, One Erection, The Pointless Giant, The 60-Foot Virgin, Gimpanzee, Jonah Ono, Hagrid’s Nutsack, and Spewbacca.


Selina: “She’s a woman! She’s fucking ethnic!”
Amy: “This is Latina-geddon.”

“Convention,” May 10, 2015

The Latina-geddon referenced here is New Mexico Senator Laura Montez, the running mate of Selina’s opponent. Not only is Montez Latina-American, she’s brilliant, pretty, and charming, according to Selina. She also has the very un-PC moniker of “Sexy Mexy.”

The word Latina-geddon is a blend of Latina and armageddon, or the end of the world.


Dan: “Ladies, you are going to be our sale-bait.”

“Mommy Meyer,” May 24, 2015

Sale-bait is, as Amy puts it, “independent, well-educated young women. . .who also happen to be very hot to lure congressmen into the room in a way that is deeply feminist.” The word sale-bait is a play on jailbait.

Tangerine Dream

Mike [regarding his dyed mustache]: “I call it Tangerine Dream.”

“East Wing,” April 19, 2015

In his newfound fame as the President’s press secretary, Mike dyes his mustache bright orange. Tangerine Dream is a German electronic music group founded in the late 1960s.