Word Soup Wednesday

by Angela Tung on December 21, 2011

Welcome to another installment of Word Soup!

While the television show The Soup brings you “the strange, obscure and totally unbelievable moments in pop culture, celebrity news and reality TV,” Word Soup brings you those strange, obscure, unbelievable (and sometimes NSFW) words from talk shows, sitcoms, dramas, and just about anything else on TV.

Achilles’ head

Jon Stewart: “What’s Rick Perry’s Achilles heel?”

John Oliver: “He doesn’t have one. Rick Perry has an Achilles’ head.”

Rick Perry: “[The President] had two opportunities. Or he didn’t have two opportunities, he had two choices. Actually he had three.”

December 12, 2011, The Daily Show

An Achilles’ heel is “a seemingly small but actually crucial weakness.” In Greek mythology, Achilles was a “Greek hero of the Trojan War” who was “invulnerable in all of his body except for his heel,” and who would die as a result “of a small wound on his heel.” An Achilles’ head is a large and obvious weakness.

anchor baby

Stephen Colbert: “Now that anchor baby has been declared offensive, I hold little hope for my submission: grappling baby. Noun. The all too common occurrence of a pregnant woman in Mexico aiming her birth canal at America to launch her baby over the border so then she can climb in using the umbilical cord.”

December 12, 2011, The Colbert Report

An anchor baby is “a child born in the U.S. to illegal aliens,” with the idea that the child will anchor or fix the parents to the U.S. After a complaint from the Immigration Policy Center, the “lexicowards” (as Colbert jokingly says) at American Heritage Dictionary added “offensive” and “disparaging term” to the definition.

b-mail

Marge: “I just a got a message from Maggie in my brain.”

Homer: “Oh, a b-mail!”

“Holidays of Future Passed,” The Simpsons, December 11, 2011

B-mail is short for “brain mail,” and plays on email and Gmail.

Bauerschwein

Angelina: “I know who killed Hap and Rolf. A cop. A Bauerschwine.”

“The Three Bad Wolves,” Grimm, December 9, 2011

A Bauerschwein is a pig-like creature that can appear in human form. German in origin, bauer means “peasant, farmer” while schwein means “pig, hog.” Pig is also a disparaging term for a police officer.

Blutbad

Eddie: “Just so you know, Reinegen and Blutbaden are not drinking buddies.”

“Danse Macabre,” Grimm, December 8, 2011

Blutbaden are werewolf-type creatures who can change from human form into wolf form at will. The word Blutbad is German in origin and translates literally as “blood bath.”

Bumbleflex

Chris: “It’s an experimental fabric called Bumbleflex. It’s made of synthetic bees’ wings.”

“Citizen Knope,” Parks & Recreation, December 8, 2011

The fictional brand name Bumbleflex plays on the idea of the word flex as a popular name for athletic apparel (implying both flexibility and strength, as one flexes one’s muscles). Bumble refers to bumblebee.

concu-droid

Love Android: “I am leaving with your sister’s concu-droid.”

“Holidays of Future Passed,” The Simpsons, December 11, 2011

Concu-droid is a blend of concubine and android, and refers to the prostitute androids portrayed in the film A.I. Artificial Intelligence.

Gefrieren Geber

Eddie: “Hey I’m pretty good, but it’s true. I’m no Gefrieren Geber.”

Nick: “Wait a minute. You’re telling me that Santa Claus is a…?”

Eddie: “Well, think about it. I mean, who else could live up there?”

“Let Your Hair Down,” Grimm, December 16, 2011

Gefrieren Geber is German in origin and translates as “frozen giver,” playing on the idea that Santa Claus, the giver of presents, lives in the North Pole.

Geiger

Nick [examining rat cage]: “Geiger Pest Control. You know them?”

“Danse Macabre,” Grimm, December 8, 2011

Geiger is the German word for “violinist; fiddler.” Roddy Geiger is a talented violinist who has the ability to control rats with music, much like the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

glee

Mr: Rad: “Glee!

It’s like a drug that you use

That turns your pain into shoes

And your shoes into dance!”

“Regional Holiday Music,” Community, December 8, 2011

Glee is “exultant or playful exhilaration; demonstrative joy or delight; merriment; mirth,” or “in music, a composition for three or more solo voices.” Here glee refers to something overly jubilant, to the point of masking pain or reality like a drug.

Krampus

Anthony Bourdain: “What I’m thinking about is Krampus. . .The original bad, bad Santa. Because in Austria, when they tell you what happens to bad boys and girls, they ain’t fucking kidding.”

Holiday Special, No Reservations, December 12, 2011

Krampus is a mythical creature who:

accompanies St. Nicholas (Santa Claus) during the Christmas season, warning and punishing bad children, in contrast to St. Nicholas, who gives gifts to good children. When the Krampus finds a particularly naughty child, it stuffs the child in its sack and carries the frightened thing away to its lair, presumably to devour for its Christmas dinner.

The word may come from the Old High German krampen, meaning “claw.”

Krav Maga

Commander: “[Dr. Magnus] and her friend went all Krav Maga on my men.”

“Acolyte,” Sanctuary, December 9, 2011

Krav Maga is “a hand-to-hand combat system developed by the Israeli Defense Forces.” In this instance, Krav Maga, usually a noun, is being used as a verb, an example of anthimeria, “the use of a word from one word class or part of speech as if it were from another,” especially “the use of a noun as if it were a verb.”

pooping log

Anthony Bourdain: “A pooping log with a smiley face, it has its own Christmas carol and a candy-based defecation ceremony.”

Holiday Special, No Reservations, December 12, 2011

The pooping log refers to the Catalonian tradition, Tió de Nadal, which translates as “Christmas Log.” On Christmas Day or Eve, the log is placed in the fireplace and encouraged, by the beating of sticks and the singing of Tio de Nadal songs, to “shit” candies, nuts, and other treats, which are then shared communally.

Reinegen

Eddie: “Reinegen? They’re bottom of the food chain, man. Let me tell you, the food in their chain – gourmet is not their forte.”

“Danse Macabre,” Grimm, December 8, 2011

Reinegen are rat-like creatures which can take on human form. The word is based on the German word reinigen, which means “to clean; to purge; to scavenge.” While the Reinegen are exterminators who purge places of rats, they’re also like rats, which are known scavengers.

reverse bully-ism

Jeff: “Oh please, not liking glee club doesn’t make us bullies, and implying that is reverse bully-ism!”

“Regional Holiday Music,” Community, December 8, 2011

Reverse bully-ism, like reverse discrimination, places the normally dominant group, in this case the bullies, in the position of the victim (the bullied).

Santa Lap

Schmidt: “I have a really bad case of Santa Lap. The entire marketing department is wearing wool.”

“The 23rd,” New Girl, December 13, 2011

Santa Lap is similar to repetitive strain injuries such as runner’s toe; tennis elbow; mouse elbow; or De Quervain syndrome, also known as gamer’s thumb or washerwoman’s sprain and named for the Swiss surgeon who first discovered it.

silk stocking tea

Anthony Bourdain: “Silk stocking tea, as it’s called, is thankfully not made with used undergarments. It’s called that for the color.”

“Hong Kong,” The Layover, December 19, 2011

Silk stocking tea, a Hong Kong-style milk tea, may also be named for the shape of the filter and the “intense brown colour” the filter develops “as a result of prolonged tea drenching.” Also known as pantyhose tea.

soy sauce Western

Matt Walsh: “There’s a kind of cuisine in Hong Kong that they sometimes call soy sauce Western. This kind of thing doesn’t go back 100 years. It goes back 40, 50.”

Anthony Bourdain: “There’s a similar Japanese and a similar Korean genre cuisine also. Soldiers asking local chefs to recreate dishes that they had in the States, and cooks who had never eaten the original, cooks who had never eaten pizza or spaghetti and meatballs trying to recreate it for some drunk G.I. who’s describing it.”

“Hong Kong,” The Layover, December 19, 2011

Soy sauce Western cuisine, which, says CNNGO.com, fuses “the imported goods and flavors of the West with existing local tastes,” should not be confused with the spaghetti western, low-budget cowboy movies “produced by an Italian-based company and filmed in Europe,” especially Italy.

swagger coach

Tom: “Tom Haverford, image consultant and swagger coach.”

“Citizen Knope,” Parks & Recreation, December 8, 2011

Swagger means to “strut with a defiant or insolent air,” as well as “an insolent strut; a piece of bluster; boastfulness, bravado, or insolence in manner.” In modern terms, swag or swagger also means attitude or mojo. A swagger coach makes sure his or her clients’ “swagger is at very high levels at all times.” Also, swagga coach.

Finally, from @4ndyman, we received the following:

blood nog

Lily: “So here’s a new twist on old traditions, starting with a cocktail. This is a bloody mary eggnog, a blood nog!”

“Christmas is Cummings,” Whitney, December 8, 2011

Blood nog is a blend of bloody mary and eggnog. The origin of the bloody mary, a mixture of vodka and tomato juice, is disputed. It may be named after Queen Mary I of England, aka “Bloody Mary”; a waitress named Mary at Bucket of Blood, a Chicago bar; or the actress Mary Pickford. Nog is another name for ale and may come from the Norfolk dialect.

Great addition, Andy!

That’s it for this week! Remember, if you see any Word Soup-worthy words, let us know on Twitter with the hashtag #wordsoup. Your word and Twitter handle might appear right here!

Fritinancy December 21, 2011 at 9:31 am

What a fabulous roundup! One small correction to the Bumbleflex cite (clarified on second viewing of the episode): the fabric is made from *synthetic* bees’ wings.

Angela Tung December 21, 2011 at 11:38 am

Ah, good to know! I’ll make the correction.

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