Word Soup Wednesday

by Angela Tung on February 29, 2012

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.

Captain Obvious

Nolan: “Forgive me for being Captain Obvious, but you do realize you’re putting your own sister into the crosshairs again.”

“Perception,” Revenge, February 8, 2012

Captain Obvious refers to a speaker who is being obvious. While the phrase is commonly used on the internet, it seems to predate it. Variations include master of the obvious and obvious troll is obvious.

Eisbiber

Nick: “Two Eisbiber kids egged my house last night.”

“Tarantella,” Grimm, February 10, 2012

The Eisbiber is a beaver-like creature that can take on human form. The word is German in origin and translates as “ice (eis) beaver (biber).”

glitter bomb

Jon Stewart: “The glitter bomb has emerged as a weapon of choice for gay rights activists looking for a form of protest that’s more clever than a pie in the face but less clever than something actually clever.”

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, February 16, 2012

Glitter bombing is “an act of protest in the United States in which activists throw glitter on people at public events.” The act was first launched, according to NPR, in May 2011 when “Newt Gingrich and his wife were signing books at an event sponsored by a group that opposes same-sex marriage,” and a protester “hit Gingrich with glitter” as he yelled, “”Feel the rainbow, Newt! Stop the hate! Stop anti-gay politics! It’s dividing our country and it’s not fixing our economy.”

ground

Suren: “Mother, please don’t ground me!”

“Addicted to Love,” Being Human, February 13, 2012

Ground in this context means to punish a vampire by burying her alive (well, “alive”), presumably forever, taking the ground meaning of “to restrict (someone) especially to a certain place as a punishment” literally into the ground.

Keyser Söze

Steve: “Squirt Cinnabon?”

Roger: “Yeah, I Keyser Sözed you off the top of that file cabinet.” [cut to file cabinet with bottle of Squirt soda and box of Cinnabon pastries]

Keyser Söze refers to the mysterious and menacing character in the film The Usual Suspects. At the end (SPOILER ALERT) it’s revealed that the seemingly timid police informant has made up his entire statement based on what he’s seen on a bulletin board, and that he himself is the powerful Keyser Söze. Thus, to Keyser Söze someone is to create a name or story based on objects within view.

le retour d’age

Charlotte: “Her age would be between 28 and 32, depending on when she went through le retour d’age.”

“Tarantella,” Grimm, February 10, 2012

Le retour d’age translates from the French as “change of life.” Change of life usually refers to menopause. Here it seems to refer to a time when the creature (see spinnetod) reaches a stage when she begins to age rapidly and must feed on other creatures to retain her youthful appearance.

gladiator Löwen

Eddie: “Oh, you’re talking about gladiator Lowen. They’re fierce. They’re fueled by generations of bitterness. Just imagine, one day you’re king of your own jungle, minding your own business. Then suddenly you’re in a net being dragged off to Rome and thrown in a gladiator pit.”

“Last Grimm Standing,” Grimm, February 24, 2012

The Löwen are lion-like creatures that can take on human form. The word Löwen translates from the German as “lion.” Gladiator Löwen “were hunted and used as fighters in the gladiatorial arena by the Romans,” and now “catch other Wesen and force them to fight in secret cage death matches.” The word gladiator comes from the Latin gladius, “sword.”

meet cute

Mary-Louise: “I think we need a good meet cute. A sweet story of the cute way we met.”

“Jimmy’s Fake Girlfriend,” Raising Hope, February 14, 2012

A meet cute is “a staple of romantic comedies,” and may have originated in the late 1930s. The earliest citation we could find was from 1945.

morning star

Nick: “Part of a morning star.”

Hank: “A medieval weapon?”

“Last Grimm Standing,” Grimm, February 24, 2012

A morning star is “a weapon consisting of a ball of metal, usually set with spikes, either mounted upon a long handle or staff, usually of wood and used with both hands, or slung to the staff by a thong or chain.” The weapon is named presumably for its resemblance to another morning star, “the planet Venus as seen in the eastern sky around dawn.”

normalling

Jenna and Paul: “It’s a whole new fetish called normalling!”

“The Tuxedo Begins,” 30 Rock, February 16, 2012

Normalling means to behave like “normal” couple rather than one that is depraved. To Jenna and Paul, the epitome of depravity, behaving normally is like a fetish, “an abnormally obsessive preoccupation or attachment; a fixation.”

oedipussy

Stewie: “Looks like he’s getting a little oedipussy.”

Brian: “Can we say that?”

Stewie: “We just did.”

“Tom Tucker: The Man and His Dream,” Family Guy, February 20, 2012

Oedipussy is a blend of Oedipal, “of or relating to the Oedipus complex,” a complex of males “to possess the mother sexually and to exclude the father,” and pussy, slang for female genitalia. In this situation, Chris is dating a girl who resembles his mother. The word Oedipussy may also be a play on Octopussy, a James Bond film.

perfektenschlage

Dwight: “The Schrutes have a word for when everything in a man’s life comes together perfectly. Perfektenschlage. Right now I’m in it. . . .I am so deep inside of perfektenschlage. And just to be clear, there is a second definition – ‘perfect pork anus’ – which I don’t mean.”

“Special Project,” The Office, February 9, 2012

Perfektenschlag translates from the German as “perfect (perfekt) bang or blow (schlage).” It’s most likely a nonsense word.

sexual walkabout

Jenna and Paul: “Sexual walkabout. We spend the next three months alone doing every depraved thing we can think of with as many people as we can.”

“The Tuxedo Begins,” 30 Rock, February 16, 2012

Walkabout is an Australian term meaning “a temporary return to traditional Aboriginal life, taken especially between periods of work or residence in white society and usually involving a period of travel through the bush.” A walkabout is also a walking trip.

spinnetod

Eddie: “I’d say that looks like a spinnetod, a death spider. . . .They’re like the black widows of their world.”

“Tarantella,” Grimm, February 10, 2012

Spinnetod translates from the German as “spider (spinne) death (tod).” The word spider comes from the Proto-Germanic spenwanan, “to spin.”

STOCK Act

Jon Stewart: “Congress should obey the same laws as everyone else. I believe that was in the No Shit Sherlock Act of 2000 and always. That’s why last Thursday Congress passed something called the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge, or STOCK Act. It was designed to prevent congresspeople or their staff from benefiting financially from information they learn in the course of being in Congress.”

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, February 15, 2012

The STOCK Act plays on the word stock, “the capital raised by a company through the issue of shares.”

strafe

Virginia [as Burt flies a remote helicopter]: “Burt, stop strafing Mawmaw!”

“Jimmy’s Fake Girlfriend,” Raising Hope, February 14, 2012

To strafe means “to attack (ground troops, for example) with a machine gun or cannon from a low-flying aircraft.” The word strafe comes from the German saying, Gott strafe England, “May God punish England,” a slogan from World War I.

twirly

Jess: “We need to go out because I’m feeling pretty twirly.”

Schmidt: “Twirly? Is that like horny?”

Jess: “I got the dirty twirls, Schmidty!”

“Valentine’s Day,” New Girl, February 14, 2012

The original meaning of twirly is coiled or curly, or perhaps given to twirls or spins. While the origin of twirl is unknown, it may be a blend of twist and whirl. Twisty is 1970s slang for “attractively feminine.” Twirly may also be a play on squirrelly, “eccentric.”

upper decker

Detective: “You might want to be sure he didn’t leave you an upper decker.”

“Lo Scandalo,” Archer, February 16, 2012

An upper decker is “the act of defecating in the upper tank of the toilet.”

Wesen

Eddie: “I think some Wesen found out you’re a Grimm and they’re curious.”

Nick: “What’s a Wesen?”

Eddie: “You know. Blutbaden, Fuchsbau, Wildschwein, those of us the Grimms have been trying to eradicate for centuries.”

“Tarantella,” Grimm, February 10, 2012

Wesen translates from the German as entity or being.

whiz palace

Ben: “Excuse me, I need to use the bathroom.”

Dave: “You mean the whiz palace. Leslie calls it that sometimes.”

“Dave Returns,” Parks and Recreation, February 16, 2012

Synonyms and slang for bathroom are plentiful and varied.

yips

Jenna: “Fine, it’s mental! I have the yips!”

“Hey Baby, What’s Wrong?” 30 Rock, February 9, 2012

The yips refer to “nervousness or tension that causes an athlete to fail to perform effectively, especially in missing short putts in golf.” While the yips were originally thought to be completely psychological, the Mayo Clinic says “it now appears that some people have yips that are caused by a focal dystonia, which is a neurological dysfunction affecting specific muscles.”

The origin of the word yip is unknown. It may be imitative of jumpiness or anxiety, and perhaps plays on hiccup. Some sources cite the first known use as 1962, however, we found a citation from 1941, and several (behind paywalls) from the late 1930s. These sources seem to cite Tommy Armour, a Scottish-American professional golfer, as the coiner of the term.

Yoko

Roger: “You brought him in, you get him out, before [Stan] takes a big Yoko all over this place.”

“Wheels & the Legman and the Case of Grandpa’s Key,” American Dad, February 12, 2012

Yoko here refers to Yoko Ono, who has been blamed for breaking up the Beatles. Roger is implying that Stan threatens to break up his partnership with Steve.

zentai

Malory: “A zentai covers the head and face. A catsuit just stops here [points gun at base of neck].”

“Lo Scandalo,” Archer, February 16, 2012

A zentai is “a term for skin-tight garments that cover the entire body,” including the face and head. Zentai is a contraction of the Japanese zenshin taitsu, “full-body tights.”

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!

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