Word Soup Wednesday

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.


Jon Stewart [on Herman Cain blanking on President Obama’s actions in Libya]: “It’s like he’s trying to download the answer. It’s just that little ball spinning. He’s just buffering.”

November 15, 2011, The Daily Show

Buffering refers to the holding or collecting of data in a buffer, “a device or area used to store data temporarily,” often seen in the loading of online videos. In this context the word has the figurative meaning of “stalling while trying to think of an answer.”


The Swede: “When harlots and dipsomaniacs are killed, I’m not concerned.”

“Immortal Mathematics,” Hell on Wheels, November 13, 2011

A dipsomaniac is “one who suffers from an irresistible and insatiable craving for intoxicants.” The word contains the Greek dipsa, “thirst,” plus mania, “madness.”


Schmidt: “It’s our thing, Jess. Dudesgiving.”

“Thanksgiving,” New Girl, November 15, 2011

Dudesgiving is a portmanteau or blend of dude and Thanksgiving, and implies celebrating the holiday with only men. Another Thanksgiving portmanteau is Franksgiving, named for President Franklin Roosevelt who in 1939 “moved Thanksgiving one week earlier than normal, believing that doing so would help bolster retail sales during one of the final years of the Great Depression.”


Eddie: “Whoa there five-0. Don’t you have a partner for this?”

“Beeware,” Grimm, November 11, 2011

Five-0 (pronounced “five oh”) is slang for “police” and seems to come from the police drama, Hawaii Five-0.


Moderator: “How do you prevent the European crisis from becoming a problem on Wall Street?”

Rick Perry: “Well, the French and the Germans have the economic forewithal to deal with this, they have the economy.”

Republican Foreign Policy Debate, November 12, 2011

Mr. Perry appears to have conflated the words fortitude, “strength,” and wherewithal, “the necessary means, especially financial means.”

gaffe crack

Jon Stewart: “Daddy needs another gaffe crack.”

November 15, 2011, The Daily Show

A gaffe is “a clumsy social error; a faux pas.” Stewart has become addicted to political pundits’ gaffes (such as Rick Perry’s oops), as one would with crack cocaine.

happy ending

Phil: “I know you were reluctant to get that massage, but I think we can both agree it had a happy ending.”

Jay: “Please don’t say that.”

“After the Fire,” Modern Family, November 16, 2011

The meaning of happy ending is twofold here. While Phil means a “conclusion in which all loose ends are tied up and all main characters are content,” Jay’s interpretation is of the meaning, “a handjob,” known to be given at the end of some massages.


Adalinde: “It won’t just be a Grimm killing a Hexenbiest. It’ll be a cop letting an innocent woman die.”

“Beeware,” Grimm, November 11, 2011

A Hexenbiest is a ferocious demon-like creature with great strength. Hexen comes from the German hexen, “to hex,” which is related to Hexe, “witch.” Biest is German for “beast.” Hexengeist schnapps is a type of alcoholic drink, where geist means “ghost or spirit.” Thus, Hexengeist may be translated as “witch’s spirit.”


Nick: “We’re following two guys who turn out to be mellifers.”

“Beeware,” Grimm, November 11, 2011

A mellifer is a bee-like creature that can take on human form. Melli is the Greek word for “honey.” The queen mellifer is named Melissa, Greek for “honeybee.” Mellifluous means “sweetly or smoothly flowing, especially in sound.”


Homer [upon stumbling on a meth lab]: “It’s not a restaurant! It’s a methstaurant!”

“The Food Wife,” The Simpsons, November 13, 2011

Methstaurant is a blend of meth, or methamphetamine, an addictive narcotic, and restaurant.


Dean Pelton: “I want you to be more – what’s that word for happy-threatening?”

Shirley: “The word he’s looking for his sassy. He better pray he don’t find it.”

“Documentary Filmmaking: Redux,” Community, November 17, 2011

The word sassy has multiple meanings: “rude and disrespectful; lively and spirited; stylish; chic.” Sassy is an alteration of saucy, which first meant “resembling sauce,” then in the 16th century came to mean “impertinent, cheeky,” with the idea of the “figurative sense of ‘piquancy in words or actions,’ and the slang phrase, to have eaten sauce, meaning “be abusive.”

self-refilling prophecy

Virginia: “It’s like a self-refilling prophecy.”

“Burt’s Parents,” Raising Hope, November 15, 2011

By self-refilling prophecy, Virginia means self-fulfilling prophecy, a prophecy that comes true by one’s own doing. Virginia’s mistake could be classified as a malapropism, “ludicrous misuse of a word, especially by confusion with one of similar sound,” but seems more like an eggcorn, a misuse that makes sense to the speaker. In this case Virginia is referring to her husband’s repeated – or refilling – dysfunctional behavior with his disapproving parents.


Jon Stewart: “Failure [to reduce the deficit] would trigger sequestration, a process that combines Congress’s least favorite things, sequestering and castration.”

November 16, 2011, The Daily Show

Sequestration in this context refers to “catastrophic automatic cuts,” says Stewart, as part of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.

sleep clown

Mitchell: “Some people have been known to sleepwalk or even sleep-drive on that medication. Cam’s reaction is much worse.”

[Cut to Mitchell waking to find Cam in full clown makeup and costume]

Cam: “I sleep clown.”

“After the Fire,” Modern Family, November 16, 2011

To sleepwalk, or somnambulate, is “to walk or perform other motor acts while asleep.” Sleepwalking is a parasomnia, or sleep disorder. Other parasomnia include sleep-driving and sleep eating, also known as night eating syndrome. Sleep clowning is at once ludicrous and frightening.


Jon Stewart: “Ah yes, the supercommittee. A group of 12 lawmakers who gained their powers after having been bitten by a radioactive accountant and are now called upon to slash our deficits!”

November 16, 2011, The Daily Show

The supercommittee refers to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.


Nick: “I have identified him as a Ziegevolk, sometimes known as a Bluebeard.”

“Lonelyhearts,” Grimm, November 18, 2011

A Ziegefolk is a goat-like creature that in human form appears mild and even unattractive. However, it gives off irresistible pheromones that women can’t resist. Ziege is German for “goat” while volk is German for “folk or common people.” Bluebeard refers to a French folktale in which a noble has the habit of murdering his wives.

Finally, our reader-submitted word of the week is occutard, pointed out to us by Superlinguo.

According to the Urban Dictionary, occutards (a blend of occupy and retard) are those Occupy Wall Street protesters who “blame hard-working, successful people for magically causing the failures of their own lives” and “expect the government to arrive in place of their [coddling] parents and provide everything their hearts desire for free.”

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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