Word Soup Wednesday: Pokemoning, Butt Chugging, Spatter

Welcome to Word Soup Wednesday, in which we bring you our favorite strange, obscure, unbelievable (and sometimes NSFW) words from TV.


Jim: “Did you ever think that because you own the building, everyone in it – we’re all kind of like your children.”
Dwight: “You know, there’s a phrase about that in German: Bildenkinder. Used almost exclusively by childless landlords to console themselves.”

“Work Bus,” The Office, October 18, 2012

Bildenkinder is a nonsense German word which translates as “formation (Bilden) children (Kinder).” See also perfektenschlage.


Jimmy: “Thanks Jen, you’re a brick.”

“Maybe a Baby,” Call the Midwife, October 14, 2012

Brick is a “a term of admiration bestowed on one who on occasion or habitually shows in a modest way great or unexpected courage, kindness, or thoughtfulness, or other admirable qualities.” This sense is from 1840, says the Online Etymology Dictionary, perhaps from the idea of a brick being solid and reliable.

bush league

Vinny [to Castle]: “Frankly, I am offended that you’d think I’d do such a bush league hit. If I had whacked that guy, nobody’d ever find the body.”

“Murder, He Wrote,” Castle, October 15, 2012

Bush league refers to something amateurish or inferior. It originally referred to the minor league in baseball, from “bush in the slang sense of ‘rural, provincial.’”

butt chugging

Attorney: “I swear to each and every one of you, that every allegation of the gross and immoral activity of butt chugging or alcohol enemas never took place at the Pi Kappa Alpha house.”

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, October 16, 2012

Butt chugging is “the act of ingesting alcohol through one’s rectum.” The earliest citation we could find was in a May 12, 2010 post in Gawker: “We’ve heard it called ‘boofing,’ ‘slimming,’ and most descriptively, ‘butt-chugging.’”

Chug is short for chugalug, “to swallow the contents of (a container of beer, for example) without pausing,” which came about in the 1940s, says Online Etymology Dictionary, “probably imitative of the sound of swallowing.”


Kevin: “You knew about an attack on New York and haven’t made a report to the proper authorities.”
Robert: “Who would I tell? The mayor? Governor Seymour? The editor of the New York Daily News? They’re all copperheads.”

“Better Times Are Coming,” Copper, October 7, 2012

Copperhead is a term used “during the civil war in the United States [for] a northern sympathizer with the rebellion.” It comes from the idea of the copperhead snake which “unlike the rattlesnake, has the habit of striking without previous movement or warning, whence its name is a synonym of hidden danger or secret hostility.”


Woman: “I should really go clean.”
Kevin: “See, in detective-speak you just said, ‘Yes, Jeremiah did know her.’”

“Better Times Are Coming,” Copper, October 7, 2012

Anachronism alert! Speak as a suffix meaning “language, jargon, or terminology” didn’t originate until 1949, says the Oxford English Dictionary, coming from George Orwell’s Newspeak. Copper takes place in 1864.


Jack: “I’m Great Escaping you so you have every right to do the same.”
Zarina: “My generation calls it pokemoning. Gotta catch ‘em all.”

“Stride of Pride,” 30 Rock, October 18, 2012

Great Escaping means having a ragtag group of lovers, like the characters in the film, The Great Escape. Pokemoning has the same meaning, based on a goal of the video game Pokemon to collect “all of the available Pokémon species found in the fictional region where that game takes place.”


Jack: “Zarina is the society girl I take to black tie events. When I want to talk politics, I call Ann. Tabitha knows how to work my DVR. And Mindy is my sex-idiot.”

“Stride of Pride,” 30 Rock, October 18, 2012

A sex-idiot is an intellectually challenged yet attractive person used for the sole purpose of having sex. See also bimbo and mimbo.


George: “He’s not a cop. He’s a lab rat. Blood splatter.”
Sirko: “It’s spatter. Blood spatter.”

“Run,” Dexter, October 21, 2012

The difference between spatter and splatter, says the Grammarist, is that spatter means “to scatter or dash (a liquid) in small drops,” while splatter “doesn’t necessarily involve small drops,” and “might be large and messy.”

Spatter is older, originating in the 1570s and perhaps coming from the Low German spatten, “to spout, burst.” Splatter came about around 1754, perhaps from splatterdash, “an uproar; a bustle,” or as a blend of splash and spatter.

Blood spatter analysis or bloodstain pattern analysis is a forensic tool “used in crime scene investigations” which helps the investigator understand “the dynamics of an altercation, how blood behaves when it exits the body, and how it reacts when it contacts a surface.”

stump speech

Handler to Congressman: “Just run through some of your stump speech.”

“Sex Education,” Parks and Recreation, October 18, 2012

A stump speech is “a standard speech used by a politician running for office.” The phrase originated around 1820, says Online Etymology Dictionary, from the idea of “large tree stumps being a natural perch for rural orators,” a custom attested from 1775. Stump as a verb meaning “to go about making political speeches” came from stump speech.