Slang, silliness, and scripts
For the most part, these are words or phrases that are only in use among my friends (or words and phrases that only we use in this particular way). Some of them arose from an event or situation; some of them were culled from movies and evolved into our own strange language.1 Many of them are, in fact, from Monty Python.
I have catalogued them here primarily for my own amusement (and that of my friends) but also on the off chance that I slip up and use one of our phrases on this site. I thought it would be prudent to at least make the information available. ;)
1It is worth noting specifically that they aren't just famous or funny lines from movies or lines we say a lot; they are lines that have accrued extra meaning(s) or, in some cases, taken on an entirely different meaning.
and teacakes! (usually followed by a chorus of Yeeesss
A term of passionate agreement or an intensifier. Comes from the Monty Python Hell's Grannies sketch (it's in both the Flying Circus version and the And Now for Something Completely Different version, but the Yeeesss
as we say it is only in ANFSCD).
Person 1: I love the Beatles!
Person 2: Yes, and teacakes!
or, alternately, something like:
Damn those psycho honkers! And teacakes!
angry, as in Mandy Patinkin angry
Amanda has a massive phobia of sharks. Naturally, we mercilessly mock her about it, but this is someone who once morphed into a shrieking-but-otherwise-catatonic bundle of hysteria on her couch and screamed so loudly that the park manager came over from his house on the other side of the park to see who was being murdered. Because she sat down to watch a movie on TV and that movie, unexpectedly, turned out to be Deep Blue Sea.
Dave, to whom she is married, has a collection of piratey paraphernalia, and amongst his odds and ends is a plastic pirate ship replica that, unfortunately, has a you-know-what on the bowsprit. It is a particularly fierce-looking you-know-what, with its mouth open in a snarl, horrible shreddy teeth showing, and its eyes all squinted up with hate and bloodlust. The only way he could get Amanda to let it in the house was to invoke the same theory he used with distilled water and call it something else. In this case, he claimed it was not a shark but an angry dolphin. A very, very angry dolphin. This term has stuck.
ass, as in my ass is twitching! and variants thereof
EXTREME ass twitchage.
The people at the HMO office are giving me ass seizures!
Flies. Common, ordinary houseflies. When Amanda and I lived in Llama House, Amanda had left the lamp on in her bedroom one night while we were up in the front. The door was open, and we began to see this shadow that looked like an enormous bat or bird swooping around in the bedroom. We were perplexed, to say the least, until upon investigation it proved to be only a fly buzzing around in front of the lamp.
By extension, batswatter = flyswatter, etc.
bees, as in you never can tell with bees
brother, as in pet shop owner's brother
Cat, as in Disaster Cat
See Disaster Cat and Physical Discomfort Lad.
A Chuck is any kind of protuberant lump or tumour-like thing on one's person, most especially one on the neck or jaw. The reference is to George Harrison; he had his first bout of cancer in the Eighties, and oncein the late Nineties?I read an old interview of George's from that time period in which he made reference to a tumour he had on his neck, and he said, with Georgelike humour, that he had named the tumour Chuck. Because odd bits of pointless trivia stick in my head, I remembered it several years later when Amanda had a gland infection that gave her a temporary lump on her jaw. We made a lot of jokes about her Chuck, and it turned into a permanent reference. Chaucer, for instance, in Disaster Cat mode, had a Chuck on his throat for quite some time (where he'd got a splinter or something that would not come out), and Amanda has had at least one other Chuck (from a tooth infection).
colourblind, as in
one eye and it's colourblind
cucumber, as in listen to the cucumber
See escuchen al pepino.
Psychic power, specifically precognition. It's a reference to the character Desmond on Lost (played by Henry Ian Cusick) who, during Season 3, develops the ability to see the future. Desmond-vu is a combination of his name and déjà vu, which is mentioned a couple of times in the early Desmond-vu episodes. (That is, Desmond keeps having déjà vu because he's already witnessed an event in precognitive flashes.) Also sometimes called Desmond-fu (because of consonant shift) or Desmond-voyance (Desmond + clairvoyance, although technically clairvoyance is not the same as precognition.)
Disaster Cat and Physical Discomfort Lad
The superhero alteregos of my cats. Chaucer is Disaster Cat and Poe is his sidekick, Physical Discomfort Lad. This started out because Chauce is sometimes weirdly accident-prone and goes through phases where he turns up with (fairly minor) inexplicable injuries and wounds. We started referring to him as Disaster Cat when he had a particularly long run of injuries (now when he turns up with a new bit of damage, we all say, Disaster Cat STRIKES AGAIN!). Poe, just afterwards, had a similar but very minor series of cuts and scrapes; the extent of his injuries didn't qualify him to be a full-fledged superhero, but it did give him sidekick status.
Amanda has a long-standing hatred of vinegar. Childhood traumas are involved; it's all very messy. Anyway, suffice it to say, it's not simply an eww-I-think-vinegar-is-icky sort of reaction. The very smell makes her sick; just hearing the word spoken brings on shudders. So when several years ago (way before they were married or even dating), Amanda was helping Dave move and discovered an unlabelled gallon jug of clear fluid under his kitchen sink, she naturally eyed him suspiciously and demanded to know what was in the jug. Dave, because he is not a total idiot, thought quickly and said, Um, it's
distilled water? Amanda didn't believe him for a second, because she is not a total idiot either, but this has become a very useful and frequent euphemism around here.
dolphins, as in angry dolphins
escuchen or escuchen al pepino
Escuchen al pepino actually means Listen to the cucumber, as all VeggieTales fans are aware. (The line is from a VeggieTales Silly Song, the traditional Argentinean ballad, The Dance of the Cucumber, in its original Spanish, performed by Larry the Cucumber and translated by Bob the Tomato.)
That doesn't really matter, since that's not what it means for us. SomehowI suppose because escuchen sounds vaguely like scootch or scootit has come to mean move over. Escuchen by itself is a mild sort of scoot over or shove up. Escuchen al pepino! is a more vigorous phrase, equivalent to something like Get out of the way!
I keep waiting for the day some Spanish-speaking person is going to catch us in the store or somewhere yelling at one another, Listen! LISTEN TO THE CUCUMBER!
eye, as in
one eye and it's colourblind
Fnah (pronounced as it's spelled) is a sort of all-purpose exclamation. It is primarily used to express annoyance or frustration. (For instance, when you knock something off the counter and as you put it back you knock something else off, you say Fnah! Or when you hang up the phone from a particularly enraging call with your relatives, you roar FNAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!! as you strangle the phone. You get the idea.)
It can be used in other situations. For example, as a kind of Eureka! when you think of something suddenlyor as an Oh hell! when you think of something suddenly. Or when somebody puts ice down your shirt. Or when you trip over a pink goat. Or when you've been on your feet for seventeen hours straight and you finally get to sit down. Or when you just feel like saying Fnah for no particular reason. It's one of those words.
When something a little stronger is called for, it is sometimes pronounced pfnah (or the more distinctly enunciated puh-fnah).
Fnah originated as Jack Lemmon's irritating noise FMAH! [sic] from The Odd Couple. Felix Ungers of the world, unite.
gimantis, as in too much gimantis
goats, as in pink goats
heavenly light on Tony
Heavenly light on Tony is what we usually say when we see those rays of light sometimes called God's Fingers. Sometimes you'll see several beams of light together, but more commonly it's just a single holy ray that comes from the heavens and shines on a special object or person to depict divinity, sanctity, or the touch of God.
In the climactic concert scene of the movie Still Crazy, there's a moment where the keyboard player (Steven Rea, whose character's name, as you may guess, is Tony) strikes an important chord, and some intelligent lighting director puts a spotlight on him. It falls down on him in a kind of God's Finger ray from above and gives him a sort of holy glow. Amanda and I watched Still Crazy fairly frequently back in our Llama House days, and when we got to that bit in the film, one or both of us would often make a comment like, What's with the heavenly light on Tony? Like many of the insignificant but mildly amusing (to us) things we say to one another, it became a kind of reference between us, and after a while we started using the phrase to identify any similar beam of light. When Wart touches the sword in The Sword in the Stone, and the heavenly choir starts up and the beam of light illuminates him? Heavenly light on Tony.
honkers, as in psycho honkers
I smell smoke
The full sentence originated as: I smell smokesomeone's pants are on fire! Yet another of our many ways to call someone a liar. Derived, of course, from the children's chant, Liar, liar, pants on fire
. [We are big on ways to accuse someone of lying. See also Lloyd and pet shop owner's brother.]
Fake blood, especially if there's a lot of it. Bryan and I watched the commentaries for Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and Terry Gilliam mentioned (during the Black Knight scene, which you may recall contained an extremely large quantity of movie blood) that they'd used a fake blood called Kensington Gore. Bryan and I immediately began calling any and all fake blood by that name. (Much later, I looked up Kensington Gore on Wikipedia and discovered that it has become a generic term, so apparently Bryan and I aren't the only ones.)
Lad, as in Physical Discomfort Lad
See Disaster Cat and Physical Discomfort Lad.
Crazy talk or just plain craziness. There is a story behind this, of course; it involves a friend who thought that lemming was a synonym for crazy, having no idea that a lemming was a small furry rodent.
I have no actual proof as to where this friendwho shall remain namelessgot this idea. But I think those of you who watch FernGully may, as I did, notice a revealing line.
Leslie, like Smithers, is an (imaginary) employee of mine. Amanda and I, when we roomed together, used to put silly messages on our answering machine every week; since we don't room together anymore, it's no fun to do it by myself, and I can't be bothered, so I just leave it set on whatever the default message is (usually some uninflected voice saying something like, Please leave your message after the tone). For a long time, the voice on my answering machine was a bland woman's voice, but eventually the phone fell into disrepair and I got a new one. The new answering machine had a male voice.
Amanda was startled by this new voice the first time she left a message after the advent of the new machine, and the next time I talked to her she mentioned that the new guy creeped her out. Over the next few weeks, she took to complaining (facetiously) about him every time she had to leave a message on the machine, and one day when she mentioned it I said, on a whim, that I was thinking of giving him a name and making him my secretary or amanuensis, since he was already answering the phone. We laughed about it and went on with our conversation, but the next time I talked to Amandashe'd had to leave a message at some point in betweenshe said, You really need to come up with a name for him, so we started batting names around. We'd recently had a discussion about names that used to be men's names but are now primarily women's names (e.g. Lynn, Hilary, Cary, Leslie, Ashley, etc.), and Amanda said she thought he needed a name like that. She originally suggested Hilary, but we settled on Leslie, and now when Amanda leaves a message it sometimes starts out, Hello, Leslie!
light, as in heavenly light on Tony
listen to the cucumber
See escuchen al pepino.
This is ALWAYS pronounced Yama or Lyama, not Lama. It originates from the Monty Python sketch Llamas (and was only made worse by the llama thing from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.)
Again, always pronounced Yama or Lyama. Llama House is what we named the first place we lived after we moved out of our parents' houses. Also see Notlob.
Calling someone Lloyd in a pointed, accusing tone is the equivalent of calling him or her a liar. It originated with the movie The Ref. [We have several ways to call somebody a liar. Check out I smell smoke
and pet shop owner's brother.]
Mandy Patinkin angry
When you are so angry that you are Mandy Patinkin angry, it is saying a great deal. It means that you have reached a level of anger and frustration that is making you positively boil over with rage. Probably poorly-suppressed rage. The words fury, wrath, and ferocity are not inappropriate.
Being Mandy Patinkin angry doesn't mean that you are, in some way, as angry as Mr Patinkin (however angry he may or may not be). What it boils down to is basically this: Amanda, for some reason, has a seething hatred of Mandy Patinkin. She hates to see him in any movie or TV show3 or talk show, she hates to read articles about him in magazineseven the mere mention of his name in casual conversation makes her snarl and twitch. She finds him loathsome and repellent in every aspect. Unfortunately, once in a while there is some movie or whatever that she is otherwise fond of BUT which Mr Patinkin is in.
One day we were watching one of these moviesor maybe we were just discussing one of them: it's been so long ago now that I forgetand inevitably the name of Mandy Patinkin was invoked. Amanda bore it nobly for as long as she could and then, bottled-up fury suddenly unleashed, she exploded with pure venom, HE MAKES ME SO ANGRY!!!
Normally I am sympathetic about the Patinkin-loathing (not because I have any particular feelings one way or the other about him, but just for moral support), but the contrast between the hysterical vehemence of her revulsion and the relatively mild verbiage of He makes me so angry cracked me up, and I laughed for about ten minutes. Even Amanda had to giggle (sort of desperately and giddily, it is true), and even now we sometimes have conversations such as,
Person 1: __________ makes me so angry!
Person 2: Mandy Patinkin angry?
Person 1: I get so mad at __________!
Person 2: Mandy Patinkin angry?
Person 1: I really hate __________!
Person 2: Ah, but does it make you Mandy Patinkin angry?
3For your own safety, do not ever mention Chicago Hope in Amanda's presence. Please.
my ass is twitching! or
make(s) my ass twitch!
An expression of intense annoyance or irritation. Comes from the movie French Kiss: My ass is twitching. You people make my ass twitch! and When people tell me they are happy, my ass begins to twitch! I should also mention that between me and Amanda, this is occasionally used as a term of affection, as in, Toadface, you make my ass twitch. (Aww, hug.) See also ass seizures.
That woman makes my ass twitch!
Mortensen, Viggo, as in shut up, Viggo Mortensen and WWVD?
The palindrome of Bolton would be Notlob! It don't work! From, of course, Monty Python's Dead Parrot sketch.2 Notlob is what we named the immediate area around Llama House.
2The proper name of the sketch is Pet Shop, by the way, but practically everyone on the planet calls it the Dead Parrot sketch, including, apparently, the Pythons.
one eye and it's colourblind
Even up till a few years ago, Amanda was renowned for the fact that she never cried. Ever. That she hated crying, abhored it, loathed it, and refused to do it under any circumstances. She held that no circumstance, however terrible, was enough to justify allowing her eyes to leak, because she hated it so very much.
In some casual discussion that she and I had about this one day, she set about trying to describe the sort of situation that was so truly horrific that it mightreluctantlybe considered allowable to let a tear or two escape one's eyes. The story went on for some time and was a masterpiece of misery and trauma in all shapes, including (as well as I can remember) the loss of husband and a dozen children in an earthquake, the death of every other member of one's family, one's dog being run over, financial ruin, being set on fire, and various other forms of disfigurement. Amanda ended the list with,
And you only have one eye. And it's colourblind.
Which, naturally, cracked me up instantaneously and rather destroyed the fine melancholy she had built up.
At any rate, the phrase stuck and became part of our conversation, used to describe any truly terrible circumstance or full-blown crying-your-heart-out state of emotion. It has even occasionally been used in a crying-with-joy sort of way.
I was so upsetlike, one eye and it's colourblind.
Can you believe how many horrible things have happened to her lately? Talk about one eye and it's colourblind!
She was so happy and touched by her birthday present that she just sobbed, like she had one eye and it's colourblind.
opinion, as in your opinion matters!
Like pog, ORISH is one of our acronyms. It stands for Oh Robin, I'm So Happy, which doesn't really tell you anything about what it means. The line originally came from Robin Hood: Men In Tights; it's something Maid Marian keeps saying, and we became obsessed with it because she says it so funny. With her overblown accent, it sounds something like, Ew, Rohbin, I'm sew heppy! In high school, Amanda and I started writing it on the bottom of notes to one another, and then we began shortening it to ORISH. It has come to be sort of a standard closing for notes, letters, phone calls, and so on, encompassing everything from goodbye to love ya to write back, etc. That was years ago, but we still use it every so often.
Patinkin, Mandy, as in Mandy Patinkin angry
You know what they are. They are the vehicles guys drive to make them feel macho and studly, and which they think are going to impress chicks, but which everyone knows are really just an attempt to compensate for
something. Penismobiles may be brand new, shiny, well-kept, and expensive, or they may be ancient, decrepit, filthy, and peeling. They may be minuscule sports cars so small that only insects can operate them, or they may be monster trucks the size of oil tankers. They may have stereo systems that make the earth shake, or that noise you hear may be caused by the missing muffler. Depends on the guy.
pepino, as in escuchen al pepino
pet shop owner's brother
A liar. Usually used when someone's told a big, huge, bald-faced lie that's so utterly unbelievable and so obviously false that even the liar herself can't (or shouldn't be able to) keep a straight face. This comes from Monty Python's Dead Parrot sketch2: The pet shop owner's brother was lyin! [Looking for other ways to accuse someone of prevarication? Hie yourself on over to I smell smoke
Physical Discomfort Lad
See Disaster Cat and Physical Discomfort Lad.
Amanda and I were walking along and she tripped over nothing. When I made fun of her, she said she'd tripped over a goata pink goat. (She later tried to deny that she'd mentioned any colour, but that's a fib.) So now (as most of us trip a lot), those damn goats are everywhere. They're fast; they're usually gone before you can get a good look at them.
Pog is actually an acronym, but not the same acronym as those little paperboard discs that were popular collectibles a few years ago (am I showing my age?). I think that stood for Pineapple, Orange, Guava(?). Not so in this case. For us, P.O.G. stands for Puddle Of Goo. As in,
I was so embarrassed I just turned into a pog.
I live next to a highway right on the very edge of town, and for some reason people are constantly honking when they drive by. They get carried away toooccasionally it's just a little beep or a quick double-tap, but very often they honk repeatedly the whole way past or just hold the horn down in one long blare as they drive by. No one knows why they do it; it is one of the great mysteries of the universe. Apparently they're just insane. Hence the term psycho honkers.
seizures, as in ass seizures
shut up, Viggo Mortensen! or shut up, Viggo!
Bryan and I watched The Lord of the Rings box set; the set has HOURS and HOURS and HOURS of documentaries and featurettes on the making of the movie, the cast members, the digital effects, and so on. Of course the cast all spent an enormous amount of time together, since the movie took about a year and a half to shoot (and then another three years of pick-ups). They all got to know each other very well.
You may not know this, but apparently Viggo Mortensen is a god. Really. Ask anybody that worked on LOTR. Viggo is a painter, a poet, a musician, a photographer, an expert swordsman, an expert horseman; he is a leader of men, an inspiration to all; he's a brilliant actor, totally dedicated, totally involved. He broke two toes kicking an orc helmet and not only continued the scene but then immediately spent days shooting scenes during which he had to run cross-country. He came in as a replacement actor only days before he had to start filming; his first scene was an elaborate sword battle, and he'd never used a sword before, but he pulled it off brilliantly. Bob Anderson, the swordmaster, who has worked with everyone from Errol Flynn down, claims that Viggo is the best swordsman he's ever trained. Viggo was so concerned with building a convincing bond with his horse that he sometimes slept in the stable. He spent weeks working with his horse to perfect a trick that was onscreen for less than a minute. He composed two songs and sang them in the films. He speaks multiple languages fluently. He bought one of the film horses for Jane Abbott, one of the riding doubles, because she had such a deep bond with the horse but couldn't afford to buy him herself. He was so inspiring to and beloved by the Maori tribesmen who worked with him that on his last day they performed for him a tribute that is usually reserved only for kings and dignitaries.
As Bryan and I were watching these documentaries and were continually hearing more and more praises sung, I finally turned to him and said, My god, doesn't this make you feel completely inadequate as a human being? Viggo is a poet, Viggo is a photographer, Viggo is a horseman, Viggo is all that is wonderful. Is there anything he can't do? I'm lucky if I can do one of those things reasonably competently, much less all of them!
Bryan agreed that he was beginning to feel rather pathetic.
And then somebody else came onscreen and said something else wonderful about Viggo, and in despair I rallied and yelled, Jesus! Shut UP, Viggo Mortensen!
It made us laugh. After that, every time some new evidence of Viggo's brilliance and multitalentedness turned up, one or both of us would yell at the screen, Shut up, Viggo Mortensen!
It has carried over into other things. We now say shut up (jokingly, I should add) at any thing or person that has a talent or trait or skill that makes us feel inadequate (for instance, a hearty Shut up, Billy Boyd! went out when we heard the story of the song he composed for The Return of the King). Anyone who is far too multitalented for one human being is liable to have a Shut up, Viggo! directed at him or her.
[See also WWVD?.]
Technically, Smithers is a person, not a word or phrase or even a conceptwell, maybe a conceptbut this seemed as good a place to explain him as any. Smithers is our (imaginary) butler. We are constantly yelling for him, but he never comes, so we are always having to do everything ourselves. We know that he just sits down in the (nonexistent) cellar and drinks all day, the sot. [See also Leslie.]
smoke, as in I smell smoke
talk, as in lemming talk
teacakes, as in And teacakes!
Tony, as in heavenly light on Tony
too much gimantis
I was out with Amanda and the girls one day when Gabby was about five years old; we were in their van going somewhere, and the girls were in the back talking amongst themselves. Gabby is known for coming up with weird turns of phrase and just generally saying incomprehensible things, and at some point she had started talking to me and Amanda. During this conversation, she referred to something extremely large (I no longer remember what) as being too much gimantis. I kind of love this phrase. Anyway, it's stuck, and anything really big, especially if it's surprisingly large, can be termed too much gimantis.
twitching, as in my ass is twitching and variants thereof
Viggo Mortensen, as in shut up, Viggo Mortensen and WWVD?
water, as in distilled water
WWVD? or What Would Viggo Do?
We've all seen the WWJD? What Would Jesus Do? paraphernalia. We've all seen the parodies too. WWJD! We Want Jack Daniels!WWJJD? What Would Joan Jett Do? (Or for Monty Python fans: WWBD? What Would Brian Do?) Etc. WWVD? is a spinoff of the same feeling that prompted shut up, Viggo Mortensen. Apparently Viggo is highly godlike, so why shouldn't we be inspired by his actions?
I mocked up a WWVD? poster on my computer; it hangs on a cupboard in my kitchen, and it makes me and Bryan chuckle whenever we see it. Everybody else just thinks it's weird. [See also shut up, Viggo Mortensen.]
you never can tell with bees
The line is from Winnie-the-Pooh4; Amanda and I use it in conversation to mean something along the lines of, You never know.
Person 1: You think there's any chance that __________?
Person 2: I dunno, maybe. You never can tell with bees.
4I think it's Winnie-the-Pooh, though it may be House at Pooh Corner. It's been a while since I read them, and I don't remember which stories are in which book. It's no use me asking Amanda, either, because she is not particularly a Pooh fan.
your opinion matters!
This is always said very ironically. An old friend of ours coined the phrase as a comeback for pretty much any insult. We're always insulting each other (otherwise what are friends for?), so we have, at times, used it a lot.
Person 1: You're such a dork!
Person 2: Your opinion matters!
you suck for free and you like it!
This started out as the usual you suck! But eventually we felt we needed something stronger, and since we make a lot of prostitution jokes about each other and ourselves, Amanda coined the phrase, said in an insulting, insinuating voice, You suck
for free! (The implication being that any person of common intelligence would, obviously, charge for it.)
And then of course that became the norm, and so we needed something another notch up. It morphed into, You suck for free! And you like it!
This is versatile. You can just throw it away: You suck for free and you like it! (which is how it's said most of the time). Or you can say it more seriously and meaningfully: You suck. For free. And you like it.
This is also often used as an expression of severe envy. E.g., when Amanda called to tell me she had just acquired the Special Edition DVD of Monty Python and the Holy Grail (which I did not own myself yet), it was perfectly within boundsand expectedof me to say, You suck for free, and you like it!