Discover more from New-to-me Phrases
NTMP #16: Smith Corona Cougar
It's hard to type 'asse heads' when the 's' key sticks
New-to-me Phrases, May 15, 2022
Yorkeys Knob * Toronto’s first family of cheese * Serotonin potato * Hambirdger * Uninformed fire-breathing radicalism * Creative abrasion * Dollar Tree Captain Pike * Smith Corona Cougar
The Phrases, With Context
This week we have the usual array of food-themed phrases that never get old, and a phrase containing one of my favorite insult words.
It’s hard to believe I’ve kept this highly enjoyable nonsense up for 16 weeks. Time flies.
Speaking of which, today my youngest kid graduates high school, and this month my oldest kid graduates college. Both refuse to read this newsletter.
Will I blare the Third Eye Blind song AGAIN en route to the ceremony, as I did on her last day of school1? A total Dad move, like playing The Beatles’ “Birthday” on someone’s birthday, and I’m not one bit sorry.
1. Yorkeys Knob
I double-checked and this Australian place name is not missing an apostrophe. I found this phrase while sourcing alligator images for last week’s newsletter and discovered that crocodiles frequent the area. Fun!
2. Toronto’s first family of cheese
Runner-up phrase: The Ministers of Cheese, describing the Pristine family, owners of Toronto’s Cheese Boutique. One of the sons had a Food Network show called “Cheese: A Love Story.”
Another great phrase from this profile: The Mona Lisa of Cheese.
3. Serotonin potato
My middle kid, who also refuses to read this newsletter (hashtag don’t have kids) sent me this gem from Instagram, which describes pet rats thusly. I think you could also include guinea pigs on this roster. Maaaaaybe hamsters but that’s a pretty small potato. Bunnies are too big. Thoughts?
This phrase comes from my oldest kid, describing what we call the “hamburger hold” of a parrot, where you pick them up with both hands like you’d pick up a sizeable hamburger. He’s the only one who is allowed to hamburger-hold our African grey (parrots often have favorite humans). I couldn’t find a photo of the hambirdger hold but I’ll try to share one in a future newsletter.
Meanwhile, enjoy this low-quality image of Cuppy the Parrot in Potato Mode™️. He’s not so much a serotonin potato as a potato of pure evil.
5. Uninformed fire-breathing radicalism
Historian Heather Cox Richardson, a daily must-read, describing Sarah Palin’s approach to politics. Chef’s kiss.
6. Creative abrasion
My friend Mike, who used to teach a couple of my kids who don’t read this newsletter, shared this phrase with me. He learned it in a MindSpark seminar (this links to a Medium post; learn more about MindSpark).
I dig the phrase and the meaning - rather than going along to get along in a group, healthy disagreements are, well, healthy. In my experience, this is especially the case in creative work.
See also: Brene Brown’s excellent Dare to Lead.
7. Dollar Tree Captain Pike
My friend Kathleen, hall-of-fame phrase-giver, coined this gem. I’m not watching any of the newer Trek stuff yet, which makes me a bad Trekkie. Apparently the actor playing the new Pike on Discovery, Anson Mount (an excellent new-to-me phrase) was born in my hometown.
Random fact: My friend Jeff used to add fake info to our hometown’s Wikipedia until they told him to knock it off.
8. Smith Corona Cougar
Is this my OnlyFans username or an actual typewriter model? Why can’t it be both?
9. Bonus: Asshat Origin Story
Merriam-Webster explores the origins and history of the word “asshat,” with bonus “ass head” content. Merriam Webster, are you hiring content writers?
I absolutely will.