NTMP #48: Big, Beefy, Blocky, Bounteous
The 2022 New-to-me Phrase of the Year is . . .
New-to-me Phrases: January 8, 2023
And the 2022 New-to-Me Phrase Is . . .
After conducting the first official NTMP Reader’s Choice Poll that I absolutely didn’t promote anywhere but to NTMP subscribers because I’m fundamentally lazy about NTMP promo and was sick with COVID last week, here are the results, based on 10 total votes.
Runners-up (all tied with one vote each)
Fart Louderdale (my pick to win)
Cancela Lansbury (from the very first edition of NTMP!)
And the Winner is:
Coined completely by accident by my friend Kelly, causing us to pause our Zoom meeting so we could giggle about it, this beauty of a phrase frankly deserved to win, with four votes cast for 2022 phrase supremacy.
Congratulations, Kelly! Add this achievement to your LinkedIn immediately.
If you voted, I hope you had fun! Thanks for playing along!
The Phrases, With Context
My review of 2023 so far: COVID. I’ve gotta say that I would not want this thing without vaccines and boosters. It sucks! I was still able to gather phrases when I wasn’t sweating under a blanket or trying not to pee while coughing. This week we have edgy Balkan music, turgid gourds, many thoughts on beans, and more.
Let’s get to it!
1. Bulgarian experimental
I can’t recall where I found this site; my only note with this phrase was “a music genre with an artist called SmellyCat.” I think it was daily news roundup site Morning Brew, but the last week is a sort of COVID haze, so forgive my weak sourcing.
Anyway, if you want to get lost for hours or the rest of your life, check out Every Noise at Once, a music genre exploration hub created by Glenn McDonald. If you scroll all the way to the bottom, you’ll find an explainer and some links.
Every Noise at Once is an ongoing attempt at an algorithmically-generated, readability-adjusted scatter-plot of the musical genre-space, based on data tracked and analyzed for 5,998 genre-shaped distinctions by Spotify as of 2023-01-07. The calibration is fuzzy, but in general down is more organic, up is more mechanical and electric; left is denser and more atmospheric, right is spikier and bouncier.
Click anything to hear an example of what it sounds like.
Click the » on a genre to see a map of its artists.
Be calmly aware that this may periodically expand, contract or combust.
2. Smartass and Sass subscription
I feel like this is of interest to many NTMP readers. I found this one on IG via NTMP reader Kristin, who shared a pic of her monthly haul from this subscription service that actually exists.
3. Fox News’s glitching poreless on-air goblins
Nobody produces what appear on the surface to be throwaway phrases that slowly rise to the surface of a paragraph like mighty majestic narwhals breaching to impale their subject matter quite like David Roth at Defector.
4. Dick’s Pick Hybrid
This one showed up in the hag group chat via GOAT plant hag Kathleen, with a pic of this butternut squash variety from the Jung seed catalog. (Too bad it wasn’t the Freud seed catalog, amirite?)
The catalog copy opens with, “Big, beefy, blocky, bounteous — best flavored butternut.” Someone was in a MOOD when they wrote that.
5. National Bean Day
What a fun phrase! Say out out loud, with feeling: “Hey everybody! It’s National Bean Day!” It’s not technically National Bean Day today (it was January 6th), but who cares? It’s still fun to say.
The site National Today purports to give a fun overview of NBD (including a weaksauce infographic!) but doesn’t share its undoubtedly corporate megafarm origins—but I’m on to you, Big Bean! I will not rest until I’ve revealed your cynical ruse!
Writing about this phrase exposed me to the dark underbelly of the internet that is “websites devoted to fake holidays.” There’s obviously some SEO fuckery going on here. Holiday Insights is actually a really fun national day site, in no small part because it claims the origin of National Bean Day is to celebrate Mr. Bean, features a pic of The Bean in Chicago, and offers tips on how to celebrate National Bean Day, including “Learn more about the show ‘Mr. Bean” and “bone up on the history of beans.”
Of course, “National” depends on where you reside, so maybe the Mr. Bean origin related to a UK NBD, where in the U.S., according to the site Time and Date, we use January 6th as a reason to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Gregor Mendel. “Yay! It’s January 6th again, and we’re happy you’re still dead! See you in hell, Mendel!”
Actually, Gregor Mendel looked a bit like Kelsey Grammer and now I need this biopic in my life.
Time and Date offers ways to celebrate National Bean Day (have beans for every meal, eat jelly beans, replace your eyes with beans, shoot beans out of a gun) and honestly, can I get a gig writing for one of these sites? The copy writes itself.
Other things of note related to January 6th:
Failed insurrection attempt at the U.S. Capital (2021) where several people—including Capitol Police officers—died and we almost lost our democratic peaceful transfer of power and for which there still don’t seem to be many consequences, especially for a certain ex-president and members of Congress who were not only re-elected but seem to have cowed Speaker McCarthy into making huge concessions to their fringe minority platform with a stated goal of destroying the federal government on the second anniversary of this devastating event ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
National Technology Day
National Shortbread Day
National Take a Poet to Lunch Day (::starving artist joke::)
6. Pineapple Express
Doesn’t this phrase sound like something fun? Like a train ride somewhere tropical or a drink you might later heave up onto a sidewalk on Bourbon Street? Alas, Pineapple Express refers to a severe weather event that’s wreaking havoc right now in California. First king tides, now this — do you think you’re special, California? Do you? Well, I’ll give you that, because you are (call me).
7. Commonplace book
I’m a paid subscriber to Anne Helen Petersen’s Culture Study, and this week she did a subscriber thread of random things to shout out. One reader described their method of writing down ideas or quotes from things they read on note cards, and then randomly combining 4 cards to use as writing prompts together. A cool idea, I think, as a lover of linguistic ephemera and office supplies, but it sounds exhausting to keep up.
Another commenter pointed out that whey the OP described is a commonplace book, which doesn’t quite feel new-to-me but I couldn’t adequately conjure it, so I’m planting it here anyway.
Here’s a Wikipedia deep dive on commonplace books — they’re rather like scrapbooks but for knowledge. You can picture dudes in fedoras across the ages cracking open Moleskines to record Hunter S. Thompson and Thomas Paine quotes.
Is NTMP a commonplace book? How dare you. It’s uncommonplace! Actually, per the link above, “commonplace” doesn’t mean ordinary but rather a similar/common topic. Let’s never fight again.
That’s it for this week! Remember to stay curious and remain furious.