Discover more from New-to-me Phrases
NTMP 57: Sky Possum
Let's nip this in the butt right now
New-to-me Phrases, March 12, 2023
Douchebert * TERF Island * Sky puppy * Nip it in the butt * Skeuomorph * Huggy Wuggy * Lesbian sheep
The Phrases, With Context
This week, we have a phrase that sprouted from a mistake I made, teeny tiny itty bitty bat toes, a hilarious malapropism, and more.
I’m back from a week away in Colorado to see friends, family, and colleagues—some of whom I’ve worked with since 2020 but hadn’t yet met in person. I did more socializing in a week than I have in a year, and while it was predictably exhausting, it was also very much worthwhile. I also can’t recall the last time I’ve had an entire house to myself, and of course my anxious brain decided to take the opportunity to replay every scary movie scene I’ve ever watched.
Enough about me—we’ve got some phrases to discover. Let’s get to it!
But first, February poll results!
The winner for your fave phrase from February is snack holes, with poop duty and Dumpster Spice tied for second place. Thanks for playing along!
If you don’t check the comments on NTMP posts, a mea culpa. Last week, I accidentally besmirched Douglas Adams, beloved author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I meant to write about cartoonist Scott Adams, who FAFO when major newspapers nationwide dropped his weekly cartoon after he posted a racist screed on YouTube.
My friend Tiffany wrote a comment on the web edition that birthed this exquisite portmanteau:
I must protest: Douglas Adams was the writer of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and also has been dead for years. He has not, to my knowledge, been accused of anything grosser than a gross disregard for deadlines.
I think you mean *Scott* Adams, and I will defend our beloved absurdist Hitchhiker’s author from being lumped in with Douchebert with my last breath.
I’ve corrected the post on the website but my egregious error lives on forever in email. Alas. (But it was worth it to get us to Douchebert.)
2. TERF Island
One of my kids (who does not read this newsletter) said this is a nickname for the UK, where anti-trans sentiment runs high.
3. Sky puppy
My friend Rebecca sent this tweet with an extremely cute video of a baby bat’s toes, describing the tiny mammal as a sky puppy.
4. Nip it in the butt
A friend (who shall remain nameless) said this instead of “nip it in the bud.” Much giggling ensued.
I really miss Twitter sometimes and I never joined TikTok because I knew immediately it would be bad for my ability to focus. One good thing about social media is that you don’t need an account to view tweets or TikToks, and many people share across platforms so I still see trends and jokes.
I don’t recall how I found this tweet, but the concept is really cool if you’re a word nerd like me 🤓 (which is probably at least part of why you’re reading this, no?):
Other examples of skeuomorphism include a handheld phone icon on a smartphone, an analog clock face on a digital watch, and and the shutter click sound on a digital camera or camera phone.
As an aside, given how things are going over at Twitter, I’ve taken to taking screenshots rather than using links, because people are deleting their accounts left and right, and the functionality keeps diminishing due to the numpty in chief over there.
6. Huggy Wuggy
When I track phrases in a Google doc, I usually add links, sources, and commentary. For this one, I wrote “What the fucky.”
The New York Times wrote about “The Terrifying Plushie Taking Over Gift Shops Everywhere” (gifted link). Huggy Wuggy is a monster from the video game Poppy Playtime, where players are terrorized by toys inhabiting an abandoned toy factory—Huggy Wuggy among them. This is decidedly NOT a game for young children, but in a typical twist of Internet fate, when YouTube tributes to the toothy chap were served to preschoolers, they fell in love and started asking for Huggy Wuggy dolls. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Hashtag “burn down the algorithms."
7. Lesbian sheep
My pal Mike, who writes, sent me this phrase from a Boing Boing post about a University of Oregon study of homosexuality among rams. It seems that if lesbian sheep exist, they never get beyond the crush phase because ewes don’t ever initiate sex. Here’s a longer piece about this research from 2007.
That’s it for this week! Thanks for reading, remember to stay curious and remain furious (this one will make your blood boil—be sure to keep an eye on your local library board!) and tell your friends by forwarding this email or sending them a gift subscription:
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