NTMP 58: Water Monster
Enter the Long John Silver's metaverse
New-to-me Phrases, March 19, 2023
The Phrases, With Context
A busy phrase-gathering week over here at NTMP Central. Most of them are just plain silly, with fewer deep dives into linguistic wormholes and a heavy emphasis on Instragram meme-ery.
Let’s get to it!
1. Pizzle stick
My friend Ashley sent me this one and it’s definitely new to me because I’m (tragically) allergic to dogs and therefore don’t shop for doggo snack items. I’m also distinctly not a rancher, so if you’re reading this as a ranch-owning dog companion, feel free to shake your head. A pizzle stick is ::checks notes:: a dried bull penis and a popular dog treat. Pizzle is an Old English word for penis.
Also, while researching this phrase I encountered a company called Safe Bones, and: LOL.
2. Axel waddles
This is one of those phrases that made me bark-laugh and then choke on my own saliva when I saw it, because I lead an adventurous life. To be fair, if you asked anyone to spell “axolotl” and they got it right on the first try, I’d be extremely worried about them. Also: try googling a word like that if you’ve never seen it. Anyway, a friend spelled axolotl thusly (gonna keep this one anon, lol) and I love it.
Axolotl is an Aztec word from the Nahuatl language. These aquatic salamanders currently popular with Gens Z and Alpha are native to areas in Mexico that were once part of the Aztec empire. According to this awesome UC Boulder Department of Linguistics post, some English words that borrow from Nahuatl include:
It also looks like the folks at Chipotle did some cultural appropriation with their brand’s name, too. Because of course they did.
Last but not least, some translations of axolotl include “water dog” and “water monster.” Here’s our resident water monster, Mimi, who is very social:
3. Cloud poop
My friend Rebecca sent me this phrase and it immediately made me really mad because I can’t believe I never thought of this one, especially as a kid!
This is the couple name that everyone’s fave daddy Pedro Pascal gave to The Last of Us co-star Bella Ramsey and himself on Instagram. The caption? “Beldro on the hill.”
I love this show so much; the nuance, the terror, the grief, the pain, the loss, the humor, the hope, the bonding. It also gave me something to look forward to each week, which was nice.
I’m also loving the memes featuring Joel’s panic attack. I can’t find my favorite, which was something along the lines of, “Welcome to the company; please log on to Microsoft Teams.” It’s even available as a decal, and if you think I’m not buying that, you are greatly underestimating my ability to buy and hoard decals.
5. The Taco Bell metaverse
Sponsored metaverses are a thing now. Huh. Click the link to read about a wedding that took place in the Taco Bell metaverse. Did it have a Chalupa Supreme table? A Fire Sauce fountain? Mountain Dew Baja Blast toasts?
Honestly, a Taco-Bell-themed wedding doesn’t sound so bad.
6. Wheelie Nelson
I was beyond thrilled when I discovered this reel from the Desmond-Fish Public Library in Garrison, NY, where staff gave their book carts cheeky nicknames, including the aforementioned Wheelie Nelson. Other cart names included:
Shelf Silverstein and
h/t to Rebecca for this one, too. (At this point I should just make you a paid staffer 😘)
Libraries are awesome community resources that many of us take for granted. Be sure to pay attention to your library board meetings and make sure hate groups aren’t infiltrating your boards or ganging up on them to bully them into censoring material they find objectionable. Don’t let what’s happening in Elmwood Park, Illinois (with stellar reporting by longtime NTMP reader Kelly Jensen) happen to your library.
7. Hissing Booth
This phrase is already awesome in its own right, but I believe it’s made even more so because it originated from a possum-themed Insta account:
8. Beverage Goblin
This one comes via my friend Kathleen, who was horrified to learn that the rest of our hag friend group regularly consumes multiple beverages at the same time. Hashtag ADHD. She sent this reel to us and I’ve never felt so seen, right down to the Thermoflask with decals on it.
9. Gossip doctor
Another Insta gem, this time from femislay:
I’m totally sending this to my therapist.
That’s it for this week! Remember to stay curious and remain furious!
Support both your local library and local journalism, particularly newer non-profit or public-benefit news outlets that are cropping up to replace the loss of local beat reporting. As my tea-and-scones partner in crime Kelly tells me, her story about the Elmwood Park Library board got no local press because there aren’t enough local reporters anymore. Indie nonprofit or public-benefit journalism like The Colorado Sun allows the news to break away from profit motives, bias, misinformation, and algorithms.
Last but not least, thank you for supporting NTMP, whether as a paid subscriber, word-of-mouth supporter, phrase-sharer, or regular reader. If you’d like to join the illustrious ranks of paid supporters, I’ve gotchu:
One of my fondest memories as a parent is playing this King Missile song for my kids in the minivan when they were younger.