NTMP 66: Lincoln in the barndo
Live from Dildo: It's Saturday night!
New-to-me Phrases, May 14, 2023
The Phrases, With Context
If you’re new here, welcome! You can learn more about this project here. Whether you’ve been around a while or a week, I’m glad you’re here. This week, we have celebrity fish, words for symbols, polite penises, and more.
Let’s get to it!
While talking with my friend Mike, he noted that there is a word for using symbols to replace a curse word. I think I knew about this before, but honestly can’t remember, so we’ll consider it new. #adhd
Anyway, that word is grawlix, which feels completely apt.
You’d think someone who writes about words and phrases all the time would know what a grawlix is. “Is that the thing you get from the brewery for take-home beer1?”
But once you recall that I am an uncultured rube and rather lazy, it all tracks.
I was especially surprised to learn from Merriam Webster that Mort Walker, creator of the comic Beetle Bailey coined the term. He even wrote a book, The Lexicon of Comicana (1980), wherein he compiled a bunch of other terms he made up for common tropes seen in comics:
Other coinages from Walker included briffit, for the cloud of dust left when a character makes a hasty getaway, and plewds for the drops of sweat that are shown when a character is under stress.
Amazon has it listed for just $299.98 ($558.99 for the mass market paperback), if you wanted to surprise me with a gift.
2. Cod Stewart
Turns out my love for punny names extends to animate objects, aka living things, as is the case with this week’s phrase. Check out this list that a pet store gave its fish, via Bored Panda. (Thanks to my Hag pal Kathleen for this one.)
Fuck it; let’s do a poll:
Due to the current limitations of Substack polls2, I can only choose five options.
Write-in votes go here:
Saw this at our local hardware store, Menards.
Sidebar: Is my family the only one who yells MY NARDS! any time we drive past one?
Back to the portmanteau: Afinchinanado is a fancy brand of wild bird seed.
Get it? Finches? Aficionados of fancy seed? #MYNARDS!
4. Dildo, Canada
Is this a pope puffer AI thing? It has to be, right? Here’s the thing: I don’t care.
Here’s the headline that led me to this phrase, courtesy of my Hag friend Kathleen:
Giant phallus-shaped iceberg floating in Conception Bay surprises residents of Dildo, Canada
The photographer who captured it? Ken Pretty.
The nickname locals gave it? “dickie berg.”
Nearby town? Spread Eagle.
Is there really a “Dildo, Canada?” Yep.
Why yes, I did add this to my running list of amusing headlines, thanks for asking.
5. Pedro Pspspscal
(Thanks to prolific phraseologist and NTMP megafauna Rebecca for this one.)
My friend Mike sent this to me via Dan Benjamin on Instagram, and . . . these are a thing. Also known as “barndos” (which I like prefer), according to familyhandyman.com, barndominiums are either barns converted into living spaces or custom built metal🤘🏻homes that look like barns. (Also, how tf do you insulate a metal house?)
TBH I thought this portmanteau would be more fun to research, but at least it led us to barndo, which I think is pretty great.
7. Vegetable donuts
According to Cookie Monster on Twitter, these are onion rings.
I’ll allow it.
Also, check how Sesame Street’s IG grid has Muppet tweets down the center. That’s commitment to craft right there.
8. Murder nuggets
Writer, artist, and seemingly all-around awesome guydubbed the baby Eastern screech-owls3 nesting in his backyard thusly. Accurate. I would regularly soil myself with joy if I had baby screechies nesting in my yard.
1. The Missile is Tired
I have played this Insta reel featuring a 1960s government PSA film narrator making baby pet talk about sleepy conures at least 400 times. I guess the voice is an AI thing.
Two Green Floofs is an awesome follow, fyi. Every Monday, conures Lulu and Boba get jobs and almost immediately get fired. Kind of like writers trying to make ends meet.
Anyway, this is now my second-favorite thing on the internet.
Here’s my fave. (Rick Moranis, comedy god.)
I’d put this in my top 10 for sure (RIP Vine).
This one, too (best wedding video in the universe, trust me).
This week, thanks to Mike Snowden at, I learned that there are two ways to pronounce the word 'scone’ in the UK. One rhymes with cone and the other rhymes with con. Also, read that post, it’s a great examination of doing things purely for the fun of it—no metrics, no competition, no side hustling monetization. Just . . . for fun. Which is exactly what this newsletter is, and that’s likely why it’s been so ridiculously fun to write.
That’s it for this week!
Remember to stay curious and remain furious. Our democracy is at risk because some billionaires don’t want to pay their fair share of taxes, so they’re manufacturing culture wars that actively harm members of marginalized communities and have decimated any semblance of a social safety net, while getting half of us to vote against their own self-interest or gerrymandering the rest out of voting their candidates out. That’s quite a run-on sentence. It’s also quite a con, you’ve got to hand it to them.
But! Taking action, no matter how small/local, keeps our justifiable fury from burning up our insides. Vote in local elections, let politicians at every level know how you feel on important issues, attend city council and school and library board meetings, listen to people from marginalized communities, monitor right-wing fuckery in your community (like using FOIA requests to harass school districts, taking up time they could be using to teach kids), write op-eds, donate to mutual aid funds near you, and give your local librarians and teachers heart-hands (don’t make it creepy).
They’re probably too busy defending why they won’t do content moderation on Notes to protect people from marginalized communities.
I did not know until looking for cute pics of screechies for this edition of NTMP that screech-owl is hyphenated.