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NTMP 79: Bigolas Cakeolas
What not to eat before an Oreo
New-to-me Phrases, August 13, 2023
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The Phrases, With Context
This week we have a compendium of c-words, foods you should only eat on a dare, and weasel kiwis.
Let’s get to it!
1. The badger’s knackers
I’ve written recently about how much I love the show Our Flag Means Death. Not as much as longtime NTMP reader Tiffany, but still, a lot. This phrase is from this show, in a scene where Frenchie describes Blackbeard and Captain Kidd as “very, very talented pirates,” then adds, “The badger’s knackers.” It’s just such a charmingly British phrase.
Here’s where I, an uncultured rube, share that I thought “knackers” meant pants or underpants in British slang, when it actually refers to testicles. I’m guessing this is because of its similarity to “knickers.” Good thing I have a crack research team1 on the job here at NTMP.
People often send me these sorts of “word of the day” memes with funny or unusual words, and this one comes from NTMP superfan Beth. I hadn’t really thought about the existence of these memes until I started digging into their meaning.
The “word of the day” types of meme sites define clinomania it as “excessive desire to stay in bed.”
But when you google the word, no scientific sites come up—a sure sign that it’s not really a thing. The top hit comes from The Sleep Foundation, which links clinomania to a condition known as dysania, which also doesn’t net many reputable hits. A scientific survey of data about “long sleepers” published in the journal PLOS One defines dysania as “the need to stay in bed without sleeping.”
So clinomania does not appear to be a clinical term or condition.
I do, however, think you can sing “clinomania” to the Phoenix song Lisztomania—which I had heard many times but could not for the life of me connect to the actual term, covered here recently at NTMP. You’re welcome.
3. Bigolas Dickolas
I would have bet money that this is the name of a character from Mel Brooks’ classic comedy History of the World Part 1. But I couldn’t find any mention of it, so let’s go with the actual context instead.
That rec skyrocketed the book to the top of the bestseller lists for Amazon and the New York Times.
The screen name is an homage to a character from the anime series Trigun named Nicholas D. Wolfwood. (Let’s just pretend that I understand what any of this means.)
It gets better: One of the co-authors of This is How You Lose the Time War tweeted:
She also wrote a recap of the events called The Twelve Days of Bigolas Dickolas Wolfwood.
Last but not least, an A+ headline from TechCrunch:
‘Bigolas Dickolas’ is more powerful than the Pulitzer Prize.
I hope this phase makes it into publishing vernacular for red hot comeback success stories.
I just love this word so much. Wouldn’t you watch a show with this title? Just going from town to town and trying cakes at different bakeries, restaurants, and cafes? Sign me up!
NTMP artist-in-residence Rebecca sent this one my way, when someone in her family group text said they were watching the show Is it Cake and “testing their cake spotting abilities,” which spurred an impromptu TV pilot pitch in response, imagining Ewan McGregor’s character from Trainspotting is an old man addicted to buttercream frosting. Would watch.
5. Clam slamming
I found this phrase in the romance novel Role Playing by Cathy Yardley, where the characters try to come up with the female equivalent of cock blocking. “Cunt shunting” was another alternative, but I found clam slamming funnier. What can I say? The heart wants what it wants.
6. Salty ocean caterpillar
This is one nickname for the sheep sea slug (pics and video on Instagram). In addition to being extremely adorable, this sea slug can photosynthesize! It resembles a tiny cartoon sheep with leaves instead of wool.
Here’s an in-depth look at these tiny friends and their habitat via the BBC.
(h/t to NTMP high priestess Rebecca for this one.)
7. New cunt who dis?
In an attempt to shed ourselves of yet another goddamned streaming service, my husband and I finally got around to watching Somebody Somewhere on HBO Max, or I guess it’s just Max now. Whatever. Unsubscribed until a show we like comes back.
This phrase comes from the show and . . . I’m not going to give you any context for it.
It comes from a scene that was ad libbed by the lead actor (Bridget Everett) and it’s just glorious. But I’m not going to withhold context because the way it unfolds is so funny and delightful and it’s tied to the evolution of the main character’s sister. By the way, I’m still laughing at “Who’s Amy Sedaris?” (IYKYK.)
I highly recommend this show. If you’re into stories about emotional honesty, living with grief, queer joy, learning to love both your bio and chosen families, and a fat lead character who displays no body shame and isn’t presented as a “before” version of herself, this is your show. Also, the music hits all of the GenX sweet spots, if you’re into that sort of thing. Go watch it and tell me what you think!
8. Flamin’ Hot Oreo
My husband said this while eating an Oreo right after a ::checks notes:: Scorchin’ buffalo flavored Pringle (yes, these exist). Off-brand but still funny! Oreo tends to come up with some really weird flavors, so why not this one?
That’s it for this week! Remember to stay furiously curious and send me phrases you spot in the wild!
❤️ If you’d like an excuse to do some good, you can donate to the Maui Mutual Aid Fund to support victims of the devastating wildfires that destroyed the town of Lahaina last week.
I have only missed one week of writing this weekly newsletter, when I got COVID on New Year’s Eve 2022. My husband and I are taking a road trip to Colorado to see a band we like at Red Rocks and visit with friends and I thought now would be a good time to take a break.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder, yada. See you on the flip side.