NTMP 94: Reese's Bumps
It's chilly relleno out there
New-to-me Phrases, December 31, 2023
Thanks for being here.
I think my very favorite thing about New-to-me Phrases is when someone will email or message me and say something to the effect of, “OMG, [phrase]! 😂” This brings me more joy than I can express.
I started NTMP nearly three years ago (!!) because I was feeling burned out and joyless and needed some laughter and creativity back in my life. 94 posts later and my honest wish for this project is still this: That people find it and feel happier for having discovered it. Maybe they also look forward to it landing in their inboxes each week.
This project isn’t financially sustainable. It takes me a few hours a week to research, fact check, format, write, and edit, and I do it all because I love it so much.
I intentionally chose to not paywall content from the start. Paid subscriptions and one-time contributions are a great way for readers like you to acknowledge that creative work matters in this world, especially in an age where non-creatives think AI is a suitable alternative to what creative people like me do with heart and hope and depth and experience. But I wanted to keep that optional and not try to wrestle people into wanting more, more, more. I know I work in marketing, but aren’t we all tired of that shit?
I also know that people are weary of year-end requests for subscriptions and donations and GoFundMes, and that wallets tend to be lighter after the holidays. I know “Substack fatigue” is a thing—we can only support so many creative endeavors and can literally only read so much in a week.
All that said, here are some of the ways you can support this project in whatever way works for you:
Become a paid subscriber or make a one-time contribution as a way of supporting this work. (I do have plans for paid subscriber swag, but the last few months have put a dent in my creative playtime.)
Tell your friends about NTMP on Substack Notes or social media
Forward an email edition to just the right person (you know who they are) and write “Hey - I thought you’d appreciate this” and hopefully you’ll remain friends afterward
Create a Substack account and leave comments on each post
“Heart” this post so maybe the algorithm will help NTMP become more visible to others.
Just quietly read and hopefully giggle once in a while, and I will still be grateful to you for being here with me, laughing and learning.
However you come along for this ride, thank you for being here. Let’s keep on making it weird!
The Phrases, With Context
This week we have a shorter list because it’s a long holiday weekend.
But first! Two polls!
1. December 2023 Fave Phrase Poll
2. The big enchilada poll: Your favorite phrase from 2023
This poll is based on the monthly reader poll results, with a bonus write-in option if you have an absolute fave that didn’t make the cut:
In December I did a daily journaling class with Liz Lamoreux where you list five things based on a theme that shows up in your inbox each morning. It was a lovely way to begin my days, and it helped heal my heart while I was grieving the loss of my mom and dealing with a bunch of other stressful shit. I just wrote my five things in the Notes app, no pen and paper, no creative design, no flowery prose. Just a tiny oasis amid the chaos of my life. I’m sharing that so you know that low-stakes creating in bits like this just to get you through is totally a thing you can do.
The French expression retrouvailles came up as a word of the day in one of the emails. I liked that it’s about meeting up with someone you care about that you haven’t seen in a while and spending quality time together.
2. Color walk
I found this idea innewsletter - I love the cryptic, sparse vibe of this brand. A color walk is a mindfulness exercise inspired by the writings of William Burroughs where you focus on one color at a time while taking a walk.
Here’s where I make a joke about choosing beige if you live in Northern Colorado or “dirty snow grey” here in the Midwest.
3. Tummy dumplings
This is kind of a gross phrase but I promise it’s worth it to be able to share this Instagram account—and this just absolutely 🍌🍌 house—with you (along with this phrase, masterfully added to his commentary) - h/t to my Hag pal Kathleen for this gem:
4. Caviar bumps
I learned about this from the Wordle-adjacent game Phoodle, which I really enjoy because I’m cool and fun. It’s just a food-related word every day. That’s it.
The NYT recently wrote about this trend, where people are putting blobs of caviar on their hands between thumb and forefinger and then eating it.
At least they’re not snorting it? I don’t even know what else to say here.
Recently I wrote about the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s name a snow plow contest. This week, NTMP reader Tonya sent this list from New Mexico’s DoT. I do like when people get hyperlocal with the plow names—see also: Chicago. Here are some New-Mexico-specific snowplow names for this year’s contest:
EE, I Snow, Huh? (per Tonya: “I know, huh? is familiar…but EEEEE is a Native/Latina commonality here”)
Snowzobra (for local ritual Zozobra) - I would read an entire book about local events/rituals like this around the country. Maybe I should write one. 🤔
What do you call the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day?
Here’s a fun roundup of phrases people came up with on Twitter a couple of years ago, including:
The Festive Perineum
This sign 👀 spotted in northern Wisconsin - I literally did a u-turn so we could grab a photo:
My husband reminded me why I married him by making a remark about going bareback.
Can you describe the texture of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Filling? On Instagram (did you know an NTMP on IG? It’s true!), I asked people to describe the texture of Reese’s peanut butter cup filling. Here are the responses so far:
Moist peat moss
Muddy? A mix between sandy and muddy. Like damp sand.
Granular? (I must go eat one to give a true assessment!)
It's that phase of cement: Not workable but not hard either
Gritty or mealy
I wonder what their marketing team would make of this.
Love it or hate it, what’s your take on Reese’s peanut butter texture?
That’s it for this week—and this year! Remember to stay furiously curious and keep making it weird. See you in 2024. 🎉