Words of the Year

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Wed Jan 3 21:58:41 UTC 2007

On 1/3/07, davemarc <davemarc at panix.com> wrote:
> Alphonse and Gaston were comics characters who deferred to each other ad
> infinitum.
> http://www.toonopedia.com/alphgast.htm
> A "willie pep" is similar yet different: It's the common experience of
> sidestepping in synch with a person walking towards you.

Other names for this experience were suggested in a 1982 "On Language" column:

the Alphonse-Gaston routine, or the Gastonette
the hesitation waltz
the no-go fandango
the zig-zag shag
the circumdance
the pedestrian sidestep
the pedestrian shuffle
the sidewalk sidestep
the stutter-step
faux pas de deux
double deux

And another one, from Rich Hall's _Sniglets_:


--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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