Teabag (was RE: more on -er (UNCLASSIFIED))

Gordon, Matthew J. GordonMJ at MISSOURI.EDU
Fri Dec 4 04:53:01 UTC 2009

I haven't been following this thread very carefully, so please forgive me if this has been asked and answered.
Was "teabag" as the name of a sex act widely known and used before 5 or so years ago? I became familiar with the word through its use in online gaming (some games allow a player to stand over a fallen enemy and squat down), and I'm wondering what role video games might have played in spreading the term.

-Matt Gordon

From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Benjamin Zimmer [bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU]
Sent: Thursday, December 03, 2009 10:20 PM
Subject: Re: more on -er (UNCLASSIFIED)

On Thu, Dec 3, 2009 at 9:34 PM, victor steinbok <aardvark66 at gmail.com> wrote:
> One more -er--or maybe two. It seems a National Review editor, Jay
> Nordlinger ponders the meaning of "teabagger".
> A summary at TPM:
> http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/12/to-teabag-or-not-thats-still-the-question-for-conservatives.php
> Original piece:
> http://nrd.nationalreview.com/article/?q=Mjk1YmRjNzIxNmUwMTI0ZWYxZWU4OWU2MzFiOWJmNDE=

Nordlinger pegs Apr. 15 as the birth of the Tea Party movement and
notes that "teabag" was being used as a verb on signs at the Tax Day
demonstrations. But "teabag" as a verb first showed up in relation to
Tea Party events in late January. Here's a Facebook announcement for
an event scheduled for Feb. 1:

"Tea Bag Party 2009! - Teabag the politicians!"

The Facebook wall has some back-and-forth about the double meaning of
"teabag" dated Jan. 26. Further discussion (from Jan. 27) in the
comments section here:


--Ben Zimmer

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

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

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