Query: Slang "Awesome sauce!"

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Thu Nov 11 15:16:06 UTC 2010

My impression is that "awesome sauce" (along with similar "X sauce"
formations) was originally modeled on "weak sauce" (meaning 'lame,
disappointing'). Urban Dictionary has entries for "weak(-)sauce" going
back to 2003:



On Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 7:22 PM, Garson O'Toole wrote:
> There are some matches in Google Books and Amazon Look Inside (ALI)
> that might be suggestive. The first is in an essay in a book about the
> Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series phenomenon. The essay by Rachel
> Caine is titled "The Great Debate" and has a copyright date 2008
> according to ALI:
> MEL: Damn straight. First of all, let's get right to the subject of
> this debate. Twilight is a completely awesome book. Bella: awesome.
> All her friends: awesome. The town: awesome.
> PSYCHOSISTER23: Get to the point.
> MEL: I am, keep your thong on already. [deep breath] Twilight is an
> awesome book because Edward Cullen is made of awesome, with awesome
> sauce and awesome sprinkle topping, and that's all there is to it.
> Portions of the audience erupt into wild cheers; other portions seem
> deeply confused. Mel and Psychosister23 high-five.
> [Excerpt from "A New Dawn: Your Favorite Authors on Stephenie Meyer's
> Twilight Saga: Completely Unauthorized" (2009)]
> It is possible "awesome sauce" was already in use when this was
> written, but I think it still suggests a mechanism that might have
> been used earlier as part of an evolutionary process leading to the
> modern usage.
> Here is a 2010 raw Google Books match that also suggests the same mechanism.
> Burned - Page 39
> P. C. Cast, Kristin Cast - 2010 - 384 pages - Preview
> He was, as my BFF Kayla would say, “a hottie covered with awesome
> sauce.” Okay, yum! Even though my head was kinda fuzzy, I felt warm
> and happy
> http://books.google.com/books?id=AkxcPzyp5lgC&q=awesome#v=snippet&
> On Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 6:50 PM, Gerald Cohen <gcohen at mst.edu> wrote:
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       Gerald Cohen <gcohen at MST.EDU>
>> Subject:      Query: Slang "Awesome sauce!"
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> A faculty member in my department was exuberant about the achievements of
>> several of her colleagues and wrote:
>> 'As my 16 year old would say: "AWESOME SAUCE!".'
>> I see "sauce" in urbandictionary.com but am still not sure how it came to
>> represent something terrific.  Would someone perhaps know?
>> Gerald Cohen

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