"Thaaat's what I'm talking about!"

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Thu Oct 27 20:02:12 UTC 2011

On Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 3:26 PM, will salmon wrote:
> On Oct 27, 2011, at 2:19 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> >
> > There's a current TV commercial in which B.B. King says this.
> >
> > Contextually it can only mean, "Yes, indeed, I think that's really great!"
> >
> > AAVE?
> I've said this for years, and I am a native speaker of Texican.

Seems unremarkable to me, too -- I feel like I've heard it in a
hundred movies. Earliest relevant example I can find from a quick
search of IMDb's quote repository is from Will Smith in "Men in Black"

Zed: Kay, give the kid a weapon.
[Kay opens a chest filled with intergalactic guns. He picks up a large rifle]
Kay: A Series Four De-atomizer.
Jay: That's what I'm talkin' about.

Eddie Murphy said it in his standup movie "Raw" but not in the
intended idiomatic fashion -- though he did use it in relevant way in
"Mulan" (1998) and "I Spy" (2002). More recent examples come from Sam
Worthington in "Avatar" (2009) and Steve Carrell in "Despicable Me"


Ben Zimmer

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

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