TV Words

Mark Peters markpeters33 at YAHOO.COM
Wed Dec 6 21:20:40 UTC 2006

This list is a huge help...thanks Jeff. Let me return the favor by plugging your great new book:

Jeff Prucher <jprucher at YAHOO.COM> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Jeff Prucher
Subject: Re: TV Words

--- Mark Peters wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender: American Dialect Society
> Poster: Mark Peters
> Subject: TV Words
> I'm working on a big project about words (not catchphrases) that started on
> TV shows. I'm interested in both successful and unsuccessful words, and I
> already have a boatload of terms from the usual suspects (Seinfeld, Simpsons,
> Buffy, Daily Show, Colbert). I need words from a wider range of old and new
> shows.
> Suggestions? I appreciate any leads.
> Mark Peters

Here's a quick brain-dump of words from science fiction shows of varying
degrees of success:

tardis, dalek, timelord, matrix (in the sense of virtual reality) (Dr. Who)
smeg, smegging, smeggy, smeghead (Red Dwarf)
frell, frelling (Farscape)
frak (Battlestar Galactica, both incarnations)
gorram, shiny (Firefly)
shazbot, nanu-nanu (Mork & Mindy)
doomwatch (this is a bit iffy, since it refers to the title of a show, but
afaik it was never actually used on the show itself)

The Star Trek franchise is a treasure trove, and you may have mined it already;
if not, here are a few off the top of my head (in addition to those already
mentioned upthread):
cloaking device
nanite (Next Generation)
Jeffries tube

I would also recommend the book "TV Talk" by Ian Brookes, which covers both
individual words and catchphrases that originated on TV, with a fairly British

Jeff Prucher

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