"catfishing"--early WOTY candidate?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Jan 17 02:35:49 UTC 2013

On Jan 16, 2013, at 8:56 PM, Ben Zimmer wrote:

> In his press conference this evening, Notre Dame athletic director
> Jack Swarbrick referenced the movie "Catfish" and the MTV spinoff of
> the same name, and also used the verbal noun "catfishing" (which he
> admitted to learning about from Dr. Phil).

Surprised it hasn't made it into urbandictionary yet, but maybe that's attributable to the disjointness of the set of Dr. Phil watchers and that of urbandic entry submitters.  What other cultural-phenomena-denoting verbs (or verbal nouns) derived from movie themes on the model of "Gaslight(ing)" and "Catfish(ing)" are there?  For example, I could imagine someone being "Vertigoed" the way Jimmy Stewart's character memorably was in Hitchcock's movie, but I haven't come across it, except in an internet meme referring to the mashup of various movies--actually done for real in "The Artist", as Kim Novak complained afterward, and just for fun online for "Star Wars", "Zoolander', etc., in each case just involving the setting of the spooky Bernard Herrmann music from the Hitchcock movie to the action of the other movies.
Cf. http://www.buzzfeed.com/abrams/the-vertigo-score-improves-any-movie-even-ep

> On Wed, Jan 16, 2013 at 8:05 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>> So we know about the hoax allegedly perpetrated on Manti Te'o, in which the
>> celebrated Mormon linebacker from Notre Dame, who finished second in the
>> Heisman Trophy competition in part because of the heartbreaking human
>> interest story involving the simultaneous deaths of his beloved grandmother
>> (of something) and girlfriend (of leukemia, following a car accident), which
>> inspired him as he led the Fighting Irish to their top-ranked position in the
>> college football polls and the national championship game (where they
>> eventually got blown out).  It now develops that the girlfriend who
>> heartbreakingly died never actually existed, although Te'o evidently was
>> unaware of this (although there are conflicting stories).  What makes all of
>> this backstory WOTY-worthy is that this practice of perpetrating such a
>> hoax was known, at least on ABC's World News Tonight, as "catfishing".
> [...]
>> Ah, I just noticed that the original report that broke the hoax--
>> http://deadspin.com/5976517/manti-teos-dead-girlfriend-the-most-heartbreaking-and-inspirational-story-of-the-college-football-season-is-a-hoax
>> --does refer to a recent movie "Catfish" that had some of these plot element.
>> I guess I'd have gotten the reference if I'd ever seen the movie. So this is
>> evidently a demovie verb formation of the kind along the lines of "Gaslighting"
>> someone.  Most creative, perhaps?
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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