[Ads-l] Fat Weddings

Barretts Mail mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jun 4 16:06:07 UTC 2023

As far as I can recall, I never knew what “fat” meant in the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding” though it seemed to indicate bounty; I think “superabundance" is more apt, which is what the OED essentially says (#2 below).

Some of the citations below are just titles. It doesn’t seem like “fat” is used much outside of this “(big) fat X wedding” to describe a “fat” wedding perhaps because of social taboos around the word. There is also the question of whether this snowclone is a fad that has run its course and has become passé. There are citations below for 2021, 2022 and 2023, but as the Greek movie fades over time, this snowclone may as well. Then again, weddings are not part of people’s everyday life and so the snowclone may endure as a fun way to break the social taboo on “fat” while referring to a bountiful wedding.

FWIW I Googled for Greek, Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Jewish, and found citations of each; surely there are many other variations to be found.

1. Wikipedia has an article about the movie series that started in 2002 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Big_Fat_Greek_Wedding) and a sitcom based on the movie series (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Big_Fat_Greek_Life) but neither page defines “fat.”

Wikipedia refers to the movie as a sleeper hit. When searching for fat Greek wedding hits, the title often comes up without “Big."

2. The most appropriate definition I see in the OED is:

	10. Well supplied with what is needful or desirable.
	10b. Of things: Abundant, plentiful; esp. of a feast, pasture, etc. Also, Well-stocked.

3. 20 years ago, Paul McFedries provides a transcript of a TV shown on the Word of the Year on CBS Sunday Morning. The discussion was about Ron Butters's ADS nomination of “grid butt” (evidently meaning buttocks with lawn chair stripes or fishnet pantyhose) but it also has a quote of a woman noting the snowclone status of “my big fat X.” I did not search for variations not including the word “wedding."


Unidentified Woman #6: How about Botox Party?

Prof. GLOWKA: Botox Party is a fairly outrageous thing it seems to me. I'm
really, really fond of grid butt, which comes from an advertisement I think
sent to me by The Agios, marks left on buttocks by fishnet pantyhose...

(Footage of Glowka and others at seminar)

STRASSMANN: (Voiceover) The word can be funny...

Unidentified Woman #7: 'My big, fat' blank, based on "My Big Fat Greek
Wedding," so...

4. Episode name from _The Osbournes_: "My Big Fat Jewish Wedding"
Aired 11 Feb 2003

There is also a website for big fat Jewish weddings: http://thebigfatjewishwedding.com/ 

5. https://www.irishtimes.com/news/my-big-fat-irish-wedding-1.1039031
My big fat Irish wedding
15 Apr 2006

6. https://tinyurl.com/7xn6zd94
My (Friend’s) Big Fat Japanese Wedding 
18 Dec 2011

7. https://tinyurl.com/3njpr9cy
The growth of the 'big fat Chinese wedding’
Huey Fern Tay
3 Oct 2012

8. https://tinyurl.com/yvz83668
My Big Fat Irish Wedding - Daithi O Se on tying the knot
Daithí Ó Sé
16 Jul 2012

9. The expression “my low-fat Greek wedding” in the following recipe name appears to just be creative fun as the blogpost doesn’t mention marriage or weddings. 
Terri Gilson
3 Oct 2016

My Low-Fat Greek Wedding Lasagna

10. https://tinyurl.com/32ujpj9y
_Unorthodox_ podcast episode title: "My Big Fat Jewish Wedding”
30 Aug 2017

11. https://tinyurl.com/5dde3zx2
#TBT: My Big Fat Chinese Wedding 
That’s Shanghai
28 Sep 2017

12. https://tinyurl.com/yc2t49dx
Arushi Sakhuja
After 14 Feb 2021

Netflix Celebrates Big Fat Indian Weddings With Their Latest Docu-Series, The Big Day

13. https://tinyurl.com/3eh9nxs7
Matt Bryman
c. 2021

My long time greek friends daughters wedding this saturday. This 1 I would of loved to attend. Hoping after the fat greek wedding I can make it. Good luck

14. https://tinyurl.com/veydma4w
The big fat Indian wedding is only getting bigger
22 Feb 2022
Through economic turbulence, social reform, modern technology, and even a pandemic, the big fat Indian wedding is only getting bigger.

15. https://tinyurl.com/mt4myvtw
"LGBTQ Indians abroad watch a looming decision in the Indian Supreme Court with high hopes “
Aditi Sangal
4 Jun 2023

Today, CNN has an article in which interviewee Gupta (Rohit Dasgupta?) uses the expression “big fat Indian wedding."

“We had always wanted to do a big fat Indian wedding.

Benjamin Barrett (he/his/him)
Formerly of Seattle, WA

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

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