Xiphias Gladius (xiphias) wrote,

How many words were created by sitcoms?

We all know that English is cool because, if there isn't a word for a concept, you can either make or steal one. But I can think up two words that were created as jokes: "zerbert", and "cromulent".

A "zerbert" is blowing raspberries on the belly of a baby, toddler, or, if you can deal with the fur, a cat or dog. "Cromulent" means "totally valid, even if you might initially think otherwise." They're both reasonably useful words that don't have exact synonyms. And they come from "The Cosby Show", and "The Simpsons" respectively, both created as throw-away jokes. In the first, Rudy is watching Vanessa practice her spelling list, then listing random letters and asking what they spell -- "How come, when YOU say letters, it's a word, but when I say them, it's 'nothing!!!'?" She goes to her father, Cosby's character, and asks, "What does 'Z R B T T' spell?" He sounds it out, and comes up with "Zerbert"; she asks what it means, and he picks her up and blows a raspberry on her belly.

"Cromulent", of course, comes from an episode of "The Simpsons", where Mrs Krabappel notes that she'd never heard the word "embiggens" before she came to Springfield, and one of the other teachers says that "it's a perfectly cromulent word".

So, I was wondering if anybody else can think of other words made up by sitcoms that have entered the language because they're actually useful. It's got to be a very small category.
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