Monday, November 2, 2009

Words I'm Looking Up (One in an occasional, cleverly named series on words I'm looking up


In a recent column on healthcare, Paul Krugman wrote that "the teabaggers have come and gone."

I've been hearing variations on this word a lot in the last few years, but not like that. Not like that at all.

Usually, the term is uttered by a Jon Stewart or a Seth Rogen and received by snickering twentysomethings privy to all kinds of filthy new figures of speech. I've resisted the temptation to look up the Stewart-Rogenesque form of the word because, well, I don't know. Maybe I'm getting too old for Beavis and Butthead humor. I certainly hope not.

But when a Princeton professor and New York Times columnist uses "teabagger," well, that lends some academic legitimacy to my search for truth.

But here's the thing: Neither Webster's New World online, American Heritage online, nor Merriam-Webster online contains an entry for "teabagger," nor for "teabag" or "tea bag" as a verb.

Which leaves readers like me with no better resource for understanding Krugman's comment than's definition of the verb "to teabag."

Hey, I wonder if there's an old Beavis and Butthead episode on ...

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Mignon said...

I'd been having the same feelings about looking it up. I followed your link and had a good laugh. Thanks!

It was fabulous to meet you the other night too!

June Casagrande said...

I'm very, very amused by the all the terms like this that I've been hearing for the last few years.

The most amusing thing is that, unless I'm even more out of touch than I think I am, these terms are much more things people talk about than things people do.

Unfortunately, I'm too chicken to explore the subject in any kind of professional capacity. I'll leave that to serious academics who are better equipped than I to analyze phenomena named after trombones and Sanchezes.

Good to meet you and hope your D.C. class went well!

Matthew Newton said...

I've read a lot of Krugman's editorials, but this will certainly put a slant on how I read them from now on. Hilarious!

Having relocated from GA (conservative talk radio haven) to NY (not at all a conservative talk radio haven), I know exactly who the teabaggers are and am kind of happy to have this. Check this out:

June Casagrande said...

That's is so funny.

And I can't believe how gullible I am. Until now, I didn't quite believe that Krugman did it on purpose. But that link is about as close to a smoking gun as we're gonna get, huh?

Very funny.

Sincerely hoping that none of the pols on Krugman's radar travel to the second-largest city in Ohio to enjoy a bucket of clams ...


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