Film phrases and telly talk

Film phrases and telly talk

​How YOU doin’?

With Netflix now streaming Friends, the return of the US sitcom and one of my favourite shows of all time has prompted me (could I BE any more inspired?) to look into words, catchphrases, and even entire languages from the big and small screen.

My (actual) friends and my brother and I still often use phrases associated with Chandler, Monica and co all these all years later and will probably bring a few more back from the 90s with repeated views on Netflix.

We also use some from The Big Bang Theory so I wasn’t surprised to learn that Klingon is an actual language (the episode when Penny interrupts Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Raj playing Klingon Boggle is geek-tastic telly).

Author J.R.R. Tolkien developed Elvish – a mix of Finnish and Welsh, plus elements of Greek and Latin – before he started writing The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings and I’m familiar with Parseltongue, the fictional serpent language, from the Harry Potter books and films.

I did not know, however, that  Minionese was created by co-director Pierre Coffin for the Despicable Me movie and its sequels. Coffin, who also voices the Minions, cites Indian, Chinese, Spanish, Italian, Indonesian, and Japanese as influences.

And linguist David J. Peterson developed the Dothraki language for Game of Thrones from a blend of Arabic and Spanish sounds, along with Swahili and Estonian, and even wrote a book so fans could learn the language.

Telly is continually introducing new words to us, however, and not just fictional ones.

Take Derry Girls, a TV series which debuted earlier this month and has been recommended to me by friends – although I’m ‘broke to the bone’ to admit I haven’t caught up on it yet. Fortunately, for when I do get chance to have a ‘juke’, the i newspaper has handily pulled together a comprehensive glossary to assist those new to regional Northern Irish slang and dialect.

And The Simpsons and their fellow citizens of Springfield have given us plenty of catchphrases over the years, not least Bart with ‘Eat my shorts’ and ‘Ay carumba!’

But the most recognisable is surely Homer’s trademark ‘D’oh!’ which has made its way into both the Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

A short utterance of just one syllable it is nevertheless a little powerhouse of a phrase – so check out this infographic celebrating it.