Words or phrases that were that were coined by a TV show or movie

I actually thought of this while reading the thread about whiskey; someone in that thread mentioned being “regifted” a nearly full bottle that the original recipient didn’t like. Did anyone use that word before Seinfeld? I’m pretty sure Seinfeld is credited with inventing the word “regift”.

Come to think of it Seinfeld is credited with coining quite a few words, I think, although I can’t think of any others off the top of my head.

The word “embiggen” appeared in an early Simpsons episode, in which the whole joke was that embiggen wasn’t a real word. Then people started actually using it. It seemed like people were mostly using it ironically at first, but it now seems to have entered the language as a word people use seriously. The spell checker in my browser isn’t even flagging it as misspelled, though it does flag “regift”.

Are there any other examples of words essentially being made up for a TV show or movie, that ended up entering the language as everyday words?

That’s a perfectly cromulent word.

Regifting has been a word for years prior to Seinfeld.

“Jump the shark” came from Happy Days, when The Fonz literally jumped the shark.

What about question talker?
Do question talkers drive me up the wall? Yes. Since that episode do I now notice question talkers all the time? Also yes.

Found this, but I think there were more. Didn’t they have a whole montage made from them? Rapid fire, “She’s a two face!” “He’s a low talker,” etc. I wouldn’t credit him with double dip, though.

Strategery, coined on a Saturday Night Live episode during the 2000 election, satirizing George W. Bush’s tendency to mispronounce words. Members of the Bush administration then adopted the term, as Wikipedia notes:

As far as I’ve noticed, I’ve never heard the the word-phrase “Way!” used as a retort to when someone says ( in disbelief ) “No way!”, before the film ‘Wayne’s World’.

The term “Jedi Mind Trick” comes from the Star Wars films (the “trick” itself first appearing in Star Wars, and first being named as a “mind trick” in Return of the Jedi), and has become more broadly applied to the idea of influencing someone without them realizing it.

(And, yes, I recognize the humor in me being the one who posted this to the thread. :smiley: )

That sounded pretty unlikely to me. When did Seinfeld come out?


First recorded in 1995–2000; re- + gift

Seinfeld used the term regift in “The Label Maker,” which aired January 19, 1995. While the term may have existed before then, it was Seinfeld that made it part of the language.

Moved to Cafe society as TV & Movies related.

Catch phrases were rampant in TV series in the past, and also in commercials.

“Where’s the beef?” (Wendy’s commercial)
“Dy-no-mite!” (Good Times)
“What you talkin’ bout, Willis?” (Diff’rent Strokes)
“Hey Mikey!” (Life cereal commercial)
“Meathead” (All In The Family)

Popularize by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the word “cowabunga” was originally invented for the Howdy Doody Show.
Popular for a while the phrase “MMM___” was invented by The Simpsons
I’ve heard “Best…____…ever” a few times. Also from The Simpsons

“Jump the shark” as we understand it today, meaning “that moment when you realize a TV show’s best days are behind it,” came from a website founded by Jon Hein in 1997, a good twenty years after that episode of Happy Days aired. It refers to the Happy Days episode, but it didn’t become a meaningful phrase until Hein’s website started to become popular.

“Sorry about that Chief!” - Get Smart
“Trust me, I know what I’m doing” - Sledge Hammer

I’m sure “Way” was California surfer dude talk which Wayne and Garth were parodying.

“Warp speed” might have been used in science fiction previously, but Star Trek TOS made it part of the language.

Saturday Night Live popularized “Debby Downer.”

Of course, the modern meaning of “spam” comes from a Monty Python skit.

Allegedly, Lisa Simpson was the first to say “meh.”

“Double-secret probation” from Animal House. Around ten years ago, some shut-out GOP House members described their relationship with the Obama administration as being like double-secret probation. It’s not a term I hear a lot, but it’s a term I hear.

Also, um… “Deep throat.” And “money shot.”

Being a Spam lover, none of the menu choices sounded bad to me. In Hawaii, Egg, bacon, sausage and Spam is considered a good breakfast feast offered at some restaurants.