Sunday, June 24, 2012

Fitness Slang and Euphemism

Several years ago, I bought Slang and Euphemism: A Dictionary of Oaths, Curses, Insults, Ethnic Slurs, Sexual Slang and Metaphor, Drug Talk, College Lingo, and Related Matters by Richard A. Spears. To give you a taste of what this delightful reference paperback has to offer, here is a randomly chosen entry: “booze-king a drunkard. [Australian, 1900s, Baker].” (If that piques your interest, see the work of Sidney J. Baker for more.)

I have used this book probably three times at the most, which is a pity. Since it’s easier to just search online for slang I don’t understand, I don’t foresee needing it often. Yet as I’ve told my beginning college writing students, physically searching for something—on the library shelves, in a reference book—as opposed to using an online search engine can lead you to discover things you might otherwise not have found. (Of course, the same thing can happen online, but still.) 

So to justify my $7.99 purchase of this book, but more so to have some fun, I’ve leafed through it a few times and found some slang terms and euphemisms that apply to the world of fitness. Perhaps these will make your next trip to the gym or set of grueling exercises more enjoyable.

Awning Over the Toyshop, Bread-basket, Auntie Nelly – synonyms for the abdomen or a large paunch.
Mantra as you’re suffering through ab exercises: “One less roll in the bread-basket. One less roll in the bread-basket.”
Reply to a cruel remark or egregious breach of gym etiquette: “You know, venturing beyond level 1 on the elliptical might help you get rid of that awning over the toyshop faster.”

Gritch – 1. to complain. A blend of "gripe" and "bitch." 2. a complainer.
Incorporate into a pep talk, to yourself or someone else: “Whenever you have the urge to gritch, think about how much better you feel when you exercise.”

Troller – a male exhibitionist; a flasher. As a fisherman might cast out his line and drag it around to catch something.
Explain decorum to a gym newbie: “Try not to act like those trollers over there who make Robert Opel look positively self-effacing.”
Console yourself after bungling a tricky exercise: “Remember, you’re not here to be a troller. You’re here to be healthy.”

York, Flay the Fox, Quocken, Call for Hughie – synonyms for vomiting
Illustrate the desired level of intensity for a workout: “After doing this set of intervals, you should be on the verge of flaying the fox.”
Reality check for yourself or someone else: “The last time you did squats, they hurt, but nothing terrible happened. You didn’t faint, you didn’t york, you didn’t die.”

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