10 fake ‘Simpsons’ words that belong in the dictionary
Thread poster: RominaZ

RominaZ  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
+ ...
Sep 1, 2011

This thread is part of the Translator playground: a place for translators to have fun, to network, to learn, and to hone their translation or linguistic skills. See the announcement here.

Need a quick break from work? In this forum translators and language professionals can share quotes about translation, tongue twisters and word plays, translation challenges, etc.

All are welcome to participate and to add new items to this and the other areas of the Translator playground; have fun with it! If you need help or would like to propose an addition to the Translator playground, contact site staff through the online support system.

In this article, freelance humor writer Jeff Wysaski suggests 10 words used by the ‘Simpsons’ for inclusion in the Oxford English Dictionary just like they did with "Doh" in 2001:

10 Yoink

Yoink: An exclamation that, when uttered in conjunction with taking an object, immediately transfers ownership from the original owner to the person using the word regardless of previous property rights. (urbandictionary.com)

Yoink is a word that makes stealing even more fun. While this phrase first appeared in a 1960s episode of The Flinstones, The Simpsons did much to bring it into popular use. In the town of Springfield, the phrase is first uttered by Homer in a fourth season episode as he snatches a wad of cash out of Marge’s hands. The word has also been used by Snake while purse-snatching, Mr. Burns while swiping a $1,000 bill from Bart and an anonymous person stealing Lenny’s diamond tooth.

9 Diddly

Diddly: a filled pause, a non-word which a speaker uses to take up time or space in a sentence, and which are sometimes used for emphasis (http://www.exampleproblems.com/wiki/index.php/List_of_neologisms_on_The_Simpsons)

If “uh” and “um” have a home in the dictionary, then so too does Ned’s favorite non-word. Whether used to add alliteration, replace a swear word or simply as nonsense, few words are as versatile and effective as diddly. One of my favorite diddly quotes: “Son of a diddly!”

8 Glayvin

Glayvin: a nonsensical word used to describe any emotion from surprise to joy to sadness (urbandictionary.com)

Great glayvin in a bag, is this a good word. Glayvin is yet another catchphrase that has earned a considerable amount of steam in the real world. Professor Frink’s most popular utterance is a catch-all term that can be used in almost as many scenarios as “diddly.” The term likely originates form Jerry Lewis’ legendary catchphrase “froyndleyven.” Frink’s character traits are clearly inspired by Lewis.

7 Meh

Meh: Indifference; to be used when one simply does not care. (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=meh)

I’d wager a guess and say that “meh” is used in common conversation way more often than “doh.” The word was first muttered in tandem by both Bart and Lisa when Homer asks if they want to go to Blockoland – a Legoland rip-off amusement park. Meh has reached such popularity, that self-described “minor celebrity” John Hodgman has publicly denounced its use. I, on the other hand, find great merit in the word – and apparently so too does the Collins English Dictionary. This British publication added “meh” to their dictionary in 2008 (so stop dragging your heels, America).

6 Kwyjibo

Kwyjibo: A big, dumb, balding North American ape with no chin and a short temper.

In an early episode, Bart lays down all his tiles in a game of Scrabble to spell “kwyjibo.” The definition above comes straight from Bart’s mouth (with addendum from Marge), and is a thinly veiled description of Homer. Granted, I suppose the validity of the word suffers a bit from the fact that kwyjibos as a species don’t actually exist, which is why I implore nature biologists everywhere to force “kwyjibo” into popular acceptance by bestowing the name upon the next long-lost ape species we discover.

5 Car Hole

Car Hole: a covered place to park your car; synonym for garage

If you want to refer to your garage without sounding like a snobby Frenchman, then this is the perfect word for you. Moe Szyslak coins this phrase during a game of poker after ridiculing Homer for his fancy-shmancy usage of the word “garage.” The fact that Homer immediately discards his previous nomenclature by using the phrase “car hole” in the very next scene should be testament to the supreme accessibility and usefulness of this perfectly simple and descriptive term.

4 Frogurt

Frogurt: a portmanteau for “frozen yogurt”

Looking back, I’m surprised that The Simpsons were the first to use this term, as it seems like such a natural way to shorten “frozen yogurt” – a term I think we all can agree is way too long and clunky. The delicious word made its debut in a Treehouse of Horror episode in which Homer visits an evil gift shop. Apparently the Frogurt is cursed (that’s bad), but it also comes with a free topping (that’s good).

3 Craptacular

Craptacular: of exceptionally poor quality; spectacularly crappy

Along with frogurt, craptacular is one of the more accessible portmanteaus crafted by the writers of the Simpsons. Bart uses the word to describe Homer’s Christmas lights display during a Christmas episode. Certainly, there are plenty of instances in the real world where the term “crappy” just isn’t strong enough to effectively portray the sheer terribleness of a particular person, place or thing. For those instances, craptacular is here to help.

2 Unpossible

Unpossible: not possible; synonym of impossible

“Me fail English? That’s unpossible!” When Ralph Wiggum blurted out this silly little phrase in the sixth season of the Simpsons, it instantly became one of the most quoted lines of the series. Taken out of context, the term is generally meant ironically, which some may argue gives it less credibility. However, if you think the word is one that would only be used genuinely by uneducated morons, let me just point out that “unpossible” has been used by none other than William Shakespeare. The word appears in his play, Richard II.

1 Embiggen

Embiggen: To make bigger or grow in size; a perfectly cromulent word

This graceful word can be attributed to town founder Jebediah Springfield. As the town motto goes, “A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.” The word is used repeatedly throughout the 7th season episode in which all of Springfield comes down with a major case of Jebeditis (another excellent candidate for this list) during the town’s bicentennial celebration. Adding credibility to the word is the fact that it has appeared in numerous scientific publications since the episode aired.

Simpsons fans can’t think of “embiggen” without thinking of the other fake word used to describe it: cromulent. Clearly, this word should be included on this list as well – if it weren’t for the fact that the Webster’s American dictionary added it to their “New Millenium” edition a few years ago. The official definition: fine, acceptable.

Source: Guyism.com


#JuliaC#  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:23
German to Italian
+ ...
Ah... the Kwyjibo!! Sep 1, 2011

If I'm right it is from the first episode....

However, thanks Romina, really funny!


RominaZ  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
+ ...
It would be fun to post the translation or suggest one... Sep 1, 2011

Thanks, giuliacordelli!

I'm glad you liked it. I think that it would be fun to post the "Official" translation that these words have received in other languages, provided they have, and in the case they haven't to suggest one. For example, a reliable source of mine informed me that, in Latin American Spanish:

"Yoink" is "matanga"

"Meh" stays the same

"Embiggen" is translated as "agrandecer" and

"cromulent" is "validancia" in Spanish. He even provided audiovisual evidence for this.


Thomas Rühl  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:23
English to German
Being a huge Simpsons fan myself... Sep 1, 2011

I can give you most of the German translations off the cuff.icon_smile.gif

Yoink, Diddly, Glayvin (though it sounds more like "Glavin"), and Kwyjibo are the same. As for the others:
Meh - I don't think this "word" is as popular as in the original, most of the time you would just hear "eh".
Car Hole - "Autoschuppen" ("car shed")
Craptacular - OK, I'll have to pass this one
Unpossible - difficult to say, it sounds like a mumbled "unnöglich", which is very, very close to the actual word
Embiggen - "vergrandet", which in my ears sounds like a dialect (?) word meaning "to put off someone". I've been wondering about this word for ages and only understood what it's supposed to mean after having heard the English word (right, I think you can see it written down in the episode as well).


Rachel Lauber  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:23
Turkish to English
Wonderful! Sep 2, 2011

Thank you so much for posting these. I have been a Simpsons devotee since the show's beginning, and being able to recognize/define each one on my own was very gratifying.icon_smile.gif


There is no moderator assigned specifically to this forum.
To report site rules violations or get help, please contact site staff »

10 fake ‘Simpsons’ words that belong in the dictionary

Advanced search

Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »
Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »

  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search