Wordapalooza

Everything About Words You Wondered but Never Asked

Lost in Fan Language

Television Without Pity

This is my past week: I got bit by a dog. I almost got in a fight. My cable went out. I had the flu. My quasi-girlfriend dumped me to pursue a relationship with someone who doesn’t live on this continent. On a scale of one to ten, last week sucked.

Worst of all, I realized I am stone-cold hooked on Lost again.

How do I know I have a problem? Because last Thursday, with my television and body in a state of total malfunction, I actually dragged my sorry tushie to the gym to watch this damnable show on the exercise bike for an hour. And, Zeus help me, I loved it.

I regret my new devotion to this fraking show because I’ve been burned before—by Alias—a show I loved much more than Lost, a show by some of the same producers as Lost, a show with about 1/800th the mysteries and loose threads of Lost. And Alias completely screwed the pooch on its long-term stories. So I know Lost will burn me, but apparently I’m an idiot.

My only comfort is that I have some company in my idiocy—which brings me back to words. I don’t find the language on the show very notable, but the speculation, celebration, and bitteration on message boards about the show, especially on Television Without Pity, are a different matter.

Find a Therapist

Search for a mental health professional near you.

Though lacking pity and remorse, TWoP threads are rich with slang, acronyms, and in-jokes that can be a bit daunting to newcomers. Here’s a secret decoder ring for some terms I’ve seen.

Jackus
This blend of Jack and Jesus is a nickname for Jack Shepherd used by fans who are barfed out by the portrayal of Jack as a selfless hero.

Original Recipe Sawyer
Locke's father, who ruined Locke's life, ruined Sawyer's life, and probably strangled puppies in his spare time to relax.

Jate, Skate, Khate
Name blends for the pairings Jack and Kate and Sawyer and Kate, plus one for fans who just loathe Kate.

hobbit
Charlie, because of his Lord of the Rings role. Sadly, Lost is now hobbit-free.

Boaties
The folks on the boat that was contacted in the third-season finale. Boaties goes well with Losties (the original Lostaways) and Tallies (Eko, Ana Lucia, and the rest of the now-mostly-dead second group of survivors).

That’s the mere tip of the slang-berg. Any Lostaholics out there who recall the 7,891 terms I’ve forgotten?

P.S. Here's a TWoP-related thing I did awhile back that Buffyheads may enjoy.

Mark Peters is a freelance writer, language columnist, and dictionary-maker from Chicago.

more...

Subscribe to Wordapalooza

Current Issue

Just Say It

When and how should we open up to loved ones?