Historically Speaking

Making sense of it all!

Posts Tagged ‘1994’

Mouse Potato

Posted by Admin on April 11, 2011

ArwBlu3d This entry was mentioned in an article at Bon Appetit magazine.  Click HERE to read more

ArwBlu3d This entry was mentioned in an article at Enjoy Your Meal website.  Click HERE to read more.

This term “mouse potato” is a hybrid expression that sews together “couch potato” and “computer mouse.”

For those who aren’t in the loop, a couch potato springs forth under certain conditions, those conditions being the presence of a couch, at least one bag of potato chips, and a television that seems to have no “off” button. In recent years, couch potatoes have evolved and now Internet communities are seeing the emergence of a new being known as the “mouse potato.”

The Bahrain Gulf Daily News published an article on April 13, 2011, written by B. Comber entitled “Recycling of Used Words.”  In his news story, he wrote:

No longer can we refer to anyone with literary or bookish pretensions as ‘booksy’, nor can we use the term ‘mouse potato’ for someone who wastes a lot of time on the computer. ‘Cheque cards’ and ‘cassette decks’ have been left behind by the rapid growth of technology, while for some reason OUP will no longer allow us to roast a chicken in a ‘chicken brick’.  I suppose we are meant to use a turducken brick instead, in these enlightened engastricated days.

On August 2, 2006 Nestor E. Arellano wrote an article for IT World Canada entitled, “Heavy Net Users Log Off From Family, Friends, Says StatsCan.”  He reported in part:

Behold the mouse potato — heavy Internet users who spend hours on end in front of the computer tapping and scrolling away their time for no apparent financial reward. Statistics Canada tracked the nature and habits of this creature last year and their findings reveal that people who spend time on the Internet for more than an hour each day are logging off from their spouses or partners as well as their children and friends.

And back on May 8, 2001, Carol Braham, one a number of senior editor at Random House, was quoted in a story by freelance writer, Jacqueline Rivkin for Long Island Newsday.  In the article which dealt with the latest updates in the 2001 edition of the Random House Webster’s College Dictionary, Ms. Braham stated that more than 300 new words and meanings had been added to the modern dictionary, including slang.  It read in part:

Some words which made it into the dictionary: gaydar (the ability to recognize that another person is gay), my bad (my fault), mouse potato (a person who spends much leisure time at a computer), senior moment (a lapse or moment of confusion) and 24/7 (an abbreviation for 24 hours a day seven days a week.)

Back on December 31, 1995 the Associated Press ran a story entitled, “New Words Change Our Conversations and Our Dictionaries.”  It began by stating:

Among this year’s new or newly prominent words and phrases are World Wide Web, the portion of the Internet where computers users call up information; “mouse potato,” a person hooked on computers; and “nastygram,” an unwelcome message on the Internet.

Almost 2 years before that, on March 4, 1994 James Fussell, staff writer for the Kansas City Star newspaper wrote an article entitled, “Talk Nerdy To Me: Computer Jargon Moves From Savvy Online Users To Everyday Language.”  The article began with:

For most people, especially those of you too computer illiterate to page your sysop, the idea of “meeting Ed” probably doesn’t sound all that bad.  It all depends on whether Ed is your kind of guy, right?   There’s just one problem. Ed isn’t a guy. Ed’s not even human. And frankly, you really don’t want to meet Ed, although you probably have hundreds of times.

Don’t go postal on us. You’re probably just a clueless newbie. Go hang around a mouse potato and see if you can get him to geek out and do a brain dump. The seeming drivel you are reading actually is just a new way to communicate It is the jargon of the truly computer literate.

The expression “couch potato” — the mouse potato predecessor — dates back to 1976, according to the trademark registration.  Tom Iacino of Pasadena pictured where a potato might sit if it was watching television, and came up with the term “couch potato.”  Once the expression was registered, Tom Iacino‘s  friend Bob Armstrong drew a cartoon of a potato on a couch and made money selling couch potato T-shirts, books and newsletters.

Posted in Idioms from the 20th Century | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

When Hell Freezes Over

Posted by Admin on January 12, 2011

If you say that something will happen when hell freezes over, you mean that it will never happen. 

For example, when the Eagles broke up in 1980, the band members stated the band play together again “when Hell freezes over.”  Well, Hell hadn’t frozen over by the time 1994 rolled around however, in 1994, the Eagles — consisting of Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, Don Felder, and Timothy Schmit — regrouped and released a live album entitled, “Hell Freezes Over.”

Of course, the Eagles were premature with their announcement about Hell as the U.S. Weather Station in Hell, Michigan can attest to the fact that in all the years the government has been tracking the weather in Hell, it only froze over once and that was in 2004 — 10 years after the Eagles‘ live album.

Back on October 27, 1928 the Afro American newspaper published in Baltimore, a story written by William Pickens reporting on Oscar DePriest who was allegedly forced to quit the race for Congress in Chicago was published.  The article read in part: 

“If he were guilty and afraid, he would agree to quit under condition that the indictment be dropped. But to their surprise, when they went to him and said:  “Now, won’t you withdraw?” — he replied:  “You go to hell, and when hell freezes over so you can skate around on it, bring me proof of that and maybe I’ll think about quitting.”

The man has more plain courage than any other politician I have ever met.  He laid all his cards on the table at a meeting in Chicago on October 14 … He told just how he stood, frankly stated his opposition to some of the most powerful leaders: said in bold but brief outline what he would do as Congressman and what he wouldn’t.

Back on November 23, 1863 during the Civil War, 2nd Lieutenant, Richard B. Dobbins from Company D of the 7th Tennessee Cavalry Battalion was captured at Pulaski, Tennessee.  Records show that he was sent to Camp Chase (OH). Was asked when he was going to take the oath, and his reply was, “When Hell freezes over.”   He was released by special order of President Lincoln, April 23, 1864.

While the earliest recorded version of “when Hell freezes over” appears to be 1864, the manner in which it was used implies that it was a common saying among those in the southern states.  It is not unreasonable to believe that the expression dates back at least to the 1850s if not farther back.

Posted in Idioms from the 19th Century | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »