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Once in a great while I stumble across a strange fact about an English phrase or term that originated directly from film or print.

For instance,

  • "Be afraid. Be very afraid." - Originated from the movie The Fly (1986).1
  • The name "Wendy" was a rarely-used name until the Peter Pan character Wendy Darling.2
  • William Shakespeare invented a lot of words3a and turned many a phrase3b, including "eyeball," "puking," and "laughing stock."

My question is, what are your favorite or most astonishing portions of your vernacular whose origins lie in film, music or print media? Regional or local uses are fine too.

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closed as not constructive by simchona, kiamlaluno, z7sg Ѫ, Robusto, Mitch Aug 19 '11 at 12:40

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Voting to close: this is a list question. –  simchona Aug 19 '11 at 8:56
@simchona: What's wrong with list questions? –  amphetamachine Aug 19 '11 at 9:10
They don't have a definitive answer. One of the reasons for close votes is "this question will likely solicit opinion, debate, polling, or extended discussion." You can see more here. –  simchona Aug 19 '11 at 9:13
There used to be a checkbox, but now the way to create a CW is to flag the question and ask a moderator to do it. Don't get me wrong--I'm interested in the answers to this question. Just as a CW instead. –  simchona Aug 19 '11 at 9:22
People are closing questions because they think it might be against the rules, not because it's a question that is in any way undesirable. It's a little worrying. –  Jeremy Aug 19 '11 at 13:25

1 Answer 1

I love list questions.

"Madison" was never a girl's name until the mermaid in Splash picked it for herself (she was crossing Madison Avenue and saw the sign).

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