2

I have been unable to find a definition, or a source for the word mertilize. I've seen it used on TV, in articles, and even in comic strips.

5
  • 1
    Do you have any examples? If so, please edit, rather than commenting. Oct 24, 2014 at 16:40
  • Mertilize: to annihilate. I gotta get the car back by 8, or Dad's gonna mertilize me! Crew, set your phazers to maximum mertilize. From Urban Dict.
    – user66974
    Oct 24, 2014 at 16:41
  • 5
    @Josh61 - can that be right? I thought that was murdalize. That is a very old word (like, scores of years). I remember that in Loony Toons cartoons. Oct 24, 2014 at 16:48
  • 3
    @medica Yes, it’s murdalize. People don’t know how to spell things these days. :) It’s a take on murder > murderize with a swap of R and L.
    – tchrist
    Oct 24, 2014 at 18:01
  • 1
    @medica, I just spend a perfectly good lunch break trying to find one of those instances that I'm sure I heard too - with no luck! Oct 24, 2014 at 18:55

4 Answers 4

6

Assuming it's the same word I've heard and seen many times in cartoons and old movies, the word is "murderlize" and as it's defined in the Dictionary of American Slang.

It is a variation on a threat to cause bodily harm to someone, but said in a funny way..."I'll murderlize you!"

2
  • 2
    And don't forget the rare form "myrtleize," used only when a Myrtle is doing the murderlizing!
    – Papa Poule
    Oct 24, 2014 at 19:16
  • 2
    All seriousness aside, my "myrtleize" is obviously a joke, but I grew up with the Three Stooges and remember hearing them use "murderlize" even before hearing Bugs use it (which he did). Anyway, here's a link to a book, "Hollywood and Crime" (about 30 or so books from the top), published in 2007, containing the short story "Murderlized" about a 1937 murderlization! threestooges.net/bibliography
    – Papa Poule
    Oct 24, 2014 at 19:49
4

It is a slang term meaning "to destroy or annihilate". Usually, this destruction is done in a fantastical way with a heavy leaning on science-fiction elements.

It is not a very common term and the earliest usage I could find was Calvin and Hobbes from January 2009:

enter image description here

11
  • 5
    I'm guessing that variation on the spelling may be from the Calvin and Hobbes era but the word itself dates back to early movies and cartoons. Oct 24, 2014 at 17:48
  • 1
    I tried, really I did! Apparently it's not in print form (per ngram) and I tried searching YouTube but I got no hits on any variation of the word. I only know that I heard it on TV in the 60's and that it was commonly used amongst us kids back then. I can actually hear Bugs Bunny saying it - with a New Jersey ('joisey') accent! lol! Oct 24, 2014 at 19:13
  • 2
    The three stooges used this term often. "Oh, a wiseguy huh? I'll murderize ya!". So it was in use in the 30's to 40's
    – APrough
    Oct 24, 2014 at 19:38
  • 4
    Watterson's Calvin & Hobbes ended in 1995, however, which would place this source at least that early. It doesn't change the other references, of course, but it's worth noting. Oct 24, 2014 at 20:10
  • 2
    It should be noted that Calvin/Watterson loved to invent new words like "mertilizer beam". There's probably an invented word in about every 10th strip, and almost certainly one in every Spaceman Spiff strip.
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 24, 2014 at 21:18
4

Murdelize is the combination of "murder" and "pulverize." It was a commonly used piece of dialogue in the original "Three Stooges" TV series used as a threat or in response to some perceived wrong. The Stooges are the earliest record of the word I could find.

1
  • It was in early Warner Bros. cartoons as well, though the stooges may have had it earlier.
    – Almo
    Oct 25, 2014 at 4:32
0

I think the word you may be thinking of is "marmalise".

EDIT: In spite of a downvote, I'll press on.

"Marmalize", from Wiktionary: "To thrash", "To defeat decisively". Alternative spelling "Marmalise".

In the UK we never really had the Three Stooges so can't comment, but as someone who is exposed to Looney Tunes cartoons virtually every day, this is unquestionably the word that Bugs Bunny uses, "Why I'll marmalize ya!". Also, many of the other characters use it on the same context.

3
  • 2
    I never heard of that Lefty. It sounds a little like marmalade! :-) (FYI - I'm not the downvoter!) Oct 24, 2014 at 20:30
  • Maybe if you'd spelled it with a 'z' in your first line more people would have been able to recognize it as a legitimate answer! (I got you back to even)
    – Papa Poule
    Oct 25, 2014 at 0:44
  • @Papa Thanks, you're probably right but I'm British and tend to leave the "z" spellings to Americans (as a rule).
    – Lefty
    Oct 25, 2014 at 7:00

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.