In Russian language there's a slang/meme to describe something that possesses the "ideal" properties or characteristics - "lamp". It comes from the myth that amplifiers for sound systems that are based on lamp diodes literally sound better than transistor analogues. Hence, "warm lamp sound". The saying got more popular and characteristic "lamp" became standalone. "Lamp chat", "lamp [twitch] stream", "lamp tyan (girl)" - all describe something heartful, cordial, better than usual, maybe even perfect, etc.

So I was wondering - is there a slang/meme analogue for this term in English?

  • A 'lamp diode' is a 'tube' -- however, 'tubular' is surfing slang (although it does mean 'perfect').
    – AmI
    Commented Mar 15, 2019 at 4:16
  • 1
    Hm, I must admit, I never seen this usage of the word tubular, but I would suspect it's more akin to 'cool' or, god forbid, 'radical'. One would say 'lamp' about something idk, calm or static. The lamp [thing] just exists, you don't perform lamp [actions].
    – Eugene
    Commented Mar 15, 2019 at 4:38
  • 'Valve' is also a common term for this type of device. But AFAIK this slang usage doesn't exist in English.
    – Jeremy
    Commented Mar 15, 2019 at 10:02
  • I'd also question whether it's a 'myth' that valve amps sound better than transistor amps (without specialised circuitry to emulate valve characteristics). But there's probably an entire StackExchange site dedicated to that question.
    – Jeremy
    Commented Mar 15, 2019 at 10:04

3 Answers 3


As slang, something that's both better than normal and welcome could be described as the bee's knees:


: a highly admired person or thing : CAT'S MEOW

Note the equivalent the cat's meow.

The Phrase Finder says this:

If something is said to be the bee's knees it is excellent - the highest quality.

It also mentions the cat's pyjamas and others.

A final piece of slang that I hear to describe quality is top drawer:


If you describe someone or something as top-drawer, you are saying, often in a humorous way, that they have a high social standing or are of very good quality.

(in British) noun
people of the highest standing, esp socially
(esp in the phrase out of the top drawer)

The players were top drawer.
The Sun (2012)

The fans will see what a top-drawer player he is.
The Sun (2009)

I can't think of anything that also has connotations of the mystical, however. Unless you think of those expressions involving animals as being mystical in some way.


Unicorn if you mean something mythically perfect, unatainable. Named for the rare creature in mythology.

A Unicorn can refer to a man or a woman and is often used to describe the perfect catch or perfect partner. A Unicorn is a mythical creature, someone amazing who is hard to catch or simply a very rare find.

Urban Dictionary

Note, when I went to look for sources, I learned that unicorn has specific usage in certain communities concerning the perfect (almost always) female partner to join an established male-female couple in a relationship.



In the SciFi world of Artificial Intelligence, a "positronic brain" (conceived by Isaac Asimov) was used to create the AI for Sunny in the movie I, Robot and for Data in Star Trek TNG. SciFi is modern myth, which meets one of your criterion.

From your example of audio processing, it doesn't seem that you mean "Internet" only, but "tech" as a whole. "Positronic" AI is certainly tech-myth, meeting even more of your criteria.

"Positronic" is an adjective, yet another one of your criterion.

Being largely ficticious (theory at most), people would know that your use of "positronic" is not literal and others should quickly catch the meaning of your inventive figure of speech, even if they hear it for the first time.

Examples of proposed use:

It was beyond perfect, it was positronic.

I met this positronic guy yesterday; I think I'm in love.

With connections to SciFi already mentioned, "positronic" carries a connotation as being ideal, perfect, and kind, the "angelic holiness" of circuitry. While both SciFi stories had their malevolent positronic AIs (VIKI and Lore) the "tragedy" of those stories is that a positronic circuit should result in a benevolent AI, all the more underlining that "positronic" inherently carries more than its positive-benevolent connotation from fiction, but also should live up to its etymological root: positive.

Positronic brain | Wikipedia

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