30 Words And Phrases You Might Not Realize Originated From A Movie Or TV Show

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Vote up the common words and phrases you didn't realize got their start on the big and small screens.

The ancient Greeks are not the only ones who can take credit for the etymology of key words and phrases.Well-used terms and slang can easily come from a long-running cartoon, a late-night TV show, a cartoon character, or a beloved rom-com.

Here are a few examples of everyday words and phrases whose origin and popularity can be traced to a TV show or movie. Vote up the words and phrases with a surprising origin story. 


  • From

    A sexually attractive older woman, typically one who has children.

    The popularity of the term "MILF" can be traced to the movie American Pie.

  • 2
    99 votes

    Meh - 'The Simpsons'

    From Merriam-Webster:

    Not impressive; apathetic, different.

    Though the word has Yiddish roots and can be traced back to 1928, the word "meh" to be used as a term of indifference was introduced into popular culture by The Simpsons in 1994.

  • From

    1. A descendant of Ham represented in Genesis as a mighty hunter and a king of Shinar.

    2. A person expert in or devoted to hunting.

    3. A foolish or inept person; doofus.

    In the Bible, “Nimrod” is a hunter, a king, and a close descendent of Noah. But in a Looney Tunes episode, Bugs Bunny called Elmer Fudd a "nimrod" in a sarcastic manner. After this instance, the term has been used to in lieu of "moron" or "idiot."

  • Originating in the movie Cluelessthe term means "as would be the case if" or "very doubtful."

  • From Merriam-Webster:

    A freelance photographer who aggressively pursues celebrities for the purpose of taking candid photographs.

    Italian, from Paparazzo, surname of such a photographer in the film La dolce vita (1959) by Federico Fellini.

  • 6
    74 votes

    Droid - 'Star Wars: A New Hope'


    Droid is short for android, meaning “robot.”

    The word droid is popularly known for its use as the name for intelligent robots in Star Wars. Some of the franchise’s most famous droids include R2-D2, C-3P0, and BB-8.