or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Friday, June 09, 2006


I don't have any particular point to make today: I'm just idly musing about something I couldn't possibly find the answer to. Muse along with me.

In a piece about Americans and soccer, Dave Eggers writes the following sentence:

Once the referees have decided either to issue a penalty or not to our Fakey McChumpland, he will jump up, suddenly and spectacularly uninjured—excelsior!—and will kick the ball over to his teammate and move on.

I've seen that fake-name structure so many times and never really thought much about it, and I suppose there's no way to find out, but I wish I knew: when did it start and how did it become more or less universal, that joke name built on the skeleton [to-the-point adjective]+(if necessary)y Mc+[insulting noun]?

I first noticed this in the short-lived TV series "Mission Hill", in which one character called his irritating younger brother "Surly McDouchebag". I found this hilarious because I still, unaccountably, think the word "douchebag" is hilarious.

You can Google "Mc+", with the noun of your choice, and be almost guaranteed of finding a name. Fruity McBastard. Twatsy McTwat. Smokey McAsshole.

Sometimes you'll just find "Mc-" plus the noun, and I think this likely has to do with the ubiquity of McDonald's; "McJob" has become a shorthand way of saying "low-paying, horrible retail work", and there are plenty of other such constructions ("McArchitecture", "McFood") signifying cheapness, badness, or other undesirability.

That's all I got.


Blogger Bright Beak said...

Rodney McKay: "Doctor Fumbles McStupid over here was in way over his head!"
Radek Zalenka: "Yes, yes, *I* made a mistake trying to save *your* life. Now, do you want to try to fix it, or do you want to continue to berate me somewhat?"
Rodney: "I'm perfectly capable of doing both at the same time."

- Stargate Atlantis: Duet
- Episode 2.04

I damn near wet myself when I heard that one for the first time. It doesn't end in -y, but it does meet the rest of the requirements.


Monday, June 12, 2006 5:15:00 PM  

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