I yam confused

Cidu Bill on Dec 6th 2017


Filed in Bill Bickel, Brevity, CIDU, Guy and Rodd, comic strips, comics, humor | 61 responses so far

61 Responses to “I yam confused”

  1. Arthur Dec 6th 2017 at 12:12 am 1

    A sweet potato has sweet moves.

  2. Christine Dec 6th 2017 at 12:33 am 2

    I can’t even figure out for sure whether “moves like a yam” is that he’s better than they thought, or not as good.

  3. Mona Dec 6th 2017 at 01:03 am 3

    Yams are more slender than a chubby potato, so probably have sweeter moves. And it looks like the eggplant is taking to a rutabaga. I’m guessing the statement is a play on something I’m not familiar with.

  4. Mona Dec 6th 2017 at 01:17 am 4

    Sorry. Talking. Not taking.

  5. Kilby Dec 6th 2017 at 01:29 am 5

    That’s one hot potato!

    P.S. All he said was, “I yam what I yam.

    P.P.S. Note: no spinach (left) in the audience.

    P.P.P.S. That’s one dull comic.

  6. Kamino Neko Dec 6th 2017 at 03:08 am 6

    I’m with Arthur - he’s got sweet (potato) moves.

  7. Olivier Dec 6th 2017 at 05:16 am 7

    In the US, “sweet potato” and “yam” are used interchangeably, but they are really two different vegetables: they belong to two different plant families.

  8. tigalilee Dec 6th 2017 at 09:23 am 8

    I don’t get any of this. Ok, so he’s a stripper. I guess strip clubs have theme weeks? This week’s theme is Potato. The Potato male dancer is performing for (sorry to assume gender here. It could be a gay vegetable strip club) female vegetables. One of them is an eggplant, even though eggplant drawings are used to denote male genitalia. The joke is that even though the stripper looks like a potato he moves like a yam. *eye roll* Weak joke but I do like the drawing. Particularly the digital stippling.

  9. Mitch4 Dec 6th 2017 at 10:24 am 9

    I was going to exclaim about Guy & Rodd back in action, but then noticed the 2006 copyright notice.

  10. Mitch4 Dec 6th 2017 at 10:33 am 10

    (Sorry, browser troubles)

    tigalilee, I assumed the Potato theme week meant for the cartoon series, not the depicted club or whatever.

    Recently I heard a story on “More or Less” (BBC / world service feature, sort of fact-checking for numerical stories) about the Yoruba ethnicity of Central Africa having a high twins birthrate, and speculative commentators saying it might be linked to their high yam diet.

  11. Daniel J. Drazen Dec 6th 2017 at 11:24 am 11

    I have to wonder whether there isn’t a “Pretty fly for a white guy” thing going on here.

  12. Folly Dec 6th 2017 at 12:19 pm 12

    I don’t think it’s a strip club. With the disco ball, I think it’s just a dance club. This is the movie moment where all the dancers step back except for the one bustin’ a move.

  13. Brian in STL Dec 6th 2017 at 12:26 pm 13

    I recall Alton Brown going over the difference between the real yam and the sweet potatoes that are popularly called yams in the US. I have never tried the former, and I don’t like the latter.

  14. Onnie Dec 6th 2017 at 01:05 pm 14

    Uh … I got nuthin’.

  15. narmitaj Dec 6th 2017 at 01:15 pm 15

    It all reminds me of a famous UK football headline from 25 years ago, when England were unexpectedly beaten by Sweden in Euro 92: “Swedes 2, Turnips 1″. (Calling someone a turnip is a bit of an insult round here).

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/sport-preview-paper.jpg?strip=all&w=960 for an image of the page. The sub headline “Taylor’s men get a Viking good hiding” is what you might call an Arlo entendre.

    There was another famous headline when the USA beat England at football - “Yanks 2, Planks 0″ - but I can’t find an image online, so maybe it is not true. (Plank is similarly an insult).

  16. Kilby Dec 6th 2017 at 01:23 pm 16

    @ mitch4 (9) - At first I thought that GoComics might have taken Brevity into re-runs, but that doesn’t appear to be the case, nor have they created another one of their tiresome “Classics” categories for this strip. The question remains as to why so many of the Brevity panels that show up at CIDU are so old. Is someone (perhaps even Bill) traversing the archive from the beginning?

  17. mitch4 Dec 6th 2017 at 01:25 pm 17

    Perhaps some will need a bit of help with narmitaj’s #15, if unaware that “swede” can be the name of a root vegetable. (I think it may be equivalent to rutabaga.)

    And for that matter, what on earth is a “vegetable marrow”? I first ran across it in “Capital”!

  18. tigalilee Dec 6th 2017 at 01:31 pm 18

    @ Mitch4 (10) ohh! In that case, I get it! They’re at a bar or something and Eggplant is letting Onion (?) know that they should look past homefries’* rotund appearance because he’s got the moves of a more slender tuber.

    *Homefries instead of homeboy.

    I agree that she should go for it. Onions and potatoes go great together!

  19. mitch4 Dec 6th 2017 at 01:38 pm 19

    I checked in the archives, and Brevity (then by Guy & Rodd) did indeed carry the “Potato Week” sign all that week, starting with http://www.gocomics.com/brevity/2006/12/11

  20. DemetriosX Dec 6th 2017 at 02:12 pm 20

    @mitch4 (17): Right, a Swede is a rutabaga, which is sometimes called a Swedish turnip, hence the UK name. Vegetable marrow is called that to distinguish it from bone marrow. It’s a squash cultivar, apparently similar to spaghetti squash, though the Brits like to eat them before they’re fully ripened, when they call them courgettes. Which is also what they call zucchini. They seem to be very similar in consistency and taste.

  21. Brian in STL Dec 6th 2017 at 02:23 pm 21

    “I agree that she should go for it. Onions and potatoes go great together!”

    Onions and sweet potatoes maybe, as I dislike both.

  22. Kilby Dec 6th 2017 at 02:59 pm 22

    @ mitch4 (17) & DemetriosX (20) - The British term “marrow” is a generic word for what Americans would call “squash”. If you’re looking for additional instances, try “Wallace & Gromit” in “The Curse of the Were-Rabbit”. I’ve also heard the word at least twice in various “Poirot” episodes, but I can’t think of the exact titles.

  23. fleabane Dec 6th 2017 at 03:08 pm 23

    Funny. I vaguely got the sense that “He may look like a *something* but he moves like a *something else*” was phrasing young people were saying this days and I just didn’t care nor was interested in knowing how to use it properly this time. So I figured I didn’t get this, nor why being about veggies would have any associative humor. But I figured the reason I didn’t get this was because I hadn’t bothered to know what the “He may look like a *something* but he moves like a *something else*” meant, but if I had I would.

    So I figured obviously someone here would know it.

    But apparently not.


    Post-script: Googling I find “He may look like Leo (DiCapprio) but you moves like Michael (Jackson, I presume)” about some twit (wait, was that fair… no, it wasn’t…. oh, well) name Konrad Annerud.

    Not sure how widespread this is in popular parlance but as it rang a bell for me, it must be *very* wide spread. (Although I can’t see *why* as it is one *single* article in one single fashion magazine.)

    And I don’t see why applying it to potatoes is particularly funny. Unless one subscribes to anything applied to potatoes is funny.

  24. fleabane Dec 6th 2017 at 03:15 pm 24

    “My **** may look like a needle but it moves like a sewing machine” “He may look a linebacker but he moves like a cat”.

    So…. this is something people say?

    This is really weird as it’s common enough to have three different hits on google, but not common enough to have more. But common enough that *I*’ve been exposed to it as one of those things I’ve seen but not processed?

  25. Cidu Bill Dec 6th 2017 at 03:15 pm 25

    Yes, I came across a bunch of Guy & Rodd Brevity strips.

  26. Ian D Osmond Dec 6th 2017 at 03:22 pm 26

    I think that “moves like a yam” just sounds like a thing people would say. A potato is lumpy and weird-looking, and the potato looks like a potato. But “moves like a yam” just sounds like a compliment, and that’s what they’re saying — that potato can dance.

  27. fleabane Dec 6th 2017 at 03:30 pm 27

    “Looks like Tarzan plays like Jane” is apparently something football commentators say. And on American Crime Story it was quoted “Looks likes Tarzan. In “American Crime Story” O.J. defense says O.J. had crippling arthritis and “He may look like Tarzan but he moves like Tarzan’s Grandfather”.

    So … this is a phrase that *some* people say and expect people to recognize it, but which other people have never heard of and never notices.

    Still don’t see why a potato would be funny.

  28. jajizi Dec 6th 2017 at 11:37 pm 28

    Kilby, on “Wallace & Gromit” —

    It’s funny you should mention “The Curse of the Were-Rabbit”. It was the first thing I thought of when vegetable marrow came up.

    I saw it in a theater about a year ago. The trouble is, for the American release, they changed it to “melon”! I remember thinking, “Did he call that a ‘melon’? It looks like a zucchini.” So I looked it up when I got home. Sure enough, the producers thought Americans wouldn’t understand “marrow”, and “melon” fit the sound track, so…

    I had a vague idea what a marrow is, and would probably have been less confused if they kept it.

  29. Kilby Dec 7th 2017 at 12:53 am 29

    @ jajizi (28) - In a theater last year? That movie came out in 2005!?!

  30. fleabane Dec 7th 2017 at 02:57 am 30


    I’ve never understood the insistence on replacing British expressions with Americanisms and the absolute insistence that claiming it’s to prevent confusion makes the slightest amount sense. How in the would can English people using English expressions be at all confusing, and how can anyone think hearing brits talking with American jargon isn’t jarring?

    I remember reading About A Boy, and it starts in the summer and it talked about the main character killing time watching Save By the Bell and NYPD Blue. Since NYPD Blue premiered in the US in the Fall of 1993 and would have aired later in England I assumed the book took place in 94 or later. So when it started mentioning Kurt Kurbain I got very confused thinking “wouldn’t he have been dead by then”.

  31. Shrug Dec 7th 2017 at 12:16 pm 31

    re Kilby at #22 — in the very first Agatha Christie novel, THE MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR AT STYLES, Poirot has retired from the Belgian police and settled in an English village to concentrate on his hobby of raising marrows. I think Hastings first meets him when Poirot accidentally drops a marrow on him as he’s passing by a hedge, or something like that. . .

    To me, “raising marrows” always sounds like something a good scary ghost story should be striving for.

  32. jajizi Dec 7th 2017 at 12:21 pm 32

    Kilby —

    It’s a historic local theater, and sort of artsy, I guess. Mostly first-run films, but they have a number of special series — old films, indie films, special interest movies, etc. A few weeks ago, I saw “The Quiet Man” (1952, John Ford, John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara) at a free matinee.

    I’m trying to remember what the occasion was for the Wallace & Gromit. I think it was part of a late-night Friday series they had last year. Each Friday they ran an old movie at 11 pm. I remember seeing “The Matrix” and “2001”.

  33. Mark in Boston Dec 8th 2017 at 12:30 am 33

    I suppose at some point some British movie had the following dialog:

    “Keep your pecker up.”
    “Right-o. Knock me up in the morning.”

    And ever since then they’ve thought it would be safer to dub over all the Britishisms.

  34. Kilby Dec 8th 2017 at 05:58 am 34

    @ Shrug (31) - I’ve only read a couple of the books. In the BBC series, Poirot already knew Hastings before coming as a refugee to Styles, and he mentions (in several later episodes) that he hopes “to retire to grow the vegetable marrows”. The thrown marrow gag was used in “The Death of Roger Akroyd”, but not on Hastings, instead it very nearly nails Akroyd.

  35. Kilby Dec 8th 2017 at 06:05 am 35

    @ MiB (33) - The “Harry Potter” books were (partially) “translated” for the US market. I find this eminently understandable, since the target audience is much younger, and cannot be expected to be familiar with many British terms, especially those directly at odds with their meaning in American English, such as “jumper”, or (chlidren’s) “nurse”. Rowling wasn’t pleased with all of the changes, and made the American publisher change the “mom”s back to “mum”s.

    P.S. I remember a book that I read in elementary school, in which the kids made something with “plasticine”. I had absolutely no idea what that stuff was supposed to be, and assumed that it was some sort of plastic. It wasn’t until many years later that I learned that it was simply “modeling clay”.

  36. larK Dec 8th 2017 at 01:37 pm 36

    I just finished watching an episode of the British panel show “Would I lie to you?” in which the contention under question was this guy who claimed that in school he used to pay another kid a pound to clean his rubbers…

    I also remember the hilarity on “Have I got News for You” (over multiple shows) because the White House last administration had some functionary whose name was “Randy Bumgardener” — I wonder if that guy ever new he was more famous in Britain that he was back home?

  37. Mark M Dec 8th 2017 at 05:49 pm 37

    larK @36 - I wonder if “rubbers” is mainly a British term then. In my youth I can remember my father talking about putting on his rubbers whenever it was rainy, which of course gave me a chuckle during my adolescent years. He lived his whole life in the US but did spend time in England during WW 2, so he might have picked it up there.

  38. Wendy Dec 8th 2017 at 06:31 pm 38

    @ Kilby (35) - I didn’t know that. I would have certainly been confused when Ron’s mum gave all the boys “jumpers” for Christmas, but a children’s nurse (nanny) wouldn’t have fazed me. Now I’m curious to read the British version to see how different it is. I have some familiarity with some of those terms from reading some old books my mother had, but now I wonder how many terms I assumed meant one thing, when they really meant something else.

  39. guero Dec 8th 2017 at 06:54 pm 39

    I can save you some time, Wendy. A friend visiting England brought me the first four books, back in the day. It could be that because I was mostly familiar with the Britishisms I just parsed through them without noticing, but I found very little difference. Even when I thought I had discovered something, I would compare it with the American version, and they were the same.

  40. Stan Dec 8th 2017 at 09:19 pm 40

    Kilby #35 “I remember a book that I read in elementary school, in which the kids made something with “plasticine”.”

    Wow. I’m surprised by this. I grew up in Canada (are you American?) and placticine was the name for it, at least in my neck of the woods. I think we mainly used the term ‘Play-doh’ as kids, but if I was asked what ‘Play-doh’ was, I would have said plasticine. Would you have said ‘modeling clay’?

    Still, I guess we hang on to more ‘British-isms’ then our southern neighbours. Our true colours often emerge when asked to spell certain honourable words.

  41. larK Dec 8th 2017 at 11:26 pm 41

    Mark M: the rubbers in question in the show were what Americans would call “erasers” — and yeah, you bring up an interesting point, “rubbers” for galoshes — I’m pretty sure Americans say that, though maybe with an adolescent snigger.

  42. Brian in STL Dec 9th 2017 at 02:13 am 42

    I recall a British actress on Letterman discussing a hobby farm that she had, including some sheep. She mentioned the ram was named “Roger”, “for obvious reasons.” A significant silence ensued from the audience and Dave, so a further explanation was required.

  43. Cidu Bill Dec 9th 2017 at 02:28 am 43

    Some years ago I was watching a British television program in which a guy (we only see him from the waist up) staggers half asleep out of his bedroom, having no idea there were other people in the house, and when he noticed them staring, he says “I’m not wearing any pants, am I?”

    The scene made perfect sense to me until later on he did something similar and someone said “At least you’re wearing pants, this time,” but he was wearing boxers, so clearly something was wrong.

    Then I learned that “pants” in Britain means what we in the States call “underwear.” Ah!

    And then suddenly, after several decades, Sally Bowles singing about dancing “in a pair of lacy pants” made sense.

    Which is why George Bernard Shaw and/or Oscar Wilde and/or Winston Churchill or none of the above said we were two countries divided by a common language.

  44. Kilby Dec 9th 2017 at 03:21 am 44

    @ Wendy (38) - As guero said @39, the alterations were very minor, and probably limited to misunderstandable words. I can’t confirm any of this, because I mailed the two books I owned years ago to a friend in Oregon who was eager to read the “original” version. (The other two books that I read were borrowed copies. I gave up on Rowling after book 4, not wishing to push myself through another 500-page tome containing a plot twist on page 450 that could just as easily been placed at page 150, for a potential savings of 300 pages).

  45. Kilby Dec 9th 2017 at 03:48 am 45

    @ Stan (40) - Younger kids probably say “Play-Doh” for all types, but “modeling clay” is really a different substance: it doesn’t dry out like Play-Doh (or at least not as fast), and is more likely to leave a mark (probably because of a higher oil content. Either way, I’ve never heard anyone in the US say “plasticine”.

    P.S. @ larK (41) - I’m still not quite comfortable that my kid will be learning the word “rubber” for his “erasers” (in his English classes here in Germany).

  46. Kilby Dec 9th 2017 at 03:50 am 46

    Parallel to the “mom/mum” difference @35, there’s a German word that I have seen many times as a translation for the American words “dad” or “pop”, but only in printed form. I have never heard a German kid (or anyone else) actually use the term “Paps“. I have a feeling that it is an archaic title (late 19th, early 20th century) that has been preserved just because it is the only single-syllable term that corresponds to the English words. (German kids normally say “Papa” or “Papi“, I had to insist to get “Daddy” instead, figuring that at some point it will get shortened to “Dad”).

    P.S. Unfortunately, we’re only half-way there. My son occasionally enjoys tweaking me by calling me “Dada”.

  47. DemetriosX Dec 9th 2017 at 06:59 am 47

    I think the only place I’ve ever seen Paps is in the German version of Zits. It might be nice if they started using it in dubbed American TV shows, though. The best most Germans seem to be able to do with Dad comes out sounding more like “dead”, which can be rather disconcerting.

    This may be a bit geezery, but I find that I’m unable to see the word plasticine without immediately adding “porters with looking-glass ties”. I’ve been earwormed off and on by this discussion for days now.

    And it seems to me we had a fairly lengthy discussion of the rubber/eraser thing a few months ago. I don’t remember galoshes being brought up at the time. I think rubbers for galoshes is somewhat outdated. It was known enough so that it could be played with in the early days of safe sex awareness campaigns, but I don’t know if it’s still current. Might have been regional, too. Do people even still wear overshoes?

  48. mitch4 Dec 9th 2017 at 10:46 am 48

    I think rubbers for galoshes is somewhat outdated. It was known enough so that it could be played with in the early days of safe sex awareness campaigns, but I don’t know if it’s still current. Might have been regional, too. Do people even still wear overshoes?

    I thought both galoshes and overshoes were larger than [the footwear type of] rubbers. The latter were meant for traction on ice, not sealing against wet snow and such, and just stretched over the sole, heel, and a portion of the toe top and sides of your shoe.

  49. Cidu Bill Dec 9th 2017 at 12:36 pm 49

    My best recollection us that my boys — both in their mid-20s now — have never even owned galoshes.

  50. larK Dec 9th 2017 at 01:50 pm 50

    Would British people understand “rubbers” to also men galoshes, or is “rubbers” strictly the plural of things for rubbing out pencil marks?

  51. Dave in Boston Dec 9th 2017 at 10:29 pm 51

    Obsessive fans have made at least one concordance of the differences between the two sets of Harry Potter books. They include some bowdlerizations (like “Sorcerer’s Stone”, wtf) and based on that I refused to touch the ganked versions. So I have a full set of the originals, although some of them are Canadian rather than all the way from England.

  52. James Pollock Dec 10th 2017 at 12:12 am 52

    How is “Sorcerer’s Stone” a Bowdlerization?

  53. Dave in Boston Dec 10th 2017 at 01:16 am 53

    Because it’s something the editors made up, whereas the “philosopher’s stone” is taken from medieval alchemy.
    I am surprised you aren’t aware of this.

  54. Kilby Dec 10th 2017 at 07:45 am 54

    @ Dave (53) - I don’t think it was the “editors”, I think it was the marketing department. Even though “philosopher” is historially more accurate, it sounds nerdy and boring. Changing it to “sorcerer” implies the possibility of exciting action.

  55. James Pollock Dec 10th 2017 at 09:28 am 55

    “Because it’s something the editors made up”

    OK, fine.

    Now… what abot it makes it Bowdlerization to you? Because it sure doesn’t seem to be.

  56. Stan Dec 10th 2017 at 08:03 pm 56

    Kilby #45 - “Younger kids probably say “Play-Doh” for all types but “modeling clay” is really a different substance”

    …So, what’s Play-doh then? It’s a brand name for…what?

  57. Stan Dec 10th 2017 at 09:04 pm 57

    Actually, it’s a slow day at work. On this subject, Wikipedia says: “Plasticine, a brand of modelling clay…”

    As I’ve just been substituting one brand name for another all these years, the point is now moot. Modelling clay it is, all around.

  58. Dave in Boston Dec 10th 2017 at 11:03 pm 58

    James: I know how this particular discussion goes, so let’s just skip right to the part where you have to have the last word…

  59. Mitch4 Dec 10th 2017 at 11:20 pm 59

    And then there is Silly Putty…

  60. Meryl A Dec 13th 2017 at 03:51 am 60

    I am on a yahoo group that has 5 current somewhat active members - the most active being 2 ladies from the England (one of them from Nottingham) and me. We translate for each other all time. Over there a jumper is what we call sweater here not a sleeveless overdress as it has - primarily worn by private/parochial school girls. Of course there are crackers (or sweet crackers) for cookies as opposed to savory crackers. Biscuits also being cookies.

    When I was a kid it was all just called clay - although I know from the time I could read that some was labeled as Plasticine.

  61. Meryl A Dec 13th 2017 at 04:01 am 61

    I think that there was a change in an episode of Doc Martin. He is concerned that a boy has a blood glucose of 24. In the UK and most of the world this would be a high reading. In the US it is a low reading as a different scale is used. So I expected Doc Martin to say how high the reading is - but he talks about how low it is - which it would only be in the US.

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