Monday, August 17, 2020

Talk Like An Insider - Part the Second

I have, in previous posts, shared some of the rich idiomatic language unique to the watch business. But I also realize that like any language, it can vary by region or specialization.

And today I thought it might be useful to share with you some of what a colleague has referred to as Henki-Speak.

You might want to turn the lights down and have young, impressionable children leave the room as some of the language is going to get a little blue...

1. The Big Dipper - generally refers to one or two outlets who respond to most press releases with a rate card. The response is invariable couched in regret that the "Team" is just so busy that they don't have time to cover your watch, but one sure-fire way to get coverage would be to "take advantage of" their special "sponsored" or "partner" content. This is a pretty way to discuss payola that leaves enough grey area that some brands will still allow the influential outlet to "dip their hands" into their wallet. Hence - The Big Dipper.

2. To Go Deep South - When a retailer immediately offers 30% off a watch before you can even start to negotiate.

3. To Go All War and Peace - When someone writing about watches insists on taking 5,000 or so words to write about something that really only needed 250. Based on the somewhat verbose prose of one Mr. Tolstoy. As it applies to digital watch journalism, less is sometimes more.

4. Pralines and dick - Typically referring to a big swinging dick in the industry who perpetually treats pretty much everyone like shit, yet somehow still hangs onto his crown. Not to be sexist, but almost exclusively males. Originates with Wayne's World. "If he were an ice cream flavor, he'd be pralines and dick."

5. A Wimpy - When a retailer, brand, or client continues to delay paying while at the same time requesting more products and or services. Based on the character J. Wellington Wimpy from Popeye, who probably could have taught modern day hustlers a lesson or two on street survival. Famous for the proposition - "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."

Shamelessly borrowed from the World-Wide Info-Web
6. To Go All Mojo Nixon - For those unfamiliar, Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper were popular for a hot minute back in the 80s, famous for sensitive ballads like "Where the Hell's My Money?", a song about playing a sold out concert and having the club owner try to avoid paying. This is a situation near and dear for many of us who, on occasion, have made the mistake of not insisting on a cash retainer before delivering any work. Which can lead us to react this way to a Wimpy -
Courtesy of Meme on Me
7. Janky - Originates in the Steel City (that's Pittsburgh to you). Essentially meaning of inferior quality, construction, or worth.

8. The Transfer Window Opens - Essentially someone either lost their job, or got a new one. A slight parody of the Transfer Window in European Football (or soccer). Not unlike the trade deadline in American (US) sports like baseball, it is the only time during the season where a team can trade or "transfer" a player that they are no longer so enamored with. Although there is no official transfer deadline in Watch Town, the addition and / or subtraction of executives tends to follow a shared time frame.

9. Buy the Widow a Drink - buying yourself and your colleagues a round of champagne due to your / their success. Based on Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin, the famous widow who grew Veuve Clicquot into something truly dynamic. I use this phrase typically when I have succeeded when it seemed highly likely that I would not.

10. My friend - I still maintain this means just the opposite when directed at you by a brand representative. To quote Anthony Bourdain -
"But if you use the word pal - or worse, the phrase my friend - in my kitchen, it'll make people paranoid. My friend famously means "asshole" in the worst and most sincere sense of the word."

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