Elmo Love You

Talking with an American recently I referred to a third-person as: “a bit of a Muppet”.

They were obviously a bit confused about what I meant, and when I dug into it I realised that we didn’t have the same interpretation at all.

To me it was derogatory (i.e. a little gormless, unable to think for themselves). 

To them it was something else entirely (i.e. cute, uber-friendly, anxious to teach you things … like counting and co-operation).

I had to admit they had a point.

I wonder how this came about?  Why are we so negative about Muppets?

And, is it just a kiwi thing?  Or, are there other places in the world that disrespect the Muppets like this too?  (I’d be interested to hear from readers from abroad on this issue!)

Either way, be warned.  If you intend to offend pick your words carefully!

10 thoughts on “Elmo Love You”

  1. The Brits use the term “Muppet” with similar derogatory connotations as us kiwis. Especially the English rugby playing fraternity.

  2. I think it’s cos Kiwis are, at our lowest, a bunch of cynical b@#$tards. At our best, we are pretty funny and have a dry sense of humour which includes making derogatory comments about seemingly harmless things like Muppets.

  3. Likewise the term “grouse”, which in Britain can mean a bird (rather good to eat as well), a grumpy person, a complaint, something bad, while in NZ and Oz it means the complete opposite – something good!

  4. Like Dean, I first heard common use of the term in London, so I suspect that is where we’ve picked it up.

    The association with stupidity probably derived from the antics on the original Muppet Show.

  5. In the Caribbean is the same thing. Nothing good about being a muppet.

    And yes it is from the muppet show, where each character was pretty daft.

  6. You’ll get a similar look if you ever try to use the term ‘lucked in’ in the US. Apparently to have good luck you need to ‘luck out’

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