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Become emperor of Flavortown with this glossary of Guy Fieri slang

Photo: Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images
Photo: Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images

Guy Fieri is at this point more meme than man—a readymade joke needing little or no setup or variation. Just look at his glasses, or his hair, or his flame-spiked shirts and skull-encrusted jewelry, or, indeed, any episode of his massively successful Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives, which does not fail to deliver every damn episode on the promise of some pure, undiluted Guy Fieri. In each, he is always delightedly pulling up in a muscle car to delightedly chow on spicy cheeseburger pizzas and, importantly, to delightedly shout catchphrases that express his endless sense of delight.

First We Feast has done god’s work, then, in compiling this affectionate glossary of Guy Fieri catchphrases, which doubles as a lens into the popularity of the show. The descriptions of the phrases do more than just explain the terms’ meanings—which are almost always “I, Guy Fieri, like eating this food.” They analyze the show’s place in culture and give a sense of its internal arc. Take, for example, this description for “bomb-dot-com tasty”:

This is one of Fieri’s go-to expressions in the earlier seasons of Triple D, where his campy bro-ishness was at its peak. The etymology seems to come from the late ’90s slang “the bomb,” meaning good. It’s coupled with the smooth-rhyming “dot com” to signify that we are close to reaching technological singularity and, even if we wanted to, we could never unplug from The Matrix. Also, you’ll notice that the more outlandish the descriptor, the less it seems that Fieri actually likes the food.

Later on, author Josh Scherer annotates the phrase “put it on a flip flop” thusly:

In the later episodes of Triple D, Fieri uses this as a shorthand for “This food is so packed with flavor that you could put it on a flip flop and it would still be palatable.” In 26 seasons of the show, Fieri has yet to eat an actual flip flop, signaling that this may be hyperbole. However, hope still remains that within the next 75 seasons, Fieri will eat an actual sandal. Fingers crossed.

Other terms, like “joint” (normally preceded by “funky little”), “lights-out delicious,” and the deeply troubling “hot frisbee of fun” get similarly affectionate analyses. Whenever you think the article might be bending reality, such as the inclusion of the phrase “hot tub in Flavortown,” know it is not. Guy Fieri is too real.

Take a few minutes to watch this delightful cringe compilation while pondering the phrase, “festival of funk,” which Scherer describes like this:

Sometimes the funk is so intense that it cannot be contained in one dish. Sometimes that funk bleeds out into several satellite funks, combining together to form a festival of funk. This phrase, like many of Fieri’s, is generally interchangeable with several other positive, flavor-based descriptors, but it is most readily coupled with food from non-Western cultures.

Here is a montage of Guy Fieri eating food that he would certainly describe as “righteous,” or, as Scherer annotates:

Merriam-Webster defines righteousness as: “Acting in accord with divine or moral law; free from guilt or sin.” This is one of the few times we see Guy Fieri use his platform as an opportunity to moralize. If a dish follows what Fieri considers to be divine food law, passed down from the Old Gods of Flavortown eons ago, he will not mince words.

You can work on your own fluency in Fieri-speak with the full article here.

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