English, motherf**ker, do you speak it? (Part 5)

A five part series on words with cinematic origins


9. strangelove (Dr. Strangelove, 1963)


Definition: (noun) A person, especially a military or government official, who advocates initiating nuclear warfare.

To use it in a sentence: Kim Jong Un will play a Strangelove in the next film by Quentin Tarantino.


How did it originate?
The word comes from a character in Stanley Kubrick’s 1963 film, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. The film was a satirical treatment of the nuclear age during the Cold War.

10. rosebud (Citizen Kane, 1941)


Definition: (noun) an enigmatic clue which provides revelatory insight into a person’s character (according to the Oxford English Dictionary)

It also describes a feeling of nostalgia of simpler and more innocent times in our lives.

To use it in a sentence: Dr. Khan was able to decipher Kaira’s rosebud after a few sessions.


How did it originate?


If not the greatest movie of all time, it surely is one of the most talked about films. The story of Charles Foster Kane, a wealthy newspaper mogul primarily inspired by William Randolph Hearst,  whose personal, political and professional lives are destroyed due to his own hubris and sexual infidelities. His scandals yield the type of headlines he masterminded in his own newspapers. By alienating the ones who loved him, he is left to spend his dying moments alone in a castle (more Hades than Xanadu), pondering about his childhood innocence and how he eventually lost it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s