Cram it in the boot!

An enthusiastic ad campaign for the Mini Cooper car (viewable on many sites, for instance this one), using suggestive, but not actually taboo, vocabulary to catch the viewers’ attention. A very old strategy, but one that can be done with a light and self-mocking tone (“Take it off. Take it all off” for Noxzema Shaving Cream, here) or in a brassy adolescent-showoff way, as here.

(First time I saw it, I thought it might be a Monty Python sketch I had somehow missed. But no.)

The main ingredients: cram it and in the boot.

First, cram it, as in Cram it! and its cousin Shove it! (and other variants, like jam), with a suppressed oblique destimation complement up/in your ass — with a muted further sense akin to that of Fuck it! and Screw it! ‘to hell with it!’ (though to be fair, Cram it! can also be used to convey ‘cram your mouth shut, shut up’).

All of these usages are exclamation-only. Kim crammed / shoved / fucked / screwed it cannot be used to convey that Kim abandoned or lost interest in it, whatever it refers to in context.

The second ingredient: in the boot ‘into the boot/trunk of a vehicle’. Two parts, the P in and its NP object the boot. The in ‘into’ goes along with cram / shove in Cram / Shove it! above.

Then there’s boot. In BrE this is just the equivalent of AmE trunk (of a car). Both are metaphorically connected to the body-part the buttocks (a.k.a. behind or rear (end)), and the AmE slang lexicon associates them both to this body-part, in booty and in junk in the trunk.

The anal-sex innuendo wasn’t missed by Super Bowl XLV (2011) viewers, some of whom thought that it was piss-your-pants funny, some that it was rude, crude, and unamusing. That’s the risk you take when you try to talk dirty without actually talking dirty.

Some reports:

SuperDude: have heard some people harrumph about it but I thought it was funny. mini countryman looks kinda cool. and I am doing my part to make “cram it in the boot” the “up yours!” of 2011. (link)

Mini Cooper took the risque route with their new Super Bowl commercial, ‘Cram it in the Boot!’ An obvious sexual reference, some people on Twitter were shocked and offended, others LOVED it. (link)

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