Geek compounds

Today’s Zippy, returning to Pancake Circus, to trade geek compounds:


Three things: the expressions being traded, which start out in panel 1 as N + N compounds from the tech world, both Ns monosyllables, and then get a bit more varied, but still with accent on the initial syllable (the default accentuation for  compounds); the final expression, FlapJax, certainly referring to flapjacks (a U.S. synonym for pancakes, as fits the Pancake Circus context) but possibly also to the fictional character Jax from the Mortal Combat games (in line with the tenchnogeek theme); and the re-use of the visual material from another Zippy cartoon, now with different text.

The geek expressions. From the body  of the cartoon and the title, with notes on the form of the expressions (not all are straightforwardly N + N, and two are trisyllabic rather than disyllabic), on their status as tech items, and on their attestation status (I’ve boldfaced the two I haven’t found, but Bill Griffith probably has: except when he’s being ostentatiously silly, he’s scrupulous about using real names):

Winksphere, Snapchat, Bitcoin, Zipcar. Fitbit [Adj/N fit, but the company slogan is “find your fit”], CardMunch [N/V munch], Geeklist. Skillshare [N/V share], Pinterest [pin + interest, portmanteau’d; trisyllabic], OnSwipe [Prt + N/V], Namegrind, techbot / Techbot, Headspace, Eggbucket [trisyllabic], Jamster [suffix –ster, now functioning as a libfix; possible pun on hamster], startup [N/V + Prt], hoedown [N/V + Prt; not a tech item]

FlapJax. flapjacks ‘pancakes’, of course. But then from Wikipedia:

Jax is a fictional character from the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. Since his playable debut in Mortal Kombat II as the physically-imposing United States Special Forces superior of Sonya Blade, he has become a mainstay in the series canon, appearing in nearly every subsequent series installment, in addition to being the protagonist of the action-adventure spinoff title Mortal Kombat: Special Forces, and was one of the eleven characters representing the series in the crossover game Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. His most distinctive features in the game are his metal bionic arms, which first appeared in Mortal Kombat 3.


Pancake Circus from five years ago. On this blog, on 1/7/11:


The new strip #1 has the same background drawings (of, naturally, an actual place) and even the very same placement of and outlines for the speech bubbles, but has a different text in them. These things can be repurposed.

2 Responses to “Geek compounds”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    From Chris F Waigl in Facebook:

    How could I miss the piece of information about flapjacks being a synonym of pancakes in the US? They should really provide a list of “words that now have a different meaning” when you cross over from the UK. (Flapjacks are very common there, but they’re home-made oatmeal-honey bars: )

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: