Figurative language to the rescue

The One Big Happy in my comics feed this morning (apparently from August 23rd):


Here, Ruthie doesn’t know (or has forgotten) the precise lexical item turban, so she uses figurative language to get a descriptive term. To understand this, you need to know about Jiffy Pop, of course.

From Wikipedia:

Jiffy Pop is a popcorn brand of ConAgra Foods. The product combines popcorn kernels, oil, and flavoring agents with a heavy-gauge aluminum foil pan and expandable, light-gauge aluminum foil cover. As the pan is heated, the popping corn causes the cover foil to unfold and puff up. “Jiffy” in the name alludes to the short cooking time.

Frederick C. Mennen of LaPorte, Indiana, a chemist, inventor and industrialist, is credited with developing the product in 1958. Mennen began marketing Jiffy Pop in 1959.

Jiffy Pop in its expanded, or turban-like state:


I have a very clear memory of Jiffy Pop from my high school years (maybe earlier than that), but that can’t be right, since the stuff didn’t come on the market until after I graduated from high school. Memory is a tricky, unreliable thing.

For comparison to #2:


Manmohan Singh, the former Prime Minister of India, wearing a Sikh turban. The turban is one of the most recognized symbols of the Sikh community.

One Response to “Figurative language to the rescue”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    A message from Benita Bendon Campbell:

    Jolly Time popcorn ( “guaranteed to pop”) – not in turban format, of course, was around earlier. I remember taking some packets to France to distribute to The French in 1957. Memory seems fairly reliable on this one.

    From Wikipedia:

    The American Pop Corn Company is a family owned popcorn producer. Founded in 1914, it is the oldest popcorn company in the United States. Its only brand, Jolly Time, is sold globally and in every state in America. It employs 185 people, and its headquarters are in Sioux City, Iowa.

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