Today’s Bizarro/Wayno collab:

(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 3 in this strip — see this Page.)

Not one, but two portmanteaus: for the ailment,  overemotion sickness = overemotional + motion sickness; and for the treatment, Melodramamine = melodrama + Dramamine. Plus the (melo)dramatic gesture.

In my 5/31/18 posting “Dramatic exits”: discussion of drama in several senses and of the conventional stage dramatic gesture.

From NOAD:


noun melodrama: … [a] a sensational dramatic piece with exaggerated characters and exciting events intended to appeal to the emotions. [b] the genre of melodrama. [c] language, behavior, or events that resemble melodrama: what little is known of his early life is cloaked in melodrama. ORIGIN early 19th century: from French mélodrame, from Greek melos ‘music’ + French drame ‘drama’.

And then from Wikipedia:

Dimenhydrinate, marketed as Dramamine and Gravol among others, is an over-the-counter medication used to treat motion sickness and nausea. Dimenhydrinate is a combination of two drugs: diphenhydramine and 8-chlorotheophylline.

… Dimenhydrinate is recreationally used as a deliriant. Slang terms for Dramamine used this way include “drama”, “dime”, “dime tabs”, “D-Q”, “substance D”, “d-house”, and “drams”. Abusing Dramamine is sometimes referred to as Dramatizing or “going a dime a dozen”, a reference to the amount of Dramamine tablets generally necessary for a trip.

The adj./noun deliriant ‘(a drug) producing delirium’ is a nice find; also attested are euphoriant ‘(a drug) producing euphoria’ and exhilarant ‘(a drug) producing exhilaration’.

Another note: there’s Dramamine for children (of course), but also for dogs and for cats. I haven’t seen any reports of household pets getting high on the stuff, however.

One Response to “Melodramamine”

  1. bebopple Says:

    Thank you for allowing me to check out your blog. It was a substantial encounter – just as I’d hoped. In a day or 2, I’ll post a link to the essay which mentions your 1976 paper – a revelation in itself. And now I’ve spent some time here, I know more. With all best wishes, and with much gratitude, bebopple

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