On the cheese ball watch

(There will be some digressions into vulgar sexual slang and explicit descriptions of sex acts, so some sections of this posting are not recommended for kids or the sexually modest.)

Adventures on Facebook that start with cheese balls and then branch to the coinages giggalicous and snickerfacient. So things are pretty much all over the map. I set things off on FB with this message, which mingles all three topics :

— AZ on 10/26: I find it giggalicious that some company is offering “dairy-free cheese balls”. But I am admittedly easily amused, to the point where I have always found “cheese balls”, all by itself,  to be snickerfacient.

Continuing on 10/26:

— Mark Peters: I’d like to write a movie line like, “You got some big cheese balls on ya, Frankie.”

— AZ > MP: Yes! … [inventing dialogue:] In a flash, Vico understood that there was no taking Tony down. His cheese balls were huge. And ripe. [modest applause from readers]

— Robert Coren: I suppose “giggalicious” is a somewhat obvious coinage, but “snickerfacient” is pure genius.

— AZ > RC: “giggalicious” I merely borrowed; “snickerfacient” is my very own. I have posted about it occasionally on my blog. I’m pleased with its discordant register.

Cheese balls. A Wikipedia site lists 8 possible referents for cheeseball (then there are fried cheese balls, like the very popular fried cheese sticks, but in ball shapes; and some number of referents involving ball ‘testicle’, definitely relevant here); but the one most directly relevant here is

Cheese puffs, a processed snack made from puffed corn and cheese, sometimes ball-shaped

On 10/27 I found the details about the actual company. And posted:

— AZ: Late-breaking news: the company is named Outstanding Foods, and the product is called Outstanding Cheese Balls. The ads do not shrink from the testicular: “These little bites pack a seriously crave-worthy punch. Go ahead, grab life by the balls.”

An ad for the product:

The four flavors: chedda, bacon chedda, jalapeño chedda, garlic parmesan (the name cheddar is protected by regulations as the name of a cheese)

Vulgar ball stuff. First, a collection of macho-vulgar figurative uses played with in the Outstanding Cheese Ball advertising:

noun balls ‘courage, nerve’; adjective ballsy ‘tough and courageous’

idiom have someone or something by the balls: vulgar slang have complete control over someone or something: they’ve got us by the balls, and they know it. (from NOAD) [hence, grab someone or something by the balls ‘gain complete control over someone or something’]

Side note: a delicate sexual act. From my 8/26/21 posting “Kiss my nuts, Sunny!”: the act of gently mouthing testicles: ballsucking / nutsucking. An act that can provide complex physical and emotional pleasures to the two participants — often overlooked in discussions of the aggressive vocabulary in the testicular domain.

giggalicious. And its libfix -(V)licious, based ultimately on delicious. A survey of some postings on the libfix:

— by AZ on LLog, on 9/4/06 in “-Vlicious invention”:

there are cites of babelicious and blackalicious from 1992, which seems to have been a particularly morpholicious year.  The larger point is that -Vlicious words are likely to have been invented independently on many occasions, as portmanteaus, leading eventually to the emergence of the jocular suffix.  Some innovations in language have no clear single moment of creation, but arise as natural re-workings of the material of a language, by many different hands.

— by AZ on LLog, on 12/11/09 in “Liciousness”:

On her Fritinancy blog, Nancy Friedman has recently posted (under the heading “the tastiest suffix”) an inventory of playful -licious brand names and brand descriptors, from Bake-a-Licious through Zombielicious. The -licious words come up every so often on Language Log, starting with 2006 postings by me (here) and Ben Zimmer (here), and going on with additional examples in 2007 (here) and this year (here).

— on this blog on 4/2/13 in “scruffalicious”

— on this blog on 4/3/13 in “scruffilicious”

— on AZBlogX, on 4/4/13 in “Twinkalicious porn”: on gay porn showing sex between twinks

— on this blog on 5/6/13 in “Tacolicious”: on the upscale Mexican restaurant

— on this blog on 6/11/13 in “-licious sex”, on three Twink-A-Licious porn flicks, plus sightings of Twinkilicious, Twinkielicious, Twinkylicious; sightings of cockalicious and dickalicious

[in these words,] the final formative contributes merely (strong) positive affect, rather than attributing sensory deliciousness

— on this blog on 9/10/14 in “Commercial playful morphology”: on waffulicious waffles ‘especially tasty waffles’ at IHOP (International House of Pancakes)

— on this blog on 3/30/18 in “Deviant Passover rites”: on the gay pre-Passover party Sederlicous

And then an assortment of appearances of the adjective giggalicious on the net — for instance:

Pinterest album “Giggalicious” by Rikki Losey: Random stuff that makes me giggle (link)

snickerfacient. Colorfully imitative snicker + Latinate technical –facient.

NOAD on the noun snicker: ‘a half-suppressed, typically scornful laugh’ (imitative)

Michael Quinion’s Affixes site on –facient ‘producing a specified action or state’ (< Latin facient– ‘doing, making’ [AZ: ‘making, causing to become’]):

Terms in ‑facient are usually adjectives that relate to or describe an induced change. Some were formed in Latin, such as stupefacient, inducing stupor, and rubefacient (Latin rubellus, reddish), causing the skin to go red, say during medical treatment. Others have been created in English, including abortifacient, productive of abortion.

And so my blogging history with snickerfacience (and snickerfacient):

— in my 5/3/18 posting “He said “prickles””:

snickerfacience. Generating snickers, especially from middle-school boys. Yuk, yuk. Lots of things for responsible grown-ups to steer clear of: [ass, booty, cock, dick, snatch, pussy, prick]

— in my 5/2 4/18 posting “Crude japery”: a crude joke ad with

two snickerfacient nouns: the proper name Dickman, with first element dick, sometimes referring to the penis; and meat, sometimes referring to the penis

— in my 4/8/19 posting “Annals of cultural cluelessness”: in the children’s book title Fruits Come in Colors Like the Rainbow, a tribute to the Rolling Stones;

Throw in fruits, interpretable as ‘fags’, plus the rainbow of the Gay Pride flag, and the whole thing is totally snickerfacient.

— in my 5/1/19 posting “Here we come a-frankerin'”, on a mock vintage ad with the slogan “Got a hankerin’ for a frankerin’? … Try Pocket Weenies”:

[the ad] is a transformation of some background image — from an ad or a book jacket, in particular — into a snickerfacient joke (snickerfacience elicits snickers, especially in middle-schoolers). The genre of such transformations (a type of graphic burlesques) I’ll refer to as shapanage, after the cheerfully crude graphic artist Cris Shapan responsible for [the ad].

I see that I have failed to expound on the dairy-free (but I can’t believe it’s not dairy) theme. But my heart wouldn’t have been in it. I seem to be a cheese ball guy.


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