This year’s wiener on wheels

Coming on the heels of my 5/18 posting “A fellatio-adjacent pitch for The Wiener the World Awaited”, Oscar Mayer’s heralding their new wiener on wheels, the Frankmobile. Here’s the story from the Out Traveler website (for Out magazine), “Say Goodbye to America’s Favorite Wiener on Wheels: The unexpected move is part of the rollout of Oscar Mayer’s beefy new hot dog recipe” by  Jordan Valinsky of CNN Business on 5/17:

(#1) THE ALL BEEF BEEF FRANK FRANKMOBILE, that’s what it says on the label

Oscar Mayer’s Wienermobile is driving off into the sunset. Say hello, to … the Frankmobile.

For the first time in its nearly century-long existence, the famous hot-dog-shaped vehicle is changing its name. Oscar Mayer says the new Frankmobile name “pays homage” to the new recipe for its hot dogs rolling out this summer.

Despite the change, the Frankmobile looks largely the same compared to its predecessor – other than a new decal on the vehicle’s side displaying the Frankmobile name.

… The brand’s new recipe for hot dogs represents the first change to Oscar Mayer’s franks in six years. Customers will soon see refreshed packaging and taste a “more balanced flavor profile and iconic beefy taste that is more delicious than ever,” according to a press release.

The Wienermobile dates back to 1936, when Carl Mayer told his Uncle Oscar about a new advertising idea that was a literal marketing vehicle for the company. Oscar Mayer now has six of the 23-foot-long vehicles, which travel across the United States to events including state fairs, grocery stores, and sports contests to promote the brand.

Oscar Mayer, owned by Kraft Heinz (KHC), has often used cheeky marketing tactics to attract attention to its packaged products. Last year, the company sold hot dog popsicles and bologna face masks that quickly sold out.

(Hat tip to John Lawler for pointing me to this story.)

Background. The story comes from a branch of Out magazine. From Wikipedia:

Out is an American LGBTQ news, fashion, entertainment, and lifestyle magazine, with the highest circulation of any LGBTQ monthly publication in the United States. It presents itself in an editorial manner similar to Details, Esquire, and GQ.

Out‘s focal audience (and most of its staff) is fags, like me. This is important, because the story hinges on the symbolic value of hot dogs / wieners / franks as phallic symbols, and fags are deeply into penises. Oscar Mayer is giving the object of our desire to us on wheels, roaming about the country. It’s lubricious, and it’s funny.

Then there’s that new name, the determiner THE plus the gigantic noun


which is presumably to be parsed as the N+N compound


Well, really


And now it is time to leave the sweaty shores of phallotopia and venture into the craggy hills of linguistics. Yes, I know, things keep ending up in linguistics, it’s the way I am. But travel with me for a bit.

The noun all-beef beef frank frankmobile. Start with the head noun.

The head N frankmobile is itself a compound, of the N frank ‘hot dog’ plus the N mobile ‘car’ (an abbreviated form of automobile); it’s an update on Oscar Mayer’s wienermobile — in both cases a compound referring to a car in the shape of N1.

Similarly for dickmobile, as in this 1969 dickmobile poster (cropped here to zero in on its central feature) by Steve Paige (on the Fine Art America site):

(#1) A car in the shape of a penis.

On the other hand, there’s a set of N1 + N2 mobile compounds referring to a car that transports N1: popemobile / pope-mobile / pope mobile for the car that transports the pope. And Batmobile (parallel to Batplane) for the car that transports Batman (and Robin).

There are no doubt other examples of both types, but they’re very hard to search for.

Then the N1 modifying the N2 Frankmobile: all-beef [beef frank]. This is a composite of the compound adjective all-beef and the compound noun beef frank.

all-beef. Compound adjectives with the adjective (or adverb) all–  as first element have either a noun (all-meat, all-vegetable) or an adjective (all-organic, all-vegetarian) as their second element. Note that compound adjectives in the two patterns can be near-synonyms: all-vegetable, all-vegetarian; similarly, all-Europe, all-European.

beef frank. The compound noun beef frank is a Source N+N compound, denoting a N2 made from N1, in this case a frank made from beef.

In the Frankmobile name, the adjective all-beef hammers home the claim that these are not just beef franks, made from beef, but that they are all-beef franks, made only from beef, with no other meat in their composition.

And this is the end of our journey. Meanwhile, we can dream of riding the wild Frankmobile.

One Response to “This year’s wiener on wheels”

  1. Max Vasilatos Says:

    As a longstanding fan and follower of the wienermobile fleet — relevant referencing the dog Wiener who you Arnold for a time served as co-parent — I’m a little sad to see the name go but glad they’re not abandoning the roving herd of now frankmobiles. I’m inclined to reimagine them as a nod to our friend Frank McQuarry, may he rest in peace.

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