Almost from its launch in 1905, Variety has used its own, distinctive slanguage in headlines and stories, words like ankle, which refers to someone leaving (say, walking away from) a job, or whammo, which refers to something terrific, especially box office performance.
In part it was a device to fit long words into small headlines, but it was also to create a clubby feel among the paper’s entertainment industry readers. People in the business understood thrush; those outside the business, well, they weren’t Variety’s target readers anyway.
Click here to listen to an NPR interview with Variety awards editor Tim Gray, where he provides a boffo summary of what slanguage is.
Now that Variety is available online, we offer the following glossary of terms, most of which you’re likely to see while scanning this…