Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Seinfeld’s 25 Greatest Contributions to the English Language

By Max Gross

Twenty-five years ago this Saturday, “Seinfeld” debuted on NBC.

It didn’t do particularly well at first, but it slowly began gathering viewers and then — yada yada yada — it permanently changed the way that we, as New Yorkers, talk.

In honor of those 25 years, here are 25 things that “Seinfeld” added to the popular vernacular over the course of its nine seasons on the air (1989-98)...

Yada yada

The term “yada yada” could be viewed as a succinct way of cutting a long, boring story short — or a way to gloss over the one-night stand you had last night with an ex-boyfriend. Either way, this term has proven exceptionally useful, and we have George’s jailbird girlfriend, Marcy, to thank.


It’s not every TV show that can claim to have invented a holiday, but for those anti-Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa types, there is the Festivus for the Rest of Us.

This is the December 23 holiday invented by one Frank Costanza, dedicated to the airing of grievances, feats of strength and, of course, the aluminum Festivus pole.

...Not that there’s anything wrong with that

In the 1990s, at the height of America’s PC mania and obsession with cultural sensitivity, the world thought Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza were lovers.

Not that there was anything wrong with that. But they weren’t.

So they decided to firmly tell the world once and for all that they were straight — with the caveat that it would be perfectly OK if the opposite were true.

...Soup Nazi

The phrase still rings in our ears: “No soup for you!” These words came from the Soup Nazi, a character based on a real guy — Al Yeganeh, a dyspeptic purveyor of soup who became a celebrity in his own right, parlaying his fame into The Original Soup Man.

Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi had a Stalin-like mustache, he ordered customers around and his bans for the disobedient lasted a week, a year, or until the end of time.

See the full list here.

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