5

Below is an extract from the movie TED, between sophisticated Lori and trailer trash Tami-Lynn:

Lori : Ted's very handsome, so I'm always interested in meeting the lady that can snatch him up.

Tami-Lynn: Did you just call me a whore?

Lori: What?

Tami-Lynn: You just worry about your own snatch!

Is there a play-on-words here?
to snatch means "to catch quickly".
Did Tami-Lynn mishear the word for another one? If yes, which one?
Or there is no pun, and she is simply overreacting?

6

The first usage of snatch is a verb. It can mean one of the following:

Verb: snatch

  1. To grasp hastily or eagerly
  2. To make grasping motions
  3. Make off with belongings of others
  4. Do something quickly due to limited time available

While the second one is used as a noun and in this particular context, is referring to the vulgar usage of the word snatch.

Noun: snatch

  1. A small fragment of sound (music or speech)
  2. Obscene term for female genitals
  3. (law) the unlawful act of capturing and carrying away a person against their will and holding them in false imprisonment
| improve this answer | |
6

The scene is apparently humor based on a non sequitur response to an idiom. It's obviously contrived just for the scene.

Lori's sentence is in two registers. To be in the same register, she'd have to say "Ted's a fox" or "Ted's a real hunk" etc.

She used the word "snatch" to mean "catch" or "land" (as in secures as a boyfriend or husband), as a fisherman catches and then lands a fish. Tami-Lynn is trailer trash, so her mind is in the gutter, which is why she'd think of the obscene term for female genitals when she hears the word snatch. She's not overreacting, just showing her deplorable vulgarity.

This is akin to what happened in 1999 in Washington, DC, when David Howard, an aide to the mayor of DC, used the word niggardly about a meager budget, but some lexically and linguistically ignorant African American thought it was an ethnic slur (the N-word) and made a big pointless fuss about it. Howard resigned his job because of it.

The point is that person A says X, which means 123, but person B mistakenly thinks it means 666, so a miscommunication occurs. Of course, because it has to do with sex in TED, the writer thinks he's being clever, but he's really only pandering to the junior high school reptilian brain of most of the audience.

Homonyms are a source of humor in all languages. Some are clever, but most are adolescent or base, somewhat like Tami-Lynn.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.