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What is the meaning of "America's scrod basket" and "America's crud bucket"?

Bart : When the hell are we gonna get to- Where the hell are we going?

Marge : It's called Little Pwagmattasquarmsettport. It's known as America's scrod basket.

Bart : I thought Springfield was America's scrod basket.

Marge : No. Springfield is America's crud bucket at least according to Newsweek.

Source : The Simpsons S07E25

http://www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk/view_episode_scripts.php?episode=s07e25

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Well, I think this is general reference. Look up "scrod" and "crud" in a dictionary.

"Scrod" is a kind of fish. "Crud" is something repulsive or disgusting, especially a coating of such a substance on a surface. Like, "After we sailed through the filthy water, there was a crud all over the bottom of the boat."

Calling a place "America's scrod basket" means that it is the leading producer of this type of fish in America. It's common for American places to call themselves "America's steel capital" to mean they are the place that produces the most steel, or other similar phrases to say that this is an important source of whatever product.

Calling a place "America's crud bucket" is presumably just an insult. This place produces a lot of repulsive things.

"Scrod" and "crud" are spelled and pronounced similarly, so it's an easy substitution to make for a joke.

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    Could you add more to this answer explaining how the quoted passage is comedy? "Scrod basket" is a joke, "crud bucket" is a joke on that joke, the reference to Newsweek is a joke, and even Pwagmattasquarmsettport is a take-off on place names in New England.
    – Ben Kovitz
    Mar 26, 2015 at 14:38
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Scrod is also slang for scrotum. I had never heard it used to refer to a fish. It may be very well be a double entendre in this context, meaning both fish and scrotum.

See also http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=scrod

I don't usually think of crud as disgusting, it is an accumulation of dry, sticky, or gooey dirt. If it is undesirable, accumulated over time, and is tenacious and hard to remove, it is crud. It implies filth, neglect, and worthlessness.

There is also a play on sounds here: "America's Scrod" sounds almost exactly like "America's Crud." Both nicknames are bad, but scrod is far worse.

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    Weird, I've never heard the slang version, but the fish version is very familiar: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrod. I'm inclined to think that The Simpsons would be using scrod in the fish sense, not the Urban Dictionary sense.
    – ColleenV
    Mar 26, 2015 at 20:42
  • I think the votes on those UD definitions disagree with you.
    – NReilingh
    Mar 26, 2015 at 21:23
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    I've never heard it used as a slang expression, either, only to refer to fish - and that I think mostly limited to the northeastern US coast, where it's readily available. I also think almost any definition from an urban dictionary is going to be a usage restricted to a rather limited subset of the population.
    – jamesqf
    Mar 26, 2015 at 22:40
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    Since the scene makes fun of New England and children are a main target audience of The Simpsons, I think it's clear that the "fish" sense is primary. However, this particular species of fish may well have been chosen to evoke the vulgar sense in viewers who know it—and rest assured, comedy writers in Hollywood know it. A lot of the humor on The Simpsons is calculated to work on multiple levels. Regardless, though, votes on Urban Dictionary are not credible.
    – Ben Kovitz
    Mar 27, 2015 at 9:44
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The "Scrod Basket" thing also plays on "America's Bread Basket", a common name for the large grain-producing areas in the center of the country.

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  • Hey @chazlarson, this might be good as a comment on the question. Mar 26, 2015 at 19:59
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    I think with a little more explanation this could be worked into more of an answer than a comment. It's OK to repeat some of what other answers have said, because often explaining the same thing differently can be useful to different folks. I think the play on words is an interesting insight and explaining it more explicitly would add something to the existing answers.
    – ColleenV
    Mar 26, 2015 at 20:48

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