Submitted by marta  •  September 3, 2004

washeteria

Hi guys! I’ve just dug up 3 new lingual curiosities: ‘washeteria’, ‘yogurgitation’ and ‘in-a-gadda-da-meeting’. How do you like them? ‘washeteria’ sounds to me like a Spanish word ‘cafeteria’ so it probably means a place where you take a shower; ‘yogurgitation’ is nicely connected with ‘yoghurt’ but it suggests throwing it up; the third word refers to a meeting, which could have been done in half of the time it actually took. However its spelling seems to me a little bit exotic. Can you help with the explanation?

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Marta, a "washeteria" is a self-service laundry, also known as a "laundromat." You may also find it as "washateria." You'll especially find it in blighted neighborhoods full of people who are forced to give getting food and shelter and avoiding the local police a much higher priority than they give speaking proper English.

I suppose your guess about the second word, which I refuse to touch with a ten-foot cattle prod, is as good as mine.

"In-a-gadda-da-vida" is a song from the psychedelic era, sung by the charmingly named Iron Butterfly, in a voice resembling that of a zombie with the stomach flu. Your source was evidently trying very hard to be bright, witty, and hip, and failing pathetically.

No offense, but all three words are... miserable. Skanky. Odious. Better left for dead.

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Upon further reflection (that means, "after Speed reached deep into her dusty unkempt cairn of a memory"), I think I see what the individual meant about "in-a-gadda-da-meeting."

Apparently the Iron Butterfly song, as heavy and ugly as it was, was so long it took up literally one entire side of an album. I don't remember how long that came to (anyone remember?), but it would have been the length of six to ten regular songs.

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Well, I've never heard of 'washeteria' as a self-service laundry but you may be right about this. Apparently, it's a colloqial form. As far as I know, this word isn't listed in contemporary dictionaries of English, so many interpretations are possible here.

'Yogurgitation' (a blend of 'yoghurt' and 'regurgitation'), as I assume, was supposed to be an individual 'self-coinage' of a net user and is not listed in any of the dictionaries, either.

'In-a-gadda-da-meeting' still remains mysterious to me in terms of its structure. Now having read your interpretation, it comes to my mind that the 'bit' 'in-a-gadda-da-' can be an onomatopoeic one, imitating the murmur of the singer.

Anyway, miserable or not, these words and their structure are particularly interesting to morphologists, which is me in this case.

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ooops, forgot to sign my text...been so forgetful lately. Hey, Speedwell, if you come across any other info on the words I've sent in just drop me a line...

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"In-a-gadda-da-vida" is an Iron Butterfly song, yes. The original lyrics were "In the garden of Eden" (a biblical reference to the state of mankind before sin), but the lead singer was so drunk that he couldn't pronounce the words correctly. The words, therefore, only have a meaning inside that song, but it is a very famous reference here in the states. I agree with speedwell when he/she says that "In-a-gadda-da-meeting" is a simple attempt at wit.

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y do u have this web site

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I came across your discussion while conducting research on "washeterias". In Alaska the term is used to mean a combination public laundry, restroom and bathing facility. In arctic climates it is extremely difficult to provide piped water and sewer facilities to individual homes. Instead, centrally located public facilities are used.

Sometimes, you might just even hear educated folk use the term as in, "Got a good meal at the soup kitchen; ain't no cops around; perhaps I'll mosey over to the washeteria."

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(Speedwell, the Texan, who thinks of anything north of the Mason-Dixon Line as "North," and who barely remenbers snow, wonders briefly what planet Alaska is in.)

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Bullshit

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Cant find his ass for the hole in the wall

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In linguistics, we refer to words such as this as "blends". One of the good examples is "hoick", as in "to hoick up one's pants. It's supposedly a blend of "hoist" and "hike".

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