Season Two Balki-isms

Balki-ism: "Beats the socks off of me!"
Original: Typically, when one doesn't know the answer to something they would say "Beats me!"  Likewise, if something is astounding or shocking it might "knock your socks off."  Balki deftly combined these phrases to come up with his very own!

Balki-ism: "Was this before or after Ike met Tina Turner?"
Original: Balki asked this question after listening to Larry talk to himself about General Eisenhower's (otherwise known as Ike) feelings before D-Day.  Balki mixed up the President of the United States with singer Ike Turner, who married singer Tina Turner.

Balki-ism: "You donít have to ask me once!"
Original: You don't have to ask me twice

Balki-ism: "Letís paint the town red, white and blue!"
Original: To "paint the town red" means to go out and party or celebrate

Balki-ism: "I joined a healthy club."
Original: Balki's misinterpretation of the term "health club"

Balki-ism: "I'm trying to unjoin Reuben's Perfect Body."
Original: Although it would seem a logical word, there is no "unjoin" in the English language.

Balki-ism: "I am Conehead the Barbarian!"
Original: Meant Conan the Barbarian; the Coneheads were a popular comedy sketch on Saturday Night Live

Balki-ism: "I just hate sitting around like a bump on a frog."
Original: Bump on a log

Balki-ism: "We are not the jerks you thought we were."
Original: He meant to say "jocks"

Balki-ism: "When will be the right time for you to unload me?"
Original: During an important baseball game Larry had made reference to "unloading his secret weapon" which was what he'd led Balki to believe he was, only wording it this way seems to more accurately describe Larry's real intentions, to not let Balki play baseball at all.

Balki-ism: " . . . and all of a sudden there was a runaway taxi about to runaway over me . . . "
Original: Balki's original use of the term "runaway" as a verb instead of an adjective makes a very unique Balki-ism!

Balki-ism: "Youíre a big one!"
Original: After Balki insisted Larry was a hero Larry finally acknowledged he may be a "small one."  Balki meant to compliment Larry by saying he was "a big one" but that expression is general used to say someone is a big jerk or something negative

Balki-ism: "And that makes me happier than a tick on a sheepdog!"
Original: Expressions like these aren't so much a turn of a traditional phrase as a unique expression, which can also fall under the category of Balki-isms

Balki-ism: "All right, buster, reach for the friendly skies!"
Original: "Reach for the skies" is a cliche' expression to say when holding a gun on someone; "Fly the friendly skies" was an advertising phrase for United Airlines

Balki-ism: "Down yours, up yours!"
Original: Balki was simply trying to explain to Larry and the burglar which of them could put their hands down and which should keep their hands up, only the expression "Up yours!" is a well-known insult

Balki-ism: "You say to-may-to and I say to-may-to."
Original: "You say to-may-to and I say to-mah-to" is a line from the song 'Let's Call the Whole Thing Off' from the Gershwin musical Shall We Dance; Balki massacred the meaning when he pronounced tomato the same way twice

Balki-ism: "Dang Dongs"
Original: what Balki calls Ding Dongs

Balki-ism: "And then Balki, the immigrant sheepherder who doesnít even know what fork to eat his soup with . . . . "
Original: Which spoon to eat his soup with

Balki-ism: " . . . I think youíre just a little bit blue with envy."
Original: Green with envy

Balki-ism: "Well, I donít think you would have mind so much if I bring home someone who had been beaten with the ugly rock."
Original: When it's said someone is "beaten with the ugly stick" it means they are extremely homely

Balki-ism: "You ainít just whistling Dixie Cups!"
Original: You ain't just whistling Dixie, meaning one is serious (Dixie is a popular American folk song associated with the South)

Balki-ism: "Gambling is just the tip of the ice cube."
Original: The tip of the iceberg

Balki-ism: "Lenny's a singing baseball player?"
Original: Balki says this after Vince tells him that a former deliveryman that decided to sing with him was now with the angels.  Vince was trying to explain that he killed his former deliveryman for squealing.  Balki took the term "to sing" literally and then confused Vince's use of "angels" with the baseball team.

Balki-ism: "So . . . these are the Halls of Justice.  Where are the Halls of Montezuma?"
Original: Balki is thinking of the Marine's hymn which begins, "From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli."  In actuality, Montezuma refers to the Battle of Chapultepec during the Mexican-American war. 

Balki-ism: "The home of the free, the land of the Braves."
Original: "Land of the brave" is a line from the American national anthem; the Braves are Atlanta's professional baseball team

Balki-ism: "Weíre going to send you up the river without a poodle."
Original: A clever blend of two sayings, sending someone "up the river" refers to sending someone to prison, while "up the creek without a paddle" is an unrelated term meaning "in serious trouble"

Balki-ism: "Oh Cousin, you got modicum you donít even know about!"
Original: Larry was saying he was trying to maintain a modicum of dignity, and instead of saying Larry has dignity Balki says he has modicum, focusing on the wrong word of Larry's sentence

Balki-ism: "Canít pull the wool over your nose."
Original: Pull the wool over your eyes is an expression meaning to fool someone

Balki-ism: "You donít want to have a nervous breakdance."
Original: Balki meant to say "nervous breakdown"

Balki-ism: "Any other bright ideas, Mr. Spock?"
Original: In the episode where they care for Gina's baby, Balki meant to refer to Doctor Spock, the child psychologist, and not the Vulcan from Star Trek

Balki-ism: "You reek all the time!"
Original: Jennifer commented that Larry reeks of leadership, to which Larry agreed he might "reek a little," leading to Balki's attempt once again to compliment Larry only to have it come out wrong

Balki-ism: "So they protest by they get together and they dip his teabags in the filthy, dirty harbor water . . . "
Original: Balki's version of the Boston Tea Party makes it sounds like the colonialists very daintily dipped little teabags into Boston Harbor, as opposed to just throwing boxes of tea overboard.

Balki-ism: "What do you think, I just fell off the turnip truck?  Well, I didnít!  I jumped off with my own two feet!"
Original: Saying someone "just fell off the turnip truck" is a derogatory expression to refer to a new immigrant (similar to saying "Fresh off the boat" today.)  Balki obviously interpreted this to think the insulting part is saying someone would "fall off" the truck and insists he jumped off of his own volition.

Balki-ism: "Five onion rings!"
Original: "Five golden rings," from the song The Twelve Days of Christmas

Balki-ism: "On Dancer, on Prancer and on Donna Dixon! On Comet, on Cupid, on Reagan, on Nixon!"
Original: "Now Dasher, now Dancer, now Prancer and Vixen!  On Comet, on Cupid, on Donner and Blitzen!" from the poem The Night Before Christmas

Balki-ism: "Iím busting my buttocks trying to make a nice Christmas for you and all I get is Bah Hamburger."
Original: "Busting my butt" and "Bah Humbug"

Balki-ism: "Youíre acting just like Ebenezer Stooge."
Original: Ebenezer Scrooge, the character from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (the line Bah Humbug is also from this story)

Balki-ism: " . . . when the tableís upside-down you act like a big baby."
Original: "When the table's turned"

Balki-ism: " . . . . we teach him save children from the burning building just like Lousy!"
Original: Balki meant to say Lassie, the canine star who always seemed to be rescuing people from mines, burning buildings, etc.

Balki-ism: "My little puppy dog Couscous was smart as two whips!"
Original: Larry had commented that his dog Spot was as smart as a whip.  To go one better Balki said his dog Couscous was smart as two whips, another Balki original.

Balki-ism: "Oh, Bullwinkle!"
Original: After Larry claims that Spot could do his taxes, Balki says "Bull . . . " and it sounds like he might say something else but he ends with "winkle," making it into a nice clean swear instead.

Balki-ism: "Now thatís the spirit of Ď76!"
Original: "That's the spirit"

Balki-ism: "In a month, it will be third nature!"
Original: Larry said in a week their routine would be "second nature" . . . once again Balki increases this to make up his own expression

Balki-ism: "Why beat a dead dog?"
Original: Usually the expression goes "Why beat a dead horse?" meaning it's pointless to continuing talking about or doing something with no change in results.

Balki-ism: "Search to your heartís contempt!"
Original: "To your heart's content"

Balki-ism: "I got a Pepski."
Original: When Mr. Twinkacetti offers the guys a "brewski" (slang for brew which is what beer is sometimes called) Balki comes up with this word for cola, intending it as a joke.

Balki-ism: "Is the king cross-eyed?"
Original: Not really a turn of any specific phrase but instead an apparent Myposian expression similar to "Is the Pope Catholic?" or "Does a bear go in the woods?"

Balki-ism: "You big bag of romance!"
Original: One would probably be more apt to say "big bundle of romance" instead of the awkward wording Balki uses here.

Balki-ism: "You can relax and shake off your jest lag."
Original: Should have been "jet lag."

Balki-ism: "Weíll relax, do some kickbacks, weíll be marshmallows."
Original: This was Balki's interpretation after hearing Larry say "Weíll uncork some vino, kick back, relax, itíll be very, uh . . . mellow."

Balki-ism: "What do you take me for, Bozo the Clone?"
Original: Bozo the Clown, a popular children's television character which appeared from the 1950's on in various syndicated incarnations.

Balki-ism: "Everyone know the Cubs have no quarterback!"
Original: Larry suggests they save Balki's food for a special occasion such as when the Cubs win the World Series.  The Chicago Cubs are a notorious non-winning baseball team so Larry was trying to actually suggest "never," which Balki picked up on.  But Balki was confusing the Superbowl with the World Series and taking it to mean a baseball team could not win a football championship with no quarterback.

Balki-ism: "Cousin, why are you getting all poofed out of shape?"
Original: Balki probably meant to say "bent out of shape," meaning angry or upset, but changed bent for "puffed" which he pronounces "poofed."  Balki has a tendency to pronounce the letter U as a long vowel instead of a short one, as in "boony rabbit" instead of "bunny rabbit."  But there's just something particularly funny about saying "poofed" instead of "puffed."

Balki-ism: "Before I talk about that dream again itíll be a cold day in December!"
Original: Normally one would say "a cold day in June" or some similar summer month to indicate something that will never happen.

Balki-ism: "We can play pin the tail on the mule and we can bob for potatoes . . . "
Original:  The party games Balki means are pin the tail on the donkey and bobbing for apples.

Balki-ism: "Why the stormy weather?"
Original: The popular song from the 1930's entitled Stormy Weather connected the phrase to meaning bad or troubled times.  Balki's use of the term here is unusual enough to qualify it as a Balki-ism.

Balki-ism: "Iíll go splash some on."
Original: Balki says this after Larry says black tie means wearing a tuxedo.  Balki apparently thought Larry was referring to the fragrance of the same name made by Ralph Lauren.

Balki-ism: "Iíd love to rub those elbows."
Original: Balki makes this comment about a beautiful woman after Larry remarks that he never thought he'd be rubbing elbows with so many important people.  To "rub elbows" with someone is to be with people socially, such as at a party.

Balki-ism: "I second that emotion."
Original: Balki put an unintentional twist on the standard phrase "I second that motion."  In a meeting or formal setting when someone seconds a motion they are giving approval to a suggestion or proposal so it can then be voted on.  The phrase "I second that emotion" is actually from a Smokey Robinson and the Miracles song of the same title.

Balki-ism: "But inside that little man beats a heart as big as a liver."
Original: Most people would make this kind of comparison with something really large, like a whale or a mountain or some other gargantuan item, but when Balki makes the comparison with another, and yes larger, human organ it's particularly funny.

Balki-ism: "Because Cousin Larry have a recess in his jeans."
Original: This was Balki's attempt at repeating Larry's comment about being the only Appleton who can't ski, possibly due to a recessive gene, but Balki's version brings some rather humorous imagery to mind!

Balki-ism: "It ainít over Ďtil the fat lady eats."
Original: "It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings," an expression which refers loosely to opera but was originated in the sports world to mean someone shouldn't try to predict the outcome of something prematurely.

Balki-ism: "Cousin, weíve been through fat and thin together."
Original: "We've been through thick and thin."

Balki-ism: "Every rolling stone has a silver lining."
Original: Here Balki mixed together two classic proverbs: "A rolling stone gather no moss" and "Every black cloud has a silver lining."

Balki-ism:
"If George Washington had given up at Valley Forge weíd all be speaking English today!"
Original: It's not uncommon for someone to make a point like this, but of course the fact that we do speak English and were fighting the British (who of course speak English as well) makes this a funny miscalculated point.

Balki-ism: "When Larry and Balki go first class they eat the whole hog."
Original: To "go whole hog" means to spare no expense.  To eat a whole hog is to have serious heartburn!

Balki-ism: "Cousin Larry put it in very uncertain terms."
Original:  To put something into "no uncertain terms" means to make it clear.  Balki ended up saying the opposite of what he meant.

Balki-ism: "Youíre darn tooting!"
Original: This is so close to being right it almost isn't a Balki-ism, but usually one would say "Yer darn tootin'!" and not enunciate the words quite so well.

Balki-ism: "Well, I guess weíre snookered."
Original: This may or may not be a true Balki-ism, as it seems the term "snookered" actually predates the show.  Snooker is a game similar to billiards with fifteen red balls, six other-colored balls and a cue ball.  To "snooker" someone in the game is to leave them without a direct shot.  The word "snookered" is used to describe duping or fooling someone or backing them into a position without any way out. 

Balki-ism: "Weíre going to have to chew the bullet on this one."
Original: To "bite the bullet" means to put up with something or endure something.  It came about when wounded soldiers would bite on a bullet to help them endure pain in the days before anesthetics (similarly the act has been associated with the old west).

Balki-ism: "Well, Iím an equal opportunity!"
Original: After Fat Marsha says she's an equal opportunity employer Balki comes out with this line, which wouldn't have much other meaning except for the fact that she has been sexually harassing the boys, which can make this statement read in a whole different way!

Balki-ism: "No, not yet. I donít even have a racquet!"
Original: This was Balki's answer after Larry's sister Elaine asked Balki if he'd tried sushi yet.  Of course, sushi is a Japanese dish usually made with raw fish, seaweed, and vinegar rice, not a sport.

Balki-ism:
"New York!  The Big Tomato!"
Original: New York is known as the Big Apple.  Balki simply got his fruits mixed up.

Balki-ism:
"Please donít send me on another guilt trip!"
Original: People usually "lay a guilt trip" on someone, but Balki takes the word "trip" literally to come up with this cute idea of being sent on a guilt trip instead of simply having one.

Balki-ism:
"Her dream is to play with Philís Harmonica."
Original: Elaine told Balki she wanted to play with a Philharmonica Orchestra and Balki twisted this into Phil's Harmonica.

Balki-ism: "She could have gone right on to the Big Pineapple."
Original: Balki's still mixing up his fruit, but he's closer to apple with pineapple than he was with tomato, at least!

Balki-ism: "Well, it would be nice if you were launched!"
Original: Balki makes this comment after Larry says he hopes winning a photo contest would launch his career.  Balki's response makes it sound as if it would be nice if Larry himself were launched, which would be considered an insult.

Balki-ism: "Over my dead battery!"
Original: "Over my dead body!"

Balki-ism: "Now youíre talking, turkey!"
Original: Balki meant to just say "Now you're talking!"  Talking turkey means to speak frankly about something, but by adding it to the end of the sentence the way he did with a slight change in inflection made it sound as if he were calling Larry a turkey.

Balki-ism: "Cousin, youíve flipped your coin!"
Original: "You've flipped your lid!" which means "you've gone crazy."  One flips a coin to decide something.

Balki-ism: "Just like the time Mary Anne got her picture in the paper because she got her head stuck in a chain link fence."
Original: As Larry explains in the next sentence, Mary Anne got her hair stuck in a chain link fence.  It's a well-established occurrence for kids to get their heads stuck between the railings of a fence from which they need to be rescued, but the idea of someone getting their head stuck in a chain-link fence is pretty funny.

Continue to Season Three Balki-isms