The Theatre Geek’s Theatrical Dictionary

“I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.”

-Oscar Wilde

Bonjour my dear friends!

Have you ever noticed that certain people have certain ways of saying the same thing?

Those with theatrical tendencies have especially unique ways of speaking; as a first class theatre geek, I have had the chance to observe much theatrical brogue, and what I have realized, through my deep and Scientific Analysis, is that there are several different things that have influenced theatre geeks in their formulation of sentences. I have also studied the words unique to theatre – geekdom, and have formulated a dramatical dictionary.

Let us begin with what influenced the way theatre geeks speak.

The first and probably greatest influence is something called the Transatlantic accent.

The Transatlantic accent was created as a fusion of the dramatical British accent and the somewhat less dramatical but nonetheless effective American accent.

The creation of the accent is often wrongly attributed to Edith Warman Skinner, who wrote the well known speech book in 1942, Speak with Distinction, but the real creator is not known.

As a teacher, Edith Skinner drilled her students from Carnegie Mellon and Juilliard in the Transatlantic accent, and they brought it with them out of school and onto the stage.

The Transatlantic is most easily recognized as the accent used in films of the 1930’s, ‘40’s, and ‘50’s.

Another thing that has greatly influenced the theatrical way of speaking  is of course, New York,  city of fabulousness.

The most commonly recognized element that New York has given to theatrical speakers, is the dramatic and exceedingly effective convention of theatrically leaving-off of certain letters, mostly r’s.

This way of speaking can be used as subtly as one wishes. I have found, though, through long hours spent with theatrical beings, that a slight New York accent can be unconsciously developed if one spends enough time with people who have a New York accent naturally.

These things, the Transatlantic, and New York influence, as well as a bevy of other things, have influenced what I like to call The Theatrical Fabulosity Accent.

Be advised that many theatre geeks don’t actually speak in the Theatrical Fabulosity Accent, and some only use it when they are In Certain Situations.

For example, I often pull it out when I want people to  

  1. Produce my musical
  2. Think I’m Barbra Streisand

After all, part of being a theatre geek is having a bevy of accents on hand at all times.

I recommend learning several to pull out at effective moments such as when you are on a secret mission in Moscow.

Theatre geeks also have many phrases and terms, developed over years spent being dramatic. Below are several that are not only effective when used in one’s own life, but can also be used to identify other theatre geeks simply by their mode of speech!

The Theatre Geek Dictionary

 

Darling

[ dar – linG ]

A term of address, it is best used in casual settings, such as bowling alleys. Be wary, as many understand this phrase to be a term of endearment, and its use may result in incorrect perceptions. Useful for confessions of one’s undying love.

 

Dahling

[ daaahhhh – ling ]

The most widely-used and versatile member of the “terms of address”, it can be employed in any setting. With the slightly skewed pronunciation and the emphasis on the first vowel, this term of address is very effective in settings in which one is attempting to blend in just enough to be comfortable, but still stand out in the most ravishing manner possible. A British accent and glass of champagne are effective when used with it, but are in no way necessary.

 

-Darlink

[ dah – link ]

As with it’s predecessors, “Darling” and “Dahling”, Darlink is a term of address. It is most effectively employed in settings in which one wants to appear majestically foreign. Effective if coupled with a floor-length fur stole. Also useful in cases of unwanted attention; used with great force and the powerful throwing of “The Creation of Hamilton” book, this term will make unwanted attention scatter.

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Cheri

[ sheh – rri ]

“Darling”, from the French. Can be shortened to “Cher”, or “Dear”, in cases of mild passive-aggression.

Most effective accompanied with kiss to the cheek, or if one finds it more appropriate, the mouth.

 

Fabulosity

[ fab – u – LO – sit – y ]

The art of being fabulous. It can be used to describe one’s own demeanor, for example, “Moi is tres full of Fabulosity!” or it can be used to describe another person, place, or thing.

Often used in crowded and loud settings due to the voice – carrying effect the word has. Not effective in regards to any kind of sportsmanship i.e. Football. This is based on solid evidence collected through trial and error.

 

Fabulique

[ fab – u – LIQ ]

“Fabulous,” from the French. With a brighter ring to it than the simple “Fabulous” this term can be employed in situations of great excitement, especially is one is gallivanting quite rapidly through town with one’s stole.

Alternatively, it can be used in times of great despair; when shouted with a deeply sorrowful vengeance, it can be quite heart-shattering.

Effective when screamed at beautiful strangers with beautiful outfits.

 

Charmante

[ Chah – mon – teh ]

From the French. It means “lovely”, but can be used in place of a bevy of words, including “Marvelous”, “Fabulous”, “Fantastic”, “Amazing,” and the more alternative “Amahzing”.

In the original French it is pronounced slightly differently, but it is a word specifically used in The Great Comet of 1812, in the song “Charming ”, and the above pronunciation is the most true to the show.

 

Hopefully now you can not only identify a real theatre geek purely by their mode of speech, but also add words to your personal theatrical lingo!

Let me know your favorite theatrical term in the comments below, and if I forgot your favorite, please let me know, mon tres fabulique Cheris!

Love,

Lil

xoxo

 


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