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As the comedy community grows and evolves, maybe it’s time our lexicon did too.

Toronto actor/improviser Alex Tindal recently posted on facebook:

“Hot thought for improviser friends, maybe let’s stop using the term ‘pimping’ forever and never look back?”

The response was swift and spirited. Some people suggested the word “endowing,” while others pointed out that endowing is seen as a positive move.

“I think ‘pimping,’ as we know it, has both positive and negative connotations,” said Rapid Fire Theatre’s Amy Shostak. “The mischief of setting someone up to do something difficult can be charming and fun, if that person is up for the challenge. However, in a beginner setting, it seems like a cruel offer that forces the less-confident scene partner to become uncomfortable. I always think of it as a ‘Don’t dish it, unless you can take it’ kind of a thing.”

So…what’s a new, better word for it that doesn’t connote “forced sex work”? Other suggestions were:

• setting up

• middle manager / managing

• squimping

• fratting

• fruitcake (i.e. a “gift” that nobody wants)

• The Force (like, forcing someone to do something they don’t want to)

But the favourite by far, from Bad Dog’s Julie Dumais Osborne, was “ugly sweater.”

As in “Don’t make your scene partner put on the ugly sweater you just gave them in front of everyone.”

What do you think? Would you say “Don’t ‘ug’ me,” or “Don’t make me wear that!”? Is there another word for it in your community? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Screen shot 2016-01-30 at 6.13.46 PM

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  1. Phil Byer #
    January 31, 2016

    “Ugly Sweater” is clever, and to embrace it both partners could think “I’m needy, please ug me”.

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