The expression ‘bringing a solid bridge’ will soon be included in the Dikke Van Dale. Editor-in-chief Ton den Boon reported this in the radio program follow spot. The term, originating from an environmental campaign launched by the Energy Company in the 1990s, has become established in Dutch language use after almost three decades.
In the campaign, Luca played a woman who was given energy advice in various situations. She commented on the advice with pleasantly ambiguous remarks. The sentence ‘I still have plenty of energy, I still play a solid bridge game every night’ follows the advice of the man from the Energy Company that the lady can save a lot of energy with energy-saving light bulbs.
“It is remarkable how much impression those commercials have made,” said Den Boon in Volgspot. “Especially because they were only broadcast for a relatively short period of time. Many people immediately think of Loes Luca’s intonation.” The term ‘bridging bridge’ is still to be found in mainly local media. “People are easily tempted to use this expression when it comes to bridge. When a bridge afternoon is announced in the local dupe, it is often described as such, with a nod to those old commercials.”
Sturdy tail man
There are more expressions from the campaign that survived in Dutch language use. For example, there was a commercial in which Loes Luca goes to a white goods store where she flirts with an employee who explains to her what energy labels are. She addresses the young man as ‘strong tail man’. “We have encountered that formulation for some time in columns and comments, especially with that erotic connotation,” says Den Boon. “But nowadays it’s not really possible anymore. It was also used as an insulting term for the Chinese, because of the traditional Chinese hairstyle.”
A phrase from the campaign that is still used is ‘put on some warmers’. This is the energy advice the Energy Company man gives when Luca receives him in a negligee for his environmental tips. Because the lady already has draft strips, double glazing and roof insulation, this is the only advice he can give. “You can still find that expression in reviews or critiques of performances or programs in which scantily clad characters appear that the journalist in question has experienced as too naked,” says Den Boon.
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