Friends is a show that is as timeless and as ageless as its main actress, Jennifer Aniston. Now really, have you seen her? She looks almost just as good as she did more than twenty years ago when the show started. She is also the most successful of the entire cast. After Friends ended, she appeared on several big-screen movies and her rise in popularity doubled with her marriage to Brad Pitt. Although they subsequently divorced in a very public way and he was accused of cheating on her.
Anyway, the cast of Friends had their own lingo, just like any group of friends. Language changes over time but Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe, and Joey were in a class of their own. The series ended over a decade ago but you can still binge watch it on Netflix or even catch reruns on television. That is how awesome the series was. Fans of the show were so obsessed and most still are. It is a rare occasion when you scroll through your News Feed and don't see a meme related to the Friends sitcom. So, if you are a fan of Friends, you will probably understand what these 15 words mean.
15 On A 'Break'
The list needed to end on a high and this is high. Throughout the series, there was always some tension between Rachel and Ross. They were more off than on in their on and off relationship. Ross made it difficult for men anywhere to tell their significant others, “we were on a break”. Men usually say this when they are in the wrong now and it could be a useful phrase to use especially if you were indeed on a break. Being on a break means that you were separated and not together. But Rachel didn’t tolerate Ross’ inability to accept responsibility for his actions and called him out for it. If you want to get into an argument with your significant other, it is an excellent idea to bring up something you did whilst you were both “on a break”.
14 Holiday Armadillo
So, everyone knows armadillo to be an animal that has a leathery shell on its back. In a warming Christmas episode of Friends, Ross dressed up as an armadillo when he could not get a Santa suit rented for his son. Maybe, it was for the best since Ross intended to teach Ben about his Jewish heritage. You can’t exactly teach a child about Judaism wearing a Santa suit, right? According to Ross, the Holiday Armadillo he was able to rent was a friend of Santa Claus. But when Santa came into the room (in the form of Chandler), things got a little heated. We’re sure that every Friends fan who sees the word Armadillo remembers the episode well. It was titled, “The One with the Holiday Armadillo” and aired in Season 7.
13 The Vein
A vein is used by the body’s blood vessels to transport blood, right? That view of the vein is wrong according to the show Friends. When Monica’s vein showed, the friends knew she was mad and was going to let them know it. Sorry fans, but most people actually have an exaggerated brow when they are angry. But Monica’s friends knew to give her the wide berth when they were positive that they pissed her off. Take that Thanksgiving episode for instance. When Phoebe manipulated her into cooking the dinner and then they were all late and Rachel and Phoebe forgot to pick up dessert. The vein was so huge and a big part of Monica’s persona that it was once referred to as the third person in her relationship with Chandler by Joey.
The cow goes moo... and so does Joey? How does a grown man not know the expression “moot point”? Like, really, what planet is Joey living on? Moo would never have the same meaning for Friends fans again and their fans probably used the expression “moo point” once in their lives. According to Joey’s definition, a moo point is the opinion of a cow and very much irrelevant. The memes for this comeback are on the internet and they are hilarious. Furthermore, Rachel’s facial expression when he delivers the speech is priceless. It’s almost as though she couldn’t believe he said the words. But come on, he’s Joey, you could expect anything from him. She also knew him long enough so why was she even shocked?
All Friends fans will agree that Phoebe was a bit nutty. She talked a lot about her past and would forever be remembered by both fans and non-fans for her rendition of Smelly Cat. Anyways, Phalange, more known by its plural form phalanges is the biological word used to describe the 56 bones in our fingers and toes. It also has a non-scientific meaning that has nothing to do with the context in which it was used by Phoebe. She used it to refer to something on a plane. Her exact words were, “something is wrong with the left phalange.” What is a phalange, Phoebe, the wing of the plane, its engine? Only the characters on friends and their quirky fans will understand the meaning of it based on the context.
If you’re ever unfortunate enough to be a peasant who has to move their own furniture. Pivot is a word that you can use. To get your friends to hoist, lift, turn or do any activity that involves the movement of furniture, shout Pivot at the top of your lungs and they will automatically know what you mean. Ross shouted this when he was trying to get a couch up the stairs. The word was just used in the wrong context and was very vague. But like all language used on the show, the fans understood even if it was used out of the context we are used to. So, usually, to pivot is to turn. But apparently shouting it when moving furniture is fun. Just until you meet someone who has never watched the sitcom.
Gleba was the first word Rachel and Ross’ daughter Emma uttered. Usually, a normal child would say Mummy or Daddy, but Emma just had to be abnormal like her parents and say a totally random scientific word that had Rachel excited and soon the happy parents believed that she was going to be a scientist. So, what exactly is a Gleba? It’s possible that most of you have no idea what it is and were just as happy as Rachel was. But, at least Rachel got a dictionary and looked up the meaning. Gleba is basically fungi. Why would a baby know that especially when most adults, including her mother, never heard of it before? Another word only Friends fans would know because they have probably watched so many reruns of the series.
Ross tried to convince all and Sundry that the Japanese word Unagi which translated to English meant freshwater eel, really meant that you were unaware. According to him, it was a word that is used in karate. You can only get to that state of mind when you are prepared for imminent danger. Now, no one uses Unagi in the way Ross used it anymore because we associate it with our sushi as it is often on the menu. If you go to eat sushi and you plan to order Unagi, don’t forget to make the same non-verbal gestures that Ross did, when he said the word on the show for the first time. If no one laughs, then you may need some new friends because that was an epic episode.
What is transponster and is it even a word? The answer is... complicated. Officially, it is not a word but according to the Friends fandom, it is a word. It is not just a word but it is the job that Chandler does according to Rachel. In all honesty, it would seem to mean someone who has a profession transporting monsters. But because Chandler’s job had “something to do with transponding,” she felt it was a cool word to use. Monica, being herself pointed out that it was not even a word. The word has since been added to the Urban dictionary and used to describe a job that doesn’t really have a clear description but requires a combination of skills. Well done Rachel, now we have another word to learn the meaning of.
Nubbin is such a weird word. It almost looks like Robin or rubbing. Just look at the word and it does not even look like it is a real word. Unfortunately, it is as real as the third nipple Chandler had. His friends fondly named it Nubbin because it was just weird and gross. There are just some things you keep to yourself that other should not know about, like the existence of an additional nipple! It didn’t help that he was often invited to show it or take it out. So, if you are a Friends’ fan with a third nipple, call it nubbin. Medically, is a lump that is either bone or cartilage. It seems cool to have an extra nipple, but really, it is gross especially when you name it.
Lobster is a seafood that requires a lot of work to eat, especially if you don’t have a cracker for it. But once you are able to get past the hard exterior, the interior is soft and the meat is flavourful. Rachel and Ross had a complicated relationship throughout the series. It was revealed in a home video of a replay of Monica and Rachel’s prom night, that Ross had a teenage crush on Rachel. Fast forward years later, Ross is at the altar getting married and calling his bride to be Rachel and she is not even the bride! How awkward must that have been? So, Phoebe used the phrase lobster to refer to their relationship. “He’s her lobster” is translated in Phoebe's mind to mean that he is the love of her life. Well, at least they sorted out their issues by the end of the series. Hard luck, Joey.
Thursday is best known as a day of the week. The fourth working day or the fifth day of the week depending on whether you believe the week starts on Sunday rather than Monday. It is still the fourth day of the week. But Friends fans and the cast and production team all knew that it meant, according to Joey, it was the third day of the week because Wednesday just didn’t fit in for him. Monday was one day, Tuesday was two day and Wednesday wasn’t even a day! However, Thursday was the third day. Using Joey logic to figure out the days of the week would confuse you. So, it is best just to go with it and realize that Wednesday does not make any sense.
3 A Man, Duh!
You remember that roommate Phoebe and Monica once had? Then, she moved out and went on to tell Monica that Phoebe wanted to cut her off for being controlling? Right, so Amanda was her name, but Amanda, as used on friends, did not refer to her. The word is actually 'a man, duh'. Rachel popularized this word at Monica and Chandler’s wedding. The person she thought was Chandler’s dad who was a crossdresser. So, when she introduced herself as Rachel and the woman replied Amanda, she said “A man, duh” thinking that is was a play on the name Amanda, to suggest that Amanda was obviously a man. It was pretty good thinking on Rachel’s part and very punny of her. However, why would a crossdresser change his name?
PBS was a network that broadcasted a lot of our favorite kids' shows, like Arthur, Sesame Street, Teletubbies and even Clifford The Big Red Dog. PBS is something that Phoebe hates. She hated it so much, that there was an episode titled “The One Where Phoebe Hates PBS”. If you want to understand her deep hatred for the organization, it is episode 4 of Season 5. You don’t have to search that hard or long to find it. For those who don’t have time to re-watch the episode (spoiler alert), in summary, anything PBS reminded Phoebe of her mother who committed suicide. By the end of the episode, she donated $200 to them because of a bet she lost. We’re not exactly sure if she still hated them at the end of the episode. Maybe she did because she is who she is.
Has someone ever gotten you so mad, that words failed you and in your anger, you made up a word? Well according to Ross, if you were to look in the dictionary for the definition of the word, you will see Paolo, the Italian’s face, right next to the definition. You can use it now, because it sounds really cool, especially if your intention is to describe a person who is a cheat and sneaky. These people are their own breed of jerks and do not deserve to be living amongst us humans. Anyway, without them, the world would be boring and we’d lack these words to use to describe them. So, thank you, Ross, for introducing us to the word. Now, we’re going to use it all the time.