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and the doppelganger saga continues.

remember when i posted about my intellectual elitist tendencies (regarding the word doppelganger)? and then you all made me feel much better because you knew the meaning of the word--along with others that i had to then go look up?

well, the saga continues.

the word has served as the catalyst for a sort of treasure hunt within my family. we look to find the word written, spoken aloud, published--anything, and then we attempt to use it ourselves--to casually drop it into conversation.

the first night my parents were here, we were sitting around (my largest nyc bedroom to date) drinking champagne out of my brand-new-violet-colored flutes when my father relayed a story he had seen on oprah (this is confusing to me since my father doesn't usually catch a 4:00 showing of the reigning queen of day-time). but, for whatever reason, he saw an episode in which a former play-boy model (god is in the details) suffered from sex addiction (details), but only went for guys who were the (wait for it) dope-layngers of her father.

what? you say.


i had the same thought too.

and then the brain mushed it around, processed, and the revelation came out as good solid-week of laughter.

my dad was trying to say doppelganger. he did not. he said dope-laynger. and my father is an intelligent man.

so now the question (and thus the quest) is: do you know what it means? do others know what it means? and can you say it correctly?

the picture?
you can actually buy one
of these little guys at
urban outfitters. they're
called doppelgangers.
said co-worker in
the initial post got me one.
it sits on my desk as
an omen of good-tidings (though
doppelgangers are thought to be
bad signs, i decided i would turn
this idea upside-down.)


Krysta Butler said...

I LOVE the word (and idea of) doppelgangers! Seriously what would you do if you met yours?

I'm pretty sure I say it properly but you don't hear it said too often. It's like when you read Harry Potter before the movie came out and you'd compare the correct pronunciation of Hermione with your friends (or mom, whatever) and then the movie comes out and BAM! now you know how to say it.

Thankfully dictionary.com has a helpful little tool which pronounces the word (and spells it phonetically) and for those unsure it's dop-uhl-gang-er.

Meg Fee said...

oh Krysta! i share those kinds of things with my mom too! and thanks for the phonetic guide--i should have thought of that!

angelina la dawn said...

i want to start this "game" with my family! so funny! (although, with an english major for a mom and hubby i may be severely challenged)

Sarah said...

Let's not forget the all the "technology" that helped us get to the origin of the word around the table on Thanksgiving. :-)

Emily said...

I adore this word as well! As an English major, I am a bit of a logophile and when I hear a word mispronounced, a small bomb in my brain goes off and I experience quite mispronounced Hermione for years until the movie came out!!

Thanks for this lovely post!

Erin said...

I have an English degree as well, but I have mispronounced words that I've only read and never heard in conversation before.
Example: succinct
Real pronounciation: Suck-Sinked
My pronounciation: Sue-Sicked

iheartkiwi said...

ha ha i just died laughing...

when i went to south america this summer my dad kept referring to machu picchu at macho piccho. i love dads.

Melissa said...

Too funny! My dad's an intelligent guy too, yet he mispronounces everything. It's hilarious!

I love the word doppelganger!

MeganRose said...

This was perhaps the greatest blog entry to read on my (so far miserable) Friday morning @ 930. Thank you for making me laugh, and changing my bad mood entirely! Loved this....

Hermione said...

Haha, that is so funny in a way that it's only allowed to be funny when your family member or best friend says it. Otherwise I would just swallow my giggle, agree and move on to the next topic, ha.. Or depends on the situation actually. But anyway. I'm lucky, in Swedish it's called Dubbelgångare, pretty much the same word. You can directly translate it as as Double Walker. :D

Taylor Norris said...

that is definitely one of my favorite words to drop in conversation. i think i learned it in high school after reading The Awakening... or maybe that one short story about the woman in the yellow wallpaper?

The Rookie said...

I do know both the meaning and pronunciation of doppelganger. I adore your father's mistake, however. No matter our intelligence--there are just some things we don't know. And the silver lining of that is looking forward to all we still have available to learn.

Hyperbole, as an example, is one of my great pronunciation embarrassments. Having only read the word, I tried dropping it in a sentence during a conversation held in my early college years to impress my older brother (who was working on his PhD in linguistics at the time). Rather than use the correct "HY-per-bOle-ee" pronunciation, I said "Hyper-Bowl."

As all good things come full circle, it is a term I teach and use with my AP English Language & Composition students on a regular basis. At least one student each year trips upon my same blunder. And there is no hyperbole in that statement.

Single Girl said...

There have been several times I have used the word doppelganger and the people I am talking to HAVE NO IDEA what I'm saying.

Sad really.

Its a great word.

Its fun to say.

Cindy said...

The Rookie: My hubby and I pronounce hyperbole as "hyper-bowl" on purpose because it makes us laugh.

I have a running joke with a friend of mine since junior high over three words I used to read all the time but didn't know how to pronounce.

determine = DEE-ter-myne
fatigue = FAT-ih-gyoo
lapel = LAY-puhl

Still cracks me up just typing this.


Sara said...

You know where I learned that word?

There used to be a fantastic show on the Disney Channel called "So Weird", and there was an episode about doppelgangers.

That's right. TV made me smart!

Brittan said...

I know this word and what it means but I'm pretty sure I've never actually used it myself. New goal in life!!!!

Also, I feel for your dad. Nothing embarrasses me more than pronouncing a word incorrectly or using the wrong word (as I often do when I'm nervous and flustered).

ricebabies said...

I know the word and what it means, but I dont believe I have ever used it.

Im from Texas living in BC, so I say things wrong all the time around here.

Karls said...

I was working on a voice over for a plastic surgeon last year. It covered everything from a brow lift, boob jobs and arse lifts. The word 'suture' featured heavily throughout and I kept pronouncing it 'sa-ture' instead of 'sue-ture'. The plastic surgeon rang to give me the correct pronun and I spent hours re-recording the f-ups... only to record them in exactly the same way as before.

Miss Carrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miss Carrie said...

You know why I love the word "doppelganger" so much? Because I find it extremely hilarious that a totally random German word (such a long and tricky one!)found its way into the English language. Why would anyone want to use the word doppelganger? It amazes me as much as the words zeitgeist or über...

Oh, and by the way, it's actually spelled "Doppelgänger". If you can't type the Umlaut 'ä' you need to write "Doppelgaenger" instead... :)

Meg Fee said...

oh thanks miss carrie--i knew it had the umlaut, i don't know how to type it, so good to know how to spell it without! doppelgaenger, eh. what about uber? how do i spell that without the umlaut--i love that word!

Miss Carrie said...

I really love this, teaching German in the virtual world...
The correct form of "uber" would be "über" - again, if you want to spell it without the umlaut just type "ueber"... (ü -> ue, ä-> ae, ö -> oe)

Anonymous said...


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AngelaBeth said...

Then have you SEEN the lovely Zoeey Deschanel's speech?! http://zooeydeschanel.tumblr.com/post/269930903/im-not-prepared-to-take-off-my-clothes-zooey
heheheh :)
Makes me love her a little bit more. :) Which is ridic since I already love her a lot and want to beeee her.

Meg Fee said...

i had not seen zoeey's speech! but i'm so glad i did. thank goodness for educated film stars who say doppelgaenger!

mama bliss said...

doppelgangers are thought to
be bad signs? why? i'd like to
have one of my very own. it seems
everyone i know has one (and
i've seen them all) except for me.

Courtney said...

oh man, I walked into our living room to find my dad watching that same exact oprah show. He doesn't usually watch either. It was a little weird...

Larissa said...

did you know that the word doppelganger comes from the german word doppelgänger?
so it´s all from us baby ;)

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