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November 27, 2003

Slang of the Week: gravy (noun/adjective)
1. an extra bonus 2. good, fine (in the phrase “It’s all gravy.”)

Example:
What Sam really liked about his new girlfriend was that she was beautiful. The fact that her parents owned a beer company was just gravy.

Celebrity quote:
“Remember when we used to say, ‘ain’t always gonna be this way.’ From lemonade to Alizé, it’s all gravy, baby.”
-Romeo, in the song It’s All Gravy

When I got up this morning, I was thankful that unlike many of my neighbors, I wasn’t in the process of making dinner for a dozen people. That’s not just because I don’t like cooking (though that was certainly a factor). My street’s power had been knocked out by a squirrel, whose curiosity had caused the transformer to blow up spectacularly and catch on fire. This, of course, rendered all food processors, microwaves, and refrigerators useless.

Now that the power is back on, I realize what I should really be thankful for is that I’m not a squirrel. And in the spirit of the holiday, allow me to say that I hope it’s all gravy with you today! Since Romeo used that hip hop expression in his hit song, it has found its way into the media mainstream and has been especially popular as a joke in cooking columns.

Though Romeo’s song highlights a fairly new use of slang, the first meaning of gravy has been used since the beginning of the 20th century. A few years after that word was introduced, people began to use the term gravy train to refer to a source of easy money.

P.S. For those of you who are not connoisseurs of such things, Alizé is a fancy French liqueur, considered by most to be superior to lemonade.

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