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Give a Whole New Meaning

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Often used in a punny or Double Entendre manner, something is described as giving a whole meaning to a particular expression.

Compare Is That What They're Calling It Now?


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  • The Star Trek Expanded Universe novel series Invasion! revolves around aliens who inspired mythologies of demons on Earth. When they return with the intention to retake what used to be their planet, it's referred to as bringing a new meaning to the phrase "Hell on Earth". Or perhaps a very old meaning.
  • One of the many rumored resting places of the Teamsters Union leader Jimmy Hoffa was underneath one of the end zones at the old Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands (Hoffa disappeared while the stadium was under construction), which led a 2001 Sports Illustrated article to quip that "coffin corner" takes on a special meaning there. (For the record, Mythbusters found no evidence of any human remains there when they tried it out in 2003.)

     Live Action TV  

  • Power Rangers Dino Thunder - During a Megazord fight with an ice monster. "This gives new meaning to the phrase "Chillin' like a villain!""
  • It isn't an episode of Smallville without Chloe and/or Lois saying this at least once.
  • The Police Procedural, or at least CSI, seems to favor this kind of One-Liner.
    • In CSI: NY, Maka gives a One-Liner regarding a bride who died before her wedding: "Gives a whole new meaning to the term 'cold feet'" in "Til Death Do We Part." Det. Flack repeats it in "One Wedding and a Funeral."
    • In CSI: Miami, "Breathless," Alexx quips "Gives a whole new meaning to the term 'Members Only'" after... well the context is unknown, but apparently nicotine got inside someone's penis, presumably a corpse's.
    • Does not occur in a New York episode where a house is literally moved by road and transported across the East River.
  • In 3rd Rock from the Sun, a critic describes Dick's performance in Romeo and Juliet as "Giving a whole new meaning to the word 'tragedy'." Dick decides to quit acting after this - he was so successful he redefined a whole artform, any more would compromise the mission.

     Western Animation  

  • The Simpsons, as the queen catches fire Lenny takes it upon himself to yell "It gives a whole new meaning to the term 'Flaming Queen!"
  • Family Guy made a joke about the same term; after a British pub that replaced the Drunken Clam burns down, the reporter on the scene holds up a scorched picture of Elizabeth II, saying it gives a new meaning to the phrase "check out that flaming queen".
  • The circumstances in an episode of The Raccoons forced Cyril Sneer at one point to throw wads of bills into the furnace of a steam train to keep it moving, prompting him to state that he'd heard of 'burning money'...

     TV Tropes  


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