SOOKIE: So how are you planning on telling [your parents about Christopher]?

LORELAI: I thought I’d do it like Nell. You know, chicka chicka chickabee.

Lorelai refers to the 1994 drama film Nell, directed by British director Michael Apted, and starring Jodie Foster as Nell Kellty, a young woman who has to face people for the first time after being raised by her mother in an isolated cabin. It is based on the play Idioglossia by Mark Handler, inspired by his experiences living in the Cascade Mountains in the Pacific Northwest, and by identical twins Grace and Virginia Kennedy (born 1970), who invented their own language. Their story is told in the 1980 documentary Poto and Cabengo (the twins’ own names for themselves).

In the film, Nell likewise speaks her own language in a strange and unique accent. She says “Chicka chicka chickabee”, which is her way of saying “dear one, beloved” (a variation on chickadee and chickabiddy, both used as endearments in some regions of the US).

Nell was a commercial success and received mixed reviews, with Foster’s performance being warmly praised.

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