Tiny Tim, Gimpy

TAYLOR: You would kick Tiny Tim’s crutch out from under him, wouldn’t you?

LUKE: If he asks for a free cup of coffee, gimpy’s going down.

Timothy “Tiny Tim” Cratchit, a character from the 1843 novella, A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. In the story, Tim is the young son of Ebenezer Scrooge’s employee, Bob Cratchit, and a very sick boy who needs crutches to walk. Scrooge is shown that Tim will die in the future unless he receives medical help that Bob cannot afford on the salary he receives from Scrooge. This is one of several visions which cause Scrooge to reform, and the story states that Tiny Tim didn’t die, and that Scrooge became a second father to him (presumably paying for medical treatment).

Gimpy is a derogatory name for someone who walks with a limp. The slang dates to the 1920s, and may be a combination of gammy and limp, gammy being used to describe a bad leg.


LORELAI: Dwight says it needs it now, and if we let that lawn die, he’s gonna vibe us for the rest of our lives.

Vibe, short for “vibration”. Slang meaning the atmosphere or aura felt belonging to a place, person, or object, often made specific as “good vibes” or “bad vibes”. Originally New Age jargon from the 1960s.

Lorelai seems to fear that if Dwight’s lawn dies, he will give Lorelai “bad vibes” forever. Dwight doesn’t actually seem the type to do that, but nobody wants to kill their new neighbour’s lawn.


DWIGHT: You know, I just got this beautiful lawn put in, really amazing shade of green, and the guy who put it in for me, he told me that I have to keep each blade of grass very moist for the first few days while the roots take, but I have to go on a business trip for a few days. Huh, last minute, and believe me, I tried to get out of it but my boss said, ‘Dwight, get off your keister and go make us some money’, so I gotta go.

Keister, slang for the anus or the buttocks. Its origin is uncertain. In the 19th century, it was criminal slang for a burglar’s tool box, then later, criminal slang for a strongbox or safe, while “tripe and keister” meant a conman’s display case on a tripod. It probably comes from kiste, a German and Yiddish word for a box or case.

It seems Dwight not only moved in without Lorelai and Rory noticing anything, he also got a new lawn laid down without them noticing!

I am not sure what business Dwight works for that he could commute to it from Stars Hollow. He could work in Hartford and drive in every day, but he’s really presented as more of a big city person, with a New York vibe. By the way, people really take a lot of business trips in the Gilmore Girls universe!


DAVE: Lane, think about this, do you really believe this is working?

LANE: No, it’s not working. We sound like a bunch of wankers.

Wanker, offensive British slang literally referring to someone who masturbates, used to mean someone is stupid, foolish, or unpleasant (often obnoxious or arrogant). I’m not sure if Lane realises how offensive the word is, and may be using it as an approximation of “jerks”. I presume that rehearsing “London Calling” has inspired the use of British slang.

“Brain-dead bint in a skirt”

PARIS: Personal anecdote – when I was twelve and I was writing the first of my trial essays in practice for the day I’d write my real essay, I chose Hillary Clinton. Then I realized every brain-dead bint in a skirt would be writing about Hillary, but it was good to clear the pipes.

Bint: British slang, derogatory term for a girl or woman. It dates to the late 19th century, and is borrowed from the Arabic بِنْت‎ (bint, “girl, daughter”). It was adopted by British soldiers to refer to their girlfriends, as the Arabic word is reminiscent of English words for women such as bit, bird, and bitch.

Paris has not only been practising college application essays since she was twelve years old, but has also been a fan of Hillary Clinton since at least the same age. Paris would have been aged twelve in 1996/1997 – at this time, Hillary Clinton had been First Lady of the US since 1993. She took an important role from the very beginning, and was the first First Lady to receive her own office in the West Wing of the White House. She was considered the most openly empowered First Lady since Eleanor Roosevelt.

The Short Bus

FRANCIE: Paris is student body president – big fat deal. There are three other class presidents – the junior class president, the sophomore class president, and oh, yes, the senior class president – me.

RORY: I know all this.

FRANCIE: Well, then, it’s off the short bus for you, isn’t it?

The short bus refers to a shorter school bus used for transporting children who are physically disabled or who are being educated in special programs, often for learning disabilities.

It is a derogatory way to refer to the mentally challenged, and to call someone stupid, dumb, or slow. Francie is saying Rory is smart enough not to be considered intellectually disabled.

I would like to think that Francie using this offensive language is the writer’s way of letting us know she’s a bad person, except … what would this incident say about Rory?