RORY: Oh yeah, we’ve seen those boot thingies outside drying off.
LUKE: Those would be called waders.

Waders, waterproof boots or overalls extending from the foot to the thigh, the chest or the neck. They are traditionally made from vulcanised rubber, but available in more modern PVC, neoprene and Gore-Tex variants. The first waders were made in 1838 by a company called Hodgman, in Framingham, Massachusetts.

Fishing Terminology

Angler – person who fishes using a rod and line.

Wire line – any fishing line made from flexible metal. Wire line is only intended for freshwater fishing.

Lure – a broad type of artificial angling bait designed to mimic real prey animals and attract the attention of predatory fish.

Downrigger – a device used in fishing which places the lure at the desired depth.

Vertical jig, or speed jig – a long, slender piece of lead or metal that cuts through the water, mimicking an injured baitfish.

Trolling – a method of fishing where one or more fishing lines, baited with lures or bait fish, are drawn through the water.

Bottom feeders – a marine animal which lives on or near the bottom of a body of water, and may feed principally by scavenging. Examples include flatfish, cod, haddock, carp, and bream.

Forage fish, also called prey fish or bait fish – small fish preyed upon by others for food. Examples include herring, sardines, and anchovies.

Cisco – a salmon-like fish, in the US, often refers specifically to the lake herring (Coregonus artedi).

Joe Namath

RORY: Will the man [Ozzy Osbourne] never be able to live that down?
LORELAI: Well, Joe Namath will forever be wearing pantyhose.

Joseph “Joe” Namath (born 1943), former American football quarterback who played in the American Football League (AFL) and National Football League (NFL) for 13 seasons, primarily with the New York Jets.

Nicknamed “Broadway Joe”, Namath became a media icon who attracted mainstream popularity outside of sports. He advertised several products, including Hanes Beautymist pantyhose, which he famously wore in the commercials [pictured].

Patty Cake

PARIS: We’re fencing Rory, not playing patty cake.

Patty cake or Pat-a-cake, a clapping game which accompanies the nursery rhyme, “Pat-a-cake, Pat-a-cake, Bakers Man”. It alternates between a normal individual clap by one person with two-handed claps with the other person. The hands may be crossed as well. This allows for a possibly complex sequence of clapping that must be coordinated between the two.

Fencing Terms

Beginning salute: A blade action performed before a bout or lesson. Indicates respect and good sportsmanship.

En garde: Spoken at outset to alert fencers to take defensive positions. Full commencing phrase is En garde! Prêts? Allez! (‘On guard! Ready? Go!’ For two female fencers, prêts becomes prêtes.)

Advance: The ‘advance’ is the basic forward movement. The front foot moves first, beginning by lifting the toes. The leg is straightened at the knee, pushing the heel out in front. Land on the heel, and then bring the back foot up to en garde stance.

Retreat: The basic backwards movement. Rear foot reaches backwards and is firmly planted, then front leg pushes body weight backwards smoothly into en garde stance.

Lunge: The most basic and common attacking movement in modern fencing. From en garde, push the front heel out by extending the front leg from the knee. Do not bend the front ankle, or lift up on the ball of the front foot. This means that the front foot must move forward prior to the body weight shifting forward. As the front leg extends, energetically push erect body forward with the rear leg. Rear arm extends during forward motion as a counterbalance. Land on the front heel and glide down into final position, with front shin perpendicular to the ground, and both heels on the floor. During this action, the torso should remain relatively erect, and not be thrown forward. Often, the back foot can be pulled along behind during an energetic lunge. It is important, and a fundamental characteristic of the lunge, to fully extend the back leg, obtaining full power from this spring-like extension.

Parry: A simple defensive action designed to deflect an attack, performed with the forte of the blade. A parry is usually only wide enough to allow the attacker’s blade to just miss; any additional motion is wasteful. A well-executed parry should take the foible of the attacker’s blade with the forte and/or guard of the defender’s. This provides the greatest control over the opponent’s blade.

Quarte: Parry #4; blade up and to the inside, wrist supinated. The point is higher than the hand.

Sixte: Parry #6; blade up and to the outside, wrist supinated. The point is higher than the hand.

Riposte: An attack made immediately after a parry of the opponent’s attack.

Counter-riposte: A second, third, or further riposte in a fencing encounter. A counter-riposte is the offensive action following the parry of any riposte.

Fencing Class

In this episode, Rory, Paris, Louise, and Madeline have a fencing class. This may remind the viewer that Richard Gilmore was a keen fencing athlete when he was at Yale – something which Emily found very attractive about him.

It doesn’t seem like a coincidence that the James Bond film Die Another Day had come out the previous year, in 2002, directed by Lee Tamahori, and starring Pierce Brosnan as the title character.

It has a notable fencing scene in it [pictured], where James Bond has an unexpectedly aggressive fencing bout with the villain, Gustav Graves, played by Toby Stephens. The fencing instructor in the film is played by Madonna, one of Lorelei’s favourite celebrities (she also sings the film’s theme song). Less than a month after this movie’s release, UK fencing clubs saw an increase in the number of people interested in taking up the activity.

Die Another Day was a box-office smash, and the #6 film of 2002. It received reasonable reviews at the time, but is now considered one of the worst of the films in the series. It was heavily criticised by Pierce Brosnan.

The fencing instructor at Chilton is played by Teigh McDonough, whose background was in the Chicago theatre scene.

Cootie Catcher

[Lorelai displays the cootie catcher she’s just made]
LORELAI: Pick a color.

A cootie catcher is a folded paper fortune teller used in children’s games. Parts of the fortune teller are labelled with colors or numbers that serve as options for a player to choose from, and on the inside are eight flaps, each concealing a message.

The person operating the fortune teller manipulates the device based on the choices made by the player, and finally one of the hidden messages is revealed. These messages may purport to answer questions or they may be activities that the player must perform.

Used throughout Europe, some say since the 17th century, these paper fortune tellers have been popular in the US since the 1950s, especially with girls.

“We are supposed to throw like this”

RORY: Just for the record, I’m a girl and we are supposed to throw like this. [throws the ball]

“You throw like a girl” is an insult given to someone, usually male, who throws a ball or object in a manner which is judged to be feeble or incompetent. “The girlie throw” is one which uses the space around the thrower in a restricted manner, with only the hand and forearm being utilised in the movement.

Rory is taking ownership of “throwing like a girl”, and not seeing it as a flaw that needs to be changed or fixed about herself. And in fact, she is successful at the bottle toss game, unlike Jess.

Michelle Kwan

LORELAI: It’s not too much food. This is what we’ve been training for our whole lives. This is our destiny. This is our finest hour.

RORY: Or final hour.

LORELAI: No, no. Get inspired and tomorrow I guarantee you, we will be standing on the Olympic platform receiving our gold medals for eating. We are not Michelle Kwan-ing this.

Michelle Kwan (born 1980), retired figure skater. She competed at the senior level for over a decade and is the most decorated figure skater in US history. Known for her consistency and expressive artistry on ice, she is widely considered one of the greatest figure skaters of all time. For well over a decade, Kwan maintained her status not only as America’s most popular figure skater but as one of America’s most popular female athletes. She is now the ambassador to Belize.

Kwan was a breakout star at the 1998 Winter Olympics, winning a silver medal. At the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, which took place in February, she fell during the free skate and received the bronze medal instead of the hoped-for gold.