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12 Words That Have a Different Meaning on “The Walking Dead”

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Fans of “The Walking Dead” fans have created a frightening new definition for the word “termite.”

To most folks these hungry critters are just pests that like to snack on houses. However, to a fan of the AMC zombie series, “Termites” are a cunning cult of cannibals who enjoy feasting on human flesh. At least this what most viewers believe after meeting the residents of the “sanctuary” known as “Terminus.”

However, there’s a slim chance that the Termites might not be more than human-hungry monsters. During a summer “Talking Dead” special, Gareth actor Andrew J. West revealed that the Termites’ fearless leader isn’t like last season’s big bads, The Governor and the Claimers.

“He falls way more towards the Rick character or even Glenn [than The Governor],” West said, according to Cleveland.com. “He’s a way more normal guy who’s just trying to survive.”

Because we can’t be positive about whom exactly the Termites are, the definition of the term “Termite” shall remain blank in “The Walking Dead” dictionary. While we wait to find out what the Terminus crew is really up to, let’s take a look at a few other words that have different meanings on “The Walking Dead.”

1.    Walkers: These aren’t the contraptions that help the elderly around, but a “Walking Dead” zombie does move about as fast as an octogenarian with a walker. A walker might drag its feet and stagger around like a Merle full of moonshine, but it will quickly turn into a human food processor if it gets its hands on a victim.
2.    Geeks: This term doesn’t refer to the guys on AMC’s computer drama, “Halt and Catch Fire.” It’s just another word for walkers that never caught on, much like “biters,” “creepers,” and “skin-eaters.” You might hear the word again if you check out “American Horror Story: Freak Show.” It was most likely inspired by the carnival “geeks” who would bite the heads off of live chickens to entertain horrified crowds.
3.    Governor: This title refers to a man who is far worse that a politician, and that’s really saying something. His aides are all armed; his mansion is decorated with fish tanks full of floating heads; and instead of using money to get his way, he uses murder, torture, and a tank (the military kind, not the fish kind).
4.    Democracy: This no longer exists in the world of “The Walking Dead.” If you want to survive, you need a Ricktatorship.
5.    Prison: To the survivors, this place most people don’t want to be was home. They actually thought that it was worth risking their lives to break into a prison. Tyreese said it best when he quipped, “I must be the first brother in history to break into prison!” However, this “home” was also a death trap plagued by undead inmates, disease, The Governor, and Carol. To fans, it’s simply somewhere the survivors stayed for way too long.
6.    Wednesday: This word might make a “Walking Dead” fan tear up. Hershel’s final decree as a member of the prison council was to move Spaghetti Wednesday to Tuesday. Hershel pointed out that spaghetti is hard to come by in a post-apocalyptic world, so hopefully “Walking Dead” fans really savor the noodles and marinara that they have the privilege of enjoying in the middle of the week.
7.    Stuff: This term has nothing to do with the junk that you fill your house up with. Because Rick and his crew are always on the move, they don’t get a chance to procure a lot of this kind of “stuff.” And because poor angsty Carl just lost his little sister, this means that he can’t experience the teen rite of passage that involves yelling at a younger sibling to stay out of his stuff. Instead “The Walking Dead” uses the word “stuff” to refer to the actions Rick takes to avoid having a difficult conversation with his pregnant wife about how her baby might be born a walker or something even worse: the spawn of Shane. Here’s how Rick used the word that became a major “Walking Dead” meme: “I’m doing stuff, Lori. Things. Isn’t that enough? I’m still here.”
8.    Things: See “stuff.” Also pronounced “thangs.” Things can also refer to Rick “seeing things,” namely the ghost of his dead wife. Apparently he’s haunted by his decision to do “stuff and things” instead of spending more time working things out after the Shane ordeal.
9.    Story time: this is where kids learn to use knives. Carol would live to regret introducing Lizzie to weapons instead of simply reading “Tom Sawyer” like a normal surrogate mother.

10. Pets: Your pets might be aspiring internet stars that want to become the next Grumpy Cat or skateboarding dog. However, Michonne’s pets were jawless, armless walkers that were once her lover and friend. They were horrible at playing fetch, but they did do a better job keeping zombies away than a protective pit bull would. But who needs dogs when you have Daryl Dixon, “an outdoor cat that thinks he’s an indoor cat?”

11. Chocolate pudding: This term makes most people think of Bill Cosby, but to “The Walking Dead” fans, it’s Carl’s reward for becoming a man after going on a very eventful supply run by himself. It’s also the perfect dessert for Spaghetti Tuesday on Wednesday.

12. Herd – This is a walking mass of death, not a pasture full of peacefully-grazing cattle. In other words, you’re not looking at future steak dinners when you see this herd – you’re risking becoming dinner if you don’t start moving fast.


Photo: Gene Page/AMC
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Treva Bowdoin is a freelance writer who loves crazy comedies and creepy shows like "The Walking Dead" and "American Horror Story".

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