give an unusual wink-wink, nudge-nudge


Senior Member

The following extract is taken from Latimes about speculation about new Apple products

But anticipation that, finally, Apple is about to launch something big this fall has kicked into overdrive in recent days thanks to two separate but possibly related developments. The first clue came during the company's earnings calls, when executives gave an unusual wink-wink, nudge-nudge about a planned announcement in October.
Could anyone explain the meaning of "give an unusual wink-wink, nudge-nudge"?
  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    A wink-wink nudge-nudge is a hint that what you're saying implies more than what it seems like on the surface. It's famously used in a Monty Python sketch.
    As patrons in a pub, Idle (playing a younger man) asks Jones (as an older gentleman) personal, sexual innuendo-laden questions about his relationship with his wife, such as "Is your wife a 'goer'?", "is she a sport?", "is she interested in photographs?", etc. Jones responds in a confused, non-committal sort of way, appearing not to understand the innuendo, and Idle responds with an enthusiastic "Nudge, nudge. Wink wink. Say no more".
    The Apple executives can't really say what the big announcement is going to be because they aren't making the announcement now, but they act in such a way that the audience can get the idea of what it might be, whether it's a big thing or a little thing, etc.


    Senior Member
    English English
    For me a nudge nudge wink wink is specifically a very unsubtle hint: the character Eric Idle played was hardly subtle:rolleyes:


    Moderate Mod
    It's a pseudo-subtle hint (which is kind of fun to say aloud. Try it! ;) ) The idea is that it's not unknown for person A to make a joke or a pun or innuendo and then literally nudge or wink at person B to make sure he gets the joke. That isn't usually particularly subtle either, but it's definitely more subtle than saying "wink-wink nudge-nudge" aloud.
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