She's a pip.

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aaronsun666

Senior Member
Mandarin
The Big Bang Theory Season 04 Episode 05

Script

Bernadette sets Leonard up with Joy. The gang are having dinner together at a restaurant.

Leonard: Bernadette tells me she knows you from self-defence classes?
Joy: Basically, a hundred different ways to rip a guy’s nuts off.
Leonard: Wouldn’t think there’d be that many.

Then Joy demonstrates one of [the] ways as to how to rip off a guy's nuts on Leonard.


Bernadette: Isn’t she a pip?

What does 'pip' mean? A hilarious person? I gathered it should be a compliment.
 
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  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    You should look up "pip" in our dictionary, Aaron. Here is the relevant definition:

    someone or something wonderful or amazing.

    "She's a pip" sounds odd in today's English. This comment sounds like something that somebody might have said normally five or six decades ago.
     

    aaronsun666

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Got it, owlman5. Your note was very helpful.

    This definition of 'pip' wasn't incorporated in those dictionaries I frequently used, such as 'Longman' 'Oxford' 'Cambridge' and some online dictionaries such as 'vocabulary.com' 'American Heritage'.
    (WR dictionary does not meet my needs most of the time, the problem being it doesn't include any examples to demonstrate how a word is used. Good for native speakers, bad for learners.)
     
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    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Hi, Beryl.

    I imagine it was being used "ironically". Would such a usage constitute humour in AE?
    You hit the nail on the head. It's not very funny, but this is a little joke. I imagine that many people in the show's target audience have never heard this word used anywhere. Their parents, who are probably somewhere around my age, will be vaguely familiar with the word because they remember Gladys Knight and the Pips. :)
     

    Cowrie

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Hi!
    Isn’t Hershey’s currently using the word to refer to each small square section of their candy bar in an ad? If so, is that meant to be funny, too? It at least sounds like “a segment” and “something awesome” at the same time?
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Hi, Cowrie.

    I've never heard "pip" with that meaning before. Hershey advertises pretty aggressively, and I wouldn't be surprised to learn that somebody in Hershey's marketing department decided to use "pip" for "little pieces of chocolate that you break off a larger bar of chocolate."

    Maybe people really do use that word with that meaning. If they do, I haven't heard them.
     
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    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Hi!
    Isn’t Hershey’s currently using the word to refer to each small square section of their candy bar in an ad? If so, is that meant to be funny, too? It at least sounds like “a segment” and “something awesome” at the same time?
    Pip has another meaning which refers to small squares/diamonds on soldiers uniforms which are somewhat similar to the small embossed squares of chocolate.
    See picture here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Army_officer_rank_insignia
     

    Sparky Malarky

    Moderator
    English - US
    Calling someone a "pip" is rather unusual, but I think that was probably why the writers chose that word (if they thought much about it at all). All of the characters on Big Bang Theory are kind of misfits and are likely to lapse into unusual vocabulary, and Bernadette is highly educated.

    No one knows exactly what a pip is, and no one know exactly what to make of Joy. Bernadette implies that Joy is delightfully funny, but Leonard actually finds her obnoxious (as does the audience). Had Bernadette said "She's a delight" Leonard would probably disagree. Had Bernadette said "She's a clown" Leonard might be better forewarned. He tries to like Joy, because Bernadette endorses her, but he's clearly having a miserable time.
     

    Cowrie

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Ever wonder what the breakable sections of the HERSHEY'S Milk Chocolate bar are called? Each one is a "pip." Share a pip with your friends today!
    Pip has another meaning which refers to small squares/diamonds on soldiers uniforms which are somewhat similar to the small embossed squares of chocolate.
    Ohh! So it’s like a new usage of the word, devised by Hershey’s based on one of the meanings of the word. Thank you so much, bennymix and Myridon!

    I find a lot of different meanings of the word “pip” by searching in the box above in the forum, and I feel the meaning “any of the segments marking the surface of a pineapple” may fit as well in terms of the embossed squares of chocolate. I wonder this usage is also dated….

    …And, I now realize that I’m against many of Forum Rules, off-topic and all, unintentionally though (I was so excited when I first read this thread).
    I leave before I feel like committing a crime here.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    I think this is a recent invention on the part of Hershey's advertising department. I have never heard anyone in real life call a square of chocolate from a Hershey's bar a "pip". Perhaps it's the technical term used in Hershey's factories but it's not a mainstream word. I would use piece or square (even though I know they're rectangular, not square :) ).

    To me, a person who is a "pip" is energetic and outgoing, "spunky". :) It's a term of admiration, and it's very old. As others have said, Big Bang Theory script writers use odd and arcane words all the time to emphasize the unusual characters.
     

    ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    It means "She's (quite) a piece of work.", which, like "She's a pip." (or any term!) can be interpreted in different ways according to context. But The Pips, Gladys Knight's backup singers, were men... And if "a pip" is a "breakable [section] of the Hershey's chocolate bar", you'd have to be pretty stingy to 'share' just one of them with a friend :D !
     

    txtulip

    New Member
    English--USA
    On the TV show "All in the Family", Archie would frequently tell Edith, "Edith, you're a pip, you know it?" It was when she was having a dingy moment. lol
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Welcome to the forums, txtulip:)

    What's a 'dingy moment'? And how do you pronounce dingy in 'dingy moment'?
     
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