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decoding the language of 'love island'

I would lay it on Megan factor 50 thick.

by Annie Lord
|
16 July 2018, 2:57pm

Image via Twitter

Have you started talking like you’re on Love Island? When your friend was late to drinks did you text him saying “that’s proper muggy”? How much time have you spent watching Jack microwaving himself like a beef bourguignon ready meal under the Spanish sun? Long enough to accidentally sign off an email to your boss with the phrase “peng sort”? You are not alone.

Love Island has its own specific language. But how did this linguistic framework come to be? It reminds me of when you go on holiday. and by the end of it you all end up developing your own isolationist vocabulary, spawned from not leaving a 90cm diameter around the pool. Inventing phrases like, “oh that’s so village”.

Dr Joe Bennett, a lecturer in Applied Linguistics at the University of Birmingham, explains how modes of expression assimilate when you're around the same people for a period of time. “We think of people as talking in the same way at all times, but this is not the case. We actually all possess a range of accents. When people meet others they like, they will subconsciously converge to their way of speaking in order to relate to them. The same thing happens with word use, but our choice of vocabulary is a far more conscious decision.

“This invented lexicon has the capacity to exclude people as much as to include them, if people get it wrong they can mark themselves as outsiders,” he says.

We see this exclusion in the actions of ketchup pink Dr Alex, a natural outlier of the group. whose attempts to approximate the Love Island language are so painful it makes me want to de-skin myself. Producers need to step in and inform him that “schmouldering” at women is not a thing and they should have removed him from the villa when he asked, “what’s gwarning in ze pool”. This just will not fly when he still refers to penises as a “Johnson”.

So that you don’t become an Alex, here’s a Love Island dictionary to assist unpacking the shows linguistic universe.


"Laying it on Factor 50 thick"

This term essentially means working hard for someone’s attentions. It is to walk over to your sweet darling with her lace-up cork wedges, squishy underboob and ASOS tassel earrings and say “can we have a chat?” before repeatedly asking “so where’s your head at?” until they concede and become your girlfriend. Both of you laying in each other’s hairless arms and suckling from transparent water bottles like big, toned babies.

"The Do Bits Society"
To 'do bits' is to hide under the white polyester duvet and make lots of schhhmuck-scccmuk kiss noises until everyone sat at home watching the telly presses mute. To 'do bits' is to let your tongue reach out and press against another’s crystal white veneers. To 'do bits' is to rub a firm ass pumped with strawberry protein shakes against a torso with too many abs. To 'do bits' is to bemoan one’s actions by wailing into the camera in a nasal Essex accent “my mum and dad watch this”.

"Do you feel lighter?"
When one male cast member ejaculates, he lets the rest of the boys know by telling them he’s “lost weight”. Does it really hurt men that much to abstain from sex? Will balls actually sag under the weight of withheld contents?

"Peng sort"

Peng sorts are people so fit you want to sink your teeth into them. They are promoters so wedge they look like a thick cut slices of toast or ladies with asses harder than solidified concrete.

"Melt"
To be a ‘melt’ or worse, a ‘tuna melt’ means you are wet, a moist sop of a human only good for soaking up floor dirt. By the end of summer it will be pasted onto a BooHoo Man T-shirt, but not before some enterprising teenager prints it on a Fruit of the Loom hoodie and wacks it on DePop for £32.

"My type on paper"
The men of Love Island know of two types of women: brunettes and blondes. Gingers or those with black hair do not enter into the equation. These women are invisible. The girls of Love Island are no better, only wanting men with a bulked body mauled with religious tattoos of fallen angels and Celtic crosses.

"I’m loyal"
Georgia is loyal, aka she will kiss the guy your seeing, but now you have caught her in the act she will tell you the honest truth. If you don’t repeat the word loyal twenty times a day you will get bad luck for life.

"Banter"
When anyone on Love Island comes back from a date, the boys congregate at one side of the villa, girls at the other, and both participants repeat the following sentence: “we had great banter, like it was so easy, honestly I’ve never felt this comfortable”. And you, the viewer at home, think to yourself, did I honestly watch the same date? The conversation consisted of opening a bottle of prosecco and going “uh urrrh” as it bubbles over slightly. Talking about the colour of your eyes -- “Wow I thought they were green, but actually they are blue!” -- followed by “So when was your past relationship?” The only thing they both had in common was the ripped white denim encasing some part of their body.

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Television
language
linguistics
Love Island