Variety speak: The bizarre Hollywood terminology you’ll need to clinch a movie deal


If you thought you had to know your Bertolucci from your Brad Pitt just to get a job polishing Harvey Weinstein's golf shoes, you're only halfway there. Movie insiders actually converse in their own "slanguage", a rich, and often very funny, collection of invented terms popularised by the industry magazine Variety over more than a century of reporting on the world of film. Some of these terms, such as "mogul" and "blighty", have made the jump into standard usage. Many others, like "preem" (premiere) and "moppet" (child actor) remain strictly within the world of movie jargon.

The festival starts on Wednesday, and if you want to make some deals while you're there, or at least seem like you're running with the pack, you could do worse than pick up some of this lingo. Now Variety has put its 2005 book "The Hollywood Dictionary", a collection of some of the most popular slanguage terms, online for the first time (go to and type in "slanguage" in the search box).

(The Independent)


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