Couch potato


Couch potato

A couch potato is a person who spends most of his or her free time sitting or lying on a couch. This stereotype often refers to a lazy and overweight person who watches a lot of television. Generally speaking, the term refers to a lifestyle in which children or adults don't get enough physical activity.

History

Informally, Hartsdale, New York has arguably been called the birthplace of the American couch potato, since in 1928 it was the receiving site of the first successful trans-Atlantic television broadcast by John Logie Baird. The actual term "couch potato" was first coined in 1976 by a friend of American underground comics artist Robert Armstrong. In the early-1980s, he registered the term as a trademark with the U.S. government; he also co-authored a book with Jack Mingo, called "The Official Couch Potato Handbook", which delves into the lives of couch potatoes. [http://www.voanews.com/specialenglish/archive/2006-08/2006-08-20-voa1.cfm] [http://www.geocities.com/artandnoveltyhut/resume.html]

The term eventually entered common American vocabulary, generally defining one who unceasingly watches television as a form of "Transcendental Vegetation (TV for short)." The phrase was entered into the Oxford English Dictionary in 1993. Mingo, the Minister of Information and Propaganda for the official Couch Potatoes organizationclarify-inline, explained why the potato was chosen as a vegetable role model: "We're an underground movement, we're all eyes when planted in front of the TV, vegetation is an important part of our existence, and we're Tubers. Get it?" Fact|date=August 2008 The potato was also chosen because of the potato chips that couch potatoes ate while watching televisionFact|date=August 2008.

Amongst Canadians, adhering to colloquial vernacular, the couch potato is referred to as the "Chesterfield Spud" or a "Jon Whyte."Dubious|date=August 2008

Health

Some studies have said that the "couch potato lifestyle" is a serious health hazard to its practitioners [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2233736.stm] ; in the United Kingdom, a plan of the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit tried attempts "to combat the couch potato culture" to " [improving the U.K.'s] international sporting performance." [http://www.pm.gov.uk/output/Page3900.asp]

Studies presented at the 2003 meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine suggested that there could be a genetic basis for the "couch potato lifestyle". [http://www.bayarea.com/mld/cctimes/living/health/6500983.htm]

A research suggests that being a couch potato could make a person a decade older biologically than someone who is physically active. [http://www.newscientist.com/channel/health/dn13238?DCMP=NLC-nletter&nsref=dn13238]

Popular culture

* Various activities have been designed for the couch potato, including a type of investment portfolio ("Couch Potato Portfolio") [http://www.investopedia.com/articles/mutualfund/03/043003.asp] , and fantasy football leagues.
* Greyhound dogs, who are well-known for their sprinting ability but otherwise require little exercise, are sometimes called "forty-five mile per hour couch potatoes" by adoption and rescue agencies. [http://www.pupswithoutpartners.org/]
* Music artist "Weird Al" Yankovic's song "Couch Potato" (a parody of "Lose Yourself" by Eminem) describes him watching hours upon hours of television, "until [his] legs are numb, [his] eyes bloodshot."
* The phrase has coined the spin-off "mouse potato" (or sometimes "computer potato"), meaning one who spends too much time in front of a computer.
* "Couch Potatoes" was the name of a game show hosted by "Double Dare" host Marc Summers.
* "Couch Potato" was a Sunday morning kids TV show aired on the ABC in Australia in the 1990s.

External links

* [http://www.in-mind.org/issue-4/on-mirror-neurons-or-why-it-is-okay-to-be-a-couch-potato-4.html On Mirror Neurons or Why It Is Okay to be a Couch Potato]


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Couch-Potato — (aus dem US amerikanischen Slang) ist das Klischee einer Person, die einen Großteil ihrer Freizeit auf einem Sofa oder einem Sessel mit fernsehen, Junk Food essen und Bier trinken verbringt. Der Begriff hat eine negative Konnotation. Zu diesem… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Couch-Potato — Couch Po|ta|to, Couch|po|ta|to [ ka̮ut̮ʃpəteɪtoʊ ], die; , es […toʊs] [engl. couch potato, aus: couch ↑ (Couch) u. potato = Kartoffel] (salopp): jmd., der sich nicht sportlich betätigt, sondern vorwiegend [fernsehend] auf der Couch sitzt od.… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • couch potato — A couch potato is an extremely idle or lazy person who chooses to spend most of their leisure time horizontal in front of the TV and eats a diet that is mainly junk food …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • couch potato — couch potatoes N COUNT (disapproval) A couch potato is someone who spends most of their time watching television and does not exercise or have any interesting hobbies. [INFORMAL] ...couch potatoes flicking through endless satellite TV channels …   English dictionary

  • couch potato — [n] inactive person bystander, goof off*, idler, laggard, lazy person, loafer, lotuseater*, lounger, observer, slouch, sluggard, spectator, televiewer*, TV viewer, viewer; concept 423 …   New thesaurus

  • couch potato — ► NOUN informal ▪ a person who spends a great deal of time watching television …   English terms dictionary

  • couch potato — ☆ couch potato n. Slang a chronic television viewer …   English World dictionary

  • couch potato — {n.} A person who is addicted to watching television all day. * /Poor Ted has become such a couch potato that we can t persuade him to do anything./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • couch potato — {n.} A person who is addicted to watching television all day. * /Poor Ted has become such a couch potato that we can t persuade him to do anything./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • couch potato —    A couch potato is an extremely idle or lazy person who chooses to spend most of their leisure time horizontal in front of the TV and eats a diet that is mainly junk food.   (Dorking School Dictionary)    ***    If you refer to someone as a… …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions