Said the actress to the bishop


Said the actress to the bishop

"Said the actress to the bishop", sometimes "as the actress said to the bishop", or simply "that's what she said" is an informal (and occasionally vulgar) exclamation, usually said for humour after an inadvertent use of a double entendre. It is said in the style of a punch line, comically implying that the original double entendre was spoken by a woman in a risqué manner.

On occasion, the term is swapped when appropriate to "said the bishop to the actress", or "that's what he said".[1]

The phrase is an example of a Wellerism, a literal "turn" of a phrase, changing its meaning. The versatility of the phrase and its popularity leads some to consider it a cliché.[2]

Contents

History and background

The term may have been used as far back as Edwardian times, and is apparently British in origin.[3][1]

The phrase is frequently used (in various contexts) by the fictional character Simon Templar (alias "The Saint") in a long-running series of mystery books by Leslie Charteris. The phrase first appears in the inaugural Saint novel Meet the Tiger which was published in 1928.[4]

The phrase "as the girl said to the soldier" is recorded in a sound test for Alfred Hitchcock's 1929 film Blackmail.[5]

As the Actress Said to the Bishop - Star-studded stories from stage and screen is the title of a book published in 1989, written by English character actor and comedian Derek Nimmo.

"That's What She Said"

"That's what she said", occasionally shortened as TWSS, is a chiefly American[4] and Canadian phrase used in response to an accidental double entendre, especially one that is sexual in nature.[6] Typically, 'TWSS' is said in response to another speaker's double entendre, and rarely by the original speaker.[7]

The phrase was popularized as a recurring joke in the Saturday Night Live sketch Wayne's World. In the movie of the same name, the titular character, Wayne, uses the phrase after his partner Garth says "Are you finished yet? I'm getting tired of holding this" in regard to a picture he is holding.[6]

In the original BBC version of The Office, Ricky Gervais's character David Brent frequently used the phrase "as the actress said to the bishop" as an inappropriate joke. When the show was adapted for American audiences, the phrase was translated to "that's what she said" for Steve Carell's character Michael Scott. 'TWSS' became a catchphrase of The Office and was used for the show's "That's What She Said" Sweepstakes.[8]

References

External links


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