You know “Wayne’s World” from SNL and the movies. But do you know it…in French?
When Paramount Pictures released Wayne’s World this week in 1992, it was an instant hit. The Mike Myers/Dana Carvey sketch was among the most popular ever on Saturday Night Live, and the movie was an easy sell to American audiences. Not so around the world. Producers were stymied by how the movie’s slang terms, wordplay, and catchphrases would play in other countries, and other languages. To introduce the movie to British audiences, for example, pamphlets were distributed at movie theaters defining the “Wayne” lexicon, such as “not!,” “party on,” and “monkeys might fly out of my butt.”
For French audiences, Paramount hired a comedy duo called Les Nuls to actually translate the movie’s tricky phrases and words into ones French people would understand. Here’s what the duo, Alain Chabat and Dominique Farrugia, came up with, basing their results on French street slang.
Wayne’s Word: Babe, an attractive woman
Usage: “She’s a babe!”
French: Bombe, meaning she is “explosive”
Wayne’s Word: Mega-babe, a very attractive woman
Usage: “They had this mega-babe for a lead singer, unreal.”
French: MegaBombe, meaning she is “atomic”
Wayne’s Word: Babe-raham Lincoln, an impossible attractive woman
Usage: “If she were a president, she’d be Babe-raham Lincoln.”
French: Bombraham Lincoln
Wayne’s Word: Schwing, an onamonapia of the, uh, male response to a mega-babe
Wayne’s Word: Party on!
Usage: “Party on, Wayne!” “Party on, Garth!”
French: Megateuf. (“Megateuf, Wayne!” translates to “Enjoy life, Wayne!”)
Wayne’s Word: Psycho hose beast
Usage: A negative epithet Wayne uses about his ex-girlfriend, Stacy. (We’re still not really sure what it means.)
French: Robotouffe, which makes about as much sense to us as “psycho host beast”
Wayne’s Word: Not!
Usage: Said after a statement so as to sarcastically negate it. (“Wayne will understand that right away…not!”)