Hyphenated Words

over-the-hill

Q. That was back in the eighties, you over-the-hill fckfaces. We're in a competitive global economy now, where Dave and Jay can't afford to lose even a week's worth of edge.

A. That's true at the general level, not at the specific. Our surveys indicate Web content in the year 2001 is the least competitive industry since Special Education. What else are you going to read? GettingIt? RequestLine? The Finger?

turn-key

Because there is no widely accepted standard for implementing a VPN, many companies have developed turn-key solutions on their own. In the next few sections, we'll discuss some of the solutions offered by Cisco, one of the most prevalent networking technology companies.
turn-key = A term which describes a system (hardware and software) which can be used for a specific application without requiring further programming or software installation. The user can just “turn the key” (switch it on) and use it. From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing

yellow-bellied

There are a number of conceptual, logical, and methodological flaws in his doctrines. As part of his efforts to gain a mainstream following, he publishes the Journal of Yellow-bellied Absenteeism.
~2004, nonsense generated by computer. Probably the SCIgen.
yellow-bellied means easily frightened. See also: Sokal affair, Politics and the English Language (George Orwell).

larger-than-life

Henry Charles Bukowski (1920 – 1994) was an American poet, novelist and short story writer. His writing was influenced by the social, cultural and economic ambience of his home city of Los Angeles. It is marked by an emphasis on the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women and the drudgery of work. Bukowski wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories and six novels, eventually publishing over sixty books. In 1986 Time called Bukowski a “laureate of American lowlife”. Regarding Bukowski's enduring popular appeal, Adam Kirsch of The New Yorker wrote, “the secret of Bukowski's appeal… [is that] he combines the confessional poet's promise of intimacy with the larger-than-life aplomb of a pulp-fiction hero.”
Charles Bukowski,
larger-than-life = very imposing or impressive; surpassing the ordinary (AHD)
pulp-fiction = inexpensive magazine printed on poor quality paper, from 1986 to 1950s. Often featuring stories that's lurid or sensational. Pulp-fiction

over-the-top

I've long wondered at the connection between Second Life's endless supply of over-the-top drama and the strange psychology of certain players — particularly those seriously invested in “defending” Linden Lab and “policing” the Second Life grid.
Understanding the “Little Hitlers” of Second Life By Pixeleen Mistral. At http://alphavilleherald.com/2011/10/understanding-the-%E2%80%9Clittle-hitlers%E2%80%9D-of-second-life.html

apple-pie

It's personal. It's private. And it's no one's business but yours. You may be planning a political campaign, discussing your taxes, or having a secret romance. Or you may be communicating with a political dissident in a repressive country. Whatever it is, you don't want your private electronic mail (email) or confidential documents read by anyone else. There's nothing wrong with asserting your privacy. Privacy is as apple-pie as the Constitution.
Why I Wrote PGP by Phil Zimmermann. At Source
apple-pie = relating to, or marked by values regarded as distinctively American. Apple pie

tea-leaf-reading

The mixing of functions makes it difficult for outsiders to locate where exactly policy is set, particularly as the party, while far removed from its Marxist roots, retains many of the secretive habits of its origins as an underground organization. The recent appointment of a high-ranking official as party secretary for the Foreign Ministry, for example, spurred debate among tea-leaf-reading China watchers over whether he, or the minister, is really in charge.
Hu's visit spotlights China's two faces Source www.washingtonpost.com
tea-leaf-reading = fortune telling by reading tea-leafs. See: Tasseography 2011-01-19

strong-armed

Stempel told the U.S. House Subcommittee on Legislative Oversight what he told Stone. Particularly jarring was Stempel's revelation that, on the day he was to lose to Van Doren, he was strong-armed into answering incorrectly a question about the Academy Award for Best Picture for 1955: Marty, one of his favorite films. The incorrect answer he was forced to give was On the Waterfront—which won the same Oscar for the year before.
Herb Stempel. (One of the contestant in the American quiz show scandals of 1950s.)
strong-armed = To use physical force or coercion against. (AHD)

ho-hum

Industry says ho-hum to Netscape suit
Industry says ho-hum to Netscape suit By Rachel Konrad. CNET News. At Source On AOL suing Microsoft over web browser.
ho-hum = so lacking in interest as to cause mental weariness.

drop-dead

It's relatively simple to understand although a tad clumsy at times… None of them are drop-dead simple.
Programer Jon Frisby, on unix version control software (CVS, PRCS, RCS, SCCS, …)

gross-out

Crowds went wild for the gross-out humor and wacky romance in this riotous comedy.
review of movie Something about mary (1998)
riotous = Involving, or engaging in, riot; wanton; unrestrained; luxurious.
gross-out = Something that elicits disgust.

double-cross

Left for dead after a heist double-cross, bad, bad man Mel Gibson returns for revenge in this gritty-yet-glossy remake of John Boorman's psycho-noir classic Point Blank.
movie review Payback (1999)
double-cross = the betrayal or swindling of a collaborator or colleague.

put-up

There was a young lady named Bright,
Who traveled much faster than light.
She started one day,
In the relative way,
And returned on the previous night. When they questioned her,
answered Miss Bright,
“I was there when I got home that night; So I slept with myself,
Like two shoes on a shelf,
Put-up relatives shouldn't be tight!”. limerick by J.A.Lindon. There was a young couple named Bright,
Who could make love much faster than light. They started one day,
In the relative way,
And came on the previous night.

strung-out

Sam has to contend with managing the bosses' skim going out the back door, cheats at the tables, the law breathing down his neck, and strung-out hustler Ginger (Sharon Stone), whom Sam falls for, and, despite his better judgment, eventually marries.
Casino film review By Christopher Null. Filmcritic.com. At Source
strung-out = addicted to a drug.

in-kind

… About 60 % of all poor households receive in-kind transfers …
?
in-kind = Given in goods, commodities, or services rather than money: cash and in-kind benefits.

cast-off

gave him a cast-off coat which was too large for him
?
cast-off = Cast or laid aside; thrown away; discarded; as, cast-off clothes.

stage-struck

In her girlhood and before her marriage with Tom Willard, Elizabeth had borne a somewhat shaky reputation in Winesburg. For years she had been what is called “stage-struck” and had paraded through the streets with traveling men guests at her father's hotel, wearing loud clothes and urging them to tell her of life in the cities out of which they had come. Once she startled the town by putting on men’s clothes and riding a bicycle down Main Street.
Short story “Mother” by Sherwood Anderson. At Source
stage-struct = Fascinated by the stage; seized by a passionate desire to become an actor.

fuddy-duddies

[synthetic language as an lingua franca] have the disadvantage that they are associated with fuddy-duddies
possibly a book on Esperanto.
fuddy-duddies = old-fashioned, fussy person.

run-ins

Mitnick's run-ins with the law began as a teenager …
? On computer hacker Kevin Mitnick.
run-in = a angry dispute.

have-nots

City grocery stores are exacting a steep toll on the have-nots.
?

hanger-on

Attempting to portray Shipp as a mendacious hanger-on and frustrated actor with a drinking problem, attorney Carl Douglas accused the witness of
?
hanger-on = One who hangs on, or sticks to, a person, place, or service; a dependent; one who adheres to others' society longer than he is wanted.

ad-lib

When he was showing how a NeXT workstation could be used to query a database that ran on another company's server, the NeXT machine crashed. Jobs ad-libbed gamely, “That's how you know it was live.”
Possibly: “Steve Jobs and the Next Big Thing” (1993) by Randall E Stross. A book on Steve Jobs's NeXT Computer Inc.
gamely = In a plucky manner; spiritedly.
add-lib = said or done without having been planned or written in advance.

mock-up

so the champion of Framemaker sat down and said that he would work on a mock-up.
?
mock-up = full-scale working model of something built for study or testing or display.

forward-looking

But now the 16th century collection of forward-looking musings has landed in the possession of a soul Leonardo might have found more kindred.
?. On Leonardo Da Vinci's Codex Leicester brought by Bill Gates.
forward-looking = ahead of the times; concerned primarily with the future.

washed-up

As the manacled prisoner came face-to-face with justice for the first time, he strove to uphold the swaggering image he had so carefully cultivated through decades of actual and exaggerated derring-do. “This man is a star,” Carlos said by way of greeting the investigating magistrate, Jean-Louis Bruguiere, in his bunker-like quarters at the Palais de Justice. “We are both professionals. We'll get along together.” Gesturing toward the assault rifles carried by his four police escorts, Carlos bantered, “Ah! The FA-MAS. We had those in Lebanon. They're good.” Though it was a display of insouciance for a man about to be charged with complicity in a 1982 car bombing that killed a pregnant woman and wounded 63 others, there was no masking the tired image Carlos cut as he stood in white pants, his mauve pullover stretched taut by mid-life paunch, his short hair a muddy gray. At 44, he looked like a washed-up playboy.
Carlos Caged By Jill Smolowe, Helen Gibson/London, Lara Marlowe/Beirut, William Rademaekers/Paris and Bruce van Voorst/Bonn. At http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,981326,00.html
swagger = to walk with a lofty proud gait, often in an attempt to impress others.
insouciance = the cheerful feeling you have when nothing is troubling you.
pullover = a sweater that is put on by pulling it over the head.
paunch = A noticeably protruding belly; a potbelly.
washed-up = doomed to extinction.

last-ditch

A last-ditch effort gets food to orbiting cosmonauts, saving their mission from a disastrous early end.
Title summary for news article: Close Call, Comrades By Michael D Lemonick; Jerry Hannifin/Washington And Terence Nelan/Moscow. At Source
last-ditch = of something done as a final recourse (especially to prevent a crisis or disaster)

blue-chip

Like their American counterparts, Japanese executives cheerfully overpaid for their late-'80s acquisitions. But the Japanese made another fundamental miscalculation, says Gary Saxonhouse, an economics professor at the University of Michigan: “They had a faith in American landmarks, a faith in American blue-chip names.”
So Many Dreams So Many Losses By Barbara Rudolph et al. At http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,981894,00.html
blue-chip = A stock that sells at a high price because of public confidence in its long record of steady earnings. (AHD)

booby-trap

Allegations of Gunrunning in Australia and money laundering in Canada and Europe. A suicide note addressed to the French Interior Minister. Two more booby-trapped houses, primed to erupt in flames at a telephone call.

Those were some of the mysteries that tantalized investigators on three continents last week as they continued to probe the deaths of 53 members of the Order of the Solar Temple, and apocalyptic religious cult, in Switzerland and Canada two weeks ago. One question was answered: Luc Jouret, 46, the spiritual leader of the cult, was among those whose bodies were found in three burned ski chalets in Granges-ser-Salvan, east of Geneva. Jouret's charred remains, along with those of co-leader Joseph di Mambro, 70, were identified from dental records. The finding ended an international manhunt for the two men and left police to pull together from other sources basic facts about the Solar Temple, an organization that apparently milked followers of their money before taking their lives.
Remains of the day By Michael S Serrill. Time Mag. At http://www.rickross.com/reference/solar/solar7.html
gunrunning = the smuggling of guns and ammunition into a country secretly and illegally.
chalet = a Swiss house with a sloping roof and wide eaves or a house built in this style.
booby-trap = explosive device designed to be triggered when a unsuspecting victim touches or disturbs a seemingly harmless object.

Hyphenated Words, page 2

roly-poly

a roly-poly guy who resembled the cop in the film
?
roly-poly = a rotund individual; pudding made of suet pastry spread with jam or fruit and rolled up and baked or steamed.

goody two-shoes

“… cause there's nothing I hate more than goody-two-shoes”. (shouted a sadistic mistress with her whip smacking down the tender ass of a innocent goody two-shoes blonde.)
Japanese erotic comics Bondage Fairies by Kondom. Buy at amazon.
goody two-shoes = goody-goody; Affectedly sweet, good, or virtuous. From children's story The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes. Goody Two-Shoes

far-fetched

you theory is a bit far-fetched.
far-fetched = Brought from far, or from a remote place. Not easily or naturally deduced or introduced; forced; strained; hence, implausible or improbable.

wall-eyed

Wall-eyed is funnier than cross-eyed.
[“SUCK SCHOOL OF COMIC ART”, PART TWO: Basic Laws of Comic People At http://www.suck.com/daily/97/11/07/2.html]

well-heeled

… those well-heeled, starry-eyed Macintosh users …
? [article on Apple's Cube computer]
starry-eyed = unrealistically or naively optimistic.
well-heeled = in fortunate circumstances financially; moderately rich.

face-off

face-off
Title of a 1997 action film Face/Off.
face-off = a hostile disagreement face-to-face.

hunky-dory

She suggested it should have had environmental advice or a website link during the end credits, adding it was “troubling” that by the end “humans return to Earth and it seems as if everything will just be hunky-dory”.
hunky-dory = being satisfactory or in satisfactory condition.

heavy-handed

The heavy-handed marketing campaign, as any business-school student can testify, worked for a while and then backfired. After an initial spurt of sales, word got out that the radical new machine was annoyingly underpowered and grossly overpriced — a yuppie toy. Although Apple eventually solved most of the computer's problems, IBM compatibles still dominate the personal- computer business. The Macintosh today remains stuck in a niche, with a market share that hovers around 10%.
How Mac Changed the World By Philip Elmer-Dewitt Monday. At http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,980035,00.html?iid=digg_share
yuppie = a young upwardly mobile professional person; someone under 40 who prospered during the 1980s. yuppie
heavy-handed = Clumsy; awkward; tactless; indiscreet; oppressive; harsh. (AHD)

witch-hunt

was that Oppenheimer had been railroaded and ruined by the witch-hunters.
?
railroad = (informal) To convict (a accused person) without a fair trial or on trumped-up charges.
witch-hunt = searching out and harassing dissenters. Witch-hunt

grass-roots

The grass-roots campaign to slip prayer back into school is aimed at a chink in the Supreme Court's rulings: the court has never expressly stated whether voluntary student prayers are permissible. A mail campaign spearheaded by TV evangelist and onetime presidential candidate Pat Robertson has sent every high school principal and attorney general in the nation literature urging that such prayers be allowed as an expression of “free speech” and “equal access to the marketplace of ideas.” (His organization does not advocate student prayers on school-wide intercoms, the practice that got Mississippi principal Bishop Knox suspended.)
Is There a Place For God in School? By Richard N Ostling; Jeff Hooten/Washington. At http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,980492,00.html
chink = a narrow opening.
grass-roots = of or involving the common people as constituting a fundamental politico-economic group.

card-carrying

As a card-carrying feminist, I …
?
card-carrying = Being a enrolled member of a particular organization; Avidly devoted to a group or cause.

skinny-dipping

skinny-dipping with her.
skinny-dipping = swim in the nude. Skinny dipping

cloak-and-dagger

Lined up on one side are the three-letter cloak-and-dagger agencies - the NSA (National Security Agency), the CIA and the FBI
Who Should Keep the Keys? By Philip Elmer-Dewitt; David S Jackson/San Francisco and Suneel Ratan/Washington. At http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,980329-1,00.html
cloak-and-dagger = conducted with or marked by hidden aims or methods.

cul-de-sac

cul-de-sac is a passage with only one outlet, as a street closed at one end, or in anatomy, any bag-shaped or tubular cavity, vessel, or organ, open only at one end. Typically, residential areas of houses often has a dead end ending in a round curve, where houses surround it. That's a cul-de-sac.
cul-de-sac = a dead-end, in particular with a sac-like ending. cul-de-sac

gavel-to-gavel

So are hundreds of lawyers, journalists and an armchair judiciary of ordinary viewers who have abandoned Luke and Laura on General Hospital for the really hot soap opera of the new TV season: the Menendez trial, covered live and virtually gavel-to-gavel on Court TV.
Swaying the Home Jury By Massimo Calabresi. At http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,979945,00.html?iid=digg_share
gavel-to-gavel = Extending from the opening to the close.
gavel = A small mallet used by a presiding officer or an auctioneer to signal for attention or order or to mark the conclusion of a transaction.

free-for-all

During the Middle Ages, tournaments often contained a mêlée consisting of knights fighting one another on foot or while mounted, either divided into two sides or fighting as a free-for-all.
free-for-all = A disorderly fight, argument, or competition in which everyone present participates. (AHD)

about-face

She made another startling about-face.
?
about-face = a act of pivoting 180 degrees; a reversal in attitude or principle or point of view.

go-for-broke

With the go-for-broke enthusiasm of youngsters trying out new toys, scientists are uncovering the mysteries of the brain with technology.
?
go for broke = risk everything in one big effort.

avant-garde

the Joker character in Batman (1989 film) considers himself to be an avant-garde artist.
Xah Lee
avant-garde = Characterized by the use of experimental techniques; daring; radical. avant-garde

whiz-bang

The browsers were at the plug-ins era, and client-side Java being the whiz-bang of the time. Network-computing utopia was also jazzed about, as well as Virtual Reality web stuff like VRML.
2002-01 online post by Xah Lee; A memorial on web technology of late 1990s.
whiz-bang = One that is conspicuously effective, successful, or skillful. (AHD) A small high-velocity shell; it makes a whizzing sound followed by a bang when it hits.

pell-mell

soldiers retreat in a pell-mell fashion
pell-mell = with undue hurry and confusion.

hang-up

Look! Don't lay your hang-ups on me, just cause you lost your mojo.
hang-up = an emotional preoccupation.

all-out

a all-out baby-making night!
all-out = using all available resources.

point-blank

he was executed point-blank
point-blank = The white spot on a target, at which a arrow or other missile is aimed; close enough to go straight to the target. Point-blank range

scot-free

Vandals got away scot-free
scot-free = 1. Without having to pay; Without incurring any penalty or punishment. (AHD)

lock-step

soldiers march in lock-step
lock-step = a manner of marching in file in which each person's leg moves with and behind the corresponding leg of the person ahead.

hocus-pocus

hocus-pocus over my dead corpse!
Online forum post by Xah Lee (newsgroup comp.lang.lisp)
hocus-pocus = A term used by magicians or conjurers in pretended incantations; Obfuscating talk or elaborate but meaningless activity intended to hide a deception or to obscure what is actually happening.

pent-up

Vacuous opinion touched up with dumb presentation jacked up with a pent-up wrangled anal-ogy in the fashion of wishful thinkers.
Retort to a paragraph of newsgroup posting by Xah Lee (com.lang.lisp, 2000-07)
wrangle = To dispute angrily; to quarrel peevishly and noisily.
pent-up = characterized by or showing the suppression of impulses or emotions; repressed.

silver-tongued

You've charmed us all, you silver-tongued devil.
Newsgroup post (rec.music.classical) by Kip Williams, 2000-06
silver-tongued = expressing yourself readily, clearly, effectively.

tug-of-war

Don't wear rollerskates to a tug-of-war.
Attributed to computer programer Larry Wall.
See also: tug-of-war

well-nigh

that's well-nigh impossible!
well-nigh = Almost; nearly.

Jekyll and Hyde

For years, she has played a Jekyll and Hyde game …
?
Jekyll and Hyde = One who has a dual personality that alternates between phases of good and evil behavior. Jekyll and Hyde

Union Jack

The flag of United Kingdom is called Union Jack. US flag's nickname is Old-Glory, Star'n'Strips, Star-spangled banner
Union Jack = Union Jack The flag of the United Kingdom. Union Jack

plea bargain

We will probably never know. The event that began with a whack! has ended with a less-than-satisfying whimper. By plea-bargaining her way out of the tangle, Harding has ensured that she will never have to answer the question that dogged her all the way to the Olympics and back: Did she have a hand in planning the assault on Kerrigan?
Springtime for Tonya By Jill Smolowe;Patrick E Cole/Los Angeles. At http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,980399,00.html
plea bargain = To make a agreement in which a defendant pleads guilty to a lesser charge and the prosecutor in return drops more serious charges. plea bargain

word of mouth

product that got popular by word of mouth is usually better than pop products of advertisements.
See also: Word of mouth

lock horns

… of course, if you stubbornly disagree, then we can proceed to lock horns.
lock horns = Become embroiled in conflict. This expression alludes to how stags and bulls use their horns to fight one another. (AHD)

out of the woodwork

I'm so … intrigued by the evolutionary refuse that keeps crawling out of the woodwork to share their putrid mind with the world.
Sneering by Erik Naggum in “comp.lang.lisp” newsgroup, 2000-03-06. At Source
out of the woodwork = Emerging from obscurity or a place of seclusion. It often is put as come (or crawl) out of the woodwork, as in The candidates for this job were coming out of the woodwork. The expression alludes to insects crawling out of the interior wooden fittings of a house, such as baseboards and moldings. (AHD)

bait and switch

car dealor advertise incredibly low priced cars, to get consumer to come in to eventually buy mor expensive ones that has more margin; this is bait and switch.
bait and switch = a deceptive way of selling that involves advertising a product at a very low price in order to attract customers who are then persuaded to switch to a more expensive product.

hand over fist

All that was validated when my e-mail from Red Hat arrived, promising me tangible financial rewards for my efforts on behalf of the community. Sure, I deserved it. How many millions of people use the Linux operating system? Hadn't I written part of the code each one of them uses every single day? And how many hundreds or thousands of students used my compiler tools each semester? The time I spent was worth something, and Red Hat recognized it! Of course, I had no idea how my name ended up on their list. We hackers keep so many lists of who contributed what to which project that it's impossible to know for sure how Red Hat came up with their own selection. But in any case, all of us who had received the invitation now had a shot at real cash money. It's patently obvious to the Linux faithful that Red Hat is poised to make moolah hand-over-fist. The company's public offering was bound to soar to record levels: And I was being offered stock at the initial price!
A Linux lament: As Red Hat prepares to go public, one Linux hacker's dreams of IPO glory are crushed by The Man. By C Scott Ananian Source
moolah = money.
hand over fist = At a tremendous rate. (probably originated from sailers pulling over rope fast.)

head off

Yahoo reports that PayPal is taking an aggressive stance against gambling, adult, and non-prescription drug sites: anyone caught using PayPal for these purposes will be charged $500. Eric Jackson, a former PayPal executive and author of the new book 'The PayPal Wars,' calls the new policy 'draconian' and says it is likely a two-fold strategy to discourage certain behavior while heading off regulators.
PayPal to Fine Gambling, Porn Sites “Slashdot.org” Source
head off = prevent the occurrence of; prevent from happening.

well-heeled

Landsburg demystifies the economics of everyday behavior in these diverting if not always persuasive essays. Why don't promoters of sell-out rock concerts raise the advance ticket price? Because, suggests the author, promoters want the good will of teenage audiences who will buy lots of rock paraphernalia. Why are executives' salaries so high? One reason, opines Landsburg, is that stockholders expect managers to take risks, and well-heeled executives are more likely to do so. Associate professor of economics at the University of Rochester in New York, Landsburg applies his counter-intuitive analyses, with mixed results, to everything from taxes, auctions, baseball and the high price of movie theater popcorn to government inefficiency, the death penalty, environmentalism (which he attacks as a dogmatic, coercive ideology) and NAFTA. Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Book review of Armchair Economist: Economics and Everyday Life At www.amazon.com
well-heeled = Having plenty of money; prosperous. (AHD)

send-up

Jon Stewart talks about a “right-wing narrative of victimization,” and what it has accomplished in Canada is the near-paralysis of progressive voices in broadcasting. In the States, even Fox News anchor Chris Wallace admitted there is an adversarial struggle afoot – that, in his view, networks like NBC have a “liberal” bias and Fox is there to tell “the other side of the story.” Well, Canada now has its Fox News. Krista Erickson, Brian Lilley, and Ezra Levant each do a wonderful send-up of the TV anchor character. The stodgy, neutral, unbiased broadcaster trope is played for jokes before the Sun News team gleefully rips into its targets. But Canada has no Jon Stewart to unravel their ideology and act as a counterweight. Our satirists are toothless and boring, with the notable exception of Jean-René Dufort. And on the more serious side, we have no Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow. So I don’t see any true debate within the media world itself, in the sense of a national, public clash of ideas. The Canadian right wing, if you want to call it that, has had five years to get the gloves off. With a majority Conservative government in power, they’re putting on brass knuckles. Meanwhile the left is grasping about in a pair of potholders. The only explanation I can think of is they’re too polite, or too scared. If it’s the latter, I think it’s clear enough why.
Why I quit my job By Kai Nagata. At http://kainagata.com/2011/07/08/why-i-quit-my-job/
adversarial = Relating to or characteristic of an adversary; involving antagonistic elements. (AHD)
send-up = An amusing imitation or parody. (AHD)
trope = ① Something recurring across a genre or type of literature, such as the “mad scientist” of horror or “once upon a time” as introduction to fairytales. Similar to an archetype. ② The use of a word or expression in a different sense from that which properly belongs to it; the use of a word or expression as changed from the original signification to another, for the sake of giving life or emphasis to an idea; a figure of speech.
potholders = A small fabric pad used to handle hot cooking utensils. (AHD)

topsy-turvy

Heidi continues to live happily in the mountains until Aunt Dette returns from the city, excited about a good opportunity for Heidi. A wealthy businessman, Mr. Sesemann, is searching for a companion for his crippled daughter. Thwarted by Alm-Onji, Dette tricks Heidi into accompanying her, ostensibly to get a present for Peter and her grandfather. Promised that she can return at any time, Heidi is taken to Frankfurt. There, Dette abandons her to the care of Mrs. Rottenmeier, the housekeeper in charge of Clara's welfare. Heidi and Clara quickly become friends, and Heidi quickly turns the household topsy-turvy with her escapades and well-meaning faux pas. Clara is enchanted by Heidi's stories of the Alps, which paint a picture of a life completely different than the sheltered and lonely one she is accustomed to. Her father is mostly away on business, and Clara's only constant companions until now are the servants and her canary.
topsy-turvy = upside down; in utter disorder.

booby-trap

Again, DCU’s research shows there may be close to 1 million computers infected with Rustock malware, all under the control of the person or people operating the network like a remote army, usually without the computer’s owner even aware that his computer has been hijacked. Bot-herders infect computers with malware in a number of ways, such as when a computer owner visits a website booby-trapped with malware and clicks on a malicious advertisement or opens an infected e-mail attachment. Bot-herders do this so discretely that owners often never suspect their PC is living a double life.
Taking Down Botnets: Microsoft and the Rustock Botnet By Richard Boscovich. At http://blogs.technet.com/b/microsoft_blog/archive/2011/03/17/taking-down-botnets-microsoft-and-the-rustock-botnet.aspx
booby-trap = An explosive device designed to be triggered when an unsuspecting victim touches or disturbs a seemingly harmless object.

• stand-in

• namby-pamby

• self-effacing

• five-and-ten

• blue-stocking

• tongue-in-cheek

• off-the-cuff

• high-minded

• second-string

• Rank-and-file

• court-martial

• topsy-turvy

• per-diem

• pre-empt

• run-of-the-mill

• hard-liner

• shell-shock

• half-mast

• jerry-builder

• up-and-coming

• hugger-mugger

• helter-skelter

• hang-up

• hurly-burly