Join 3,553 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

What are taters doing in AskMe
February 12, 2009 6:11 AM   Subscribe

Ok, what's the deal with the term "tater"? (NSFW)

It was mentioned in an AskMe question (warning, it's long), specifically here.

Obviously it's referring to the male sex organ, but I've never heard the term before, ever. Is this strictly a gay porn thing? Anyone know when or where the term was invented?
posted by Brandon Blatcher to Etiquette/Policy at 6:11 AM (478 comments total) 61 users marked this as a favorite

No. Do not ask. Knowing would only ruin it.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:20 AM on February 12, 2009 [10 favorites]


Bless you, Brandon. I won't rest easy 'til we get to the bottom of these taters. Not even joking.
posted by taz at 6:20 AM on February 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'm dying to know too. But since she also calls them tators I am going with 517 and thinking it is a mispelling of actors. Since she doesn't know the difference between monogyny and monogamy maybe she isn't a native English speaker. Either that or she doesn't read much and mishears words?
posted by saucysault at 6:20 AM on February 12, 2009


*Sets down newspaper, puts on cardigan, lights pipe and pours a scotch.*

Well, Brandon. When two people love each other very much...
posted by Science! at 6:22 AM on February 12, 2009 [30 favorites]


Every time I cook potatoes for dinner, I hear Gollum in my head hissing Whaaazz tay-turrrz, Hobbit?!?!? And then I am compelled to say it out loud. Which kind of creeps my wife out.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:22 AM on February 12, 2009 [45 favorites]


The exact phrases are "softcore tators" and "hardcore taters". Mmmm, I think I smell a new meme. These tators, they wear fedoras?
posted by saucysault at 6:25 AM on February 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


One typo would make sense, but twice in the same comment? Especially when "tater" would actually have to be at least two separate typos in one word, depending on how you count them?
posted by DU at 6:26 AM on February 12, 2009


Also, "actor" doesn't quite make sense in the context. "hardcore taters in the site history" sounds more like a synonym for "URL" or "link". Maybe it's a browser thing for the browser the OP is talking about? Like cookies, only for a browser history?
posted by DU at 6:30 AM on February 12, 2009


Mmmm. Tators on my beanplate.
posted by Jofus at 6:31 AM on February 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


Oh man, that was my favoritest thread ever. And I am REALLY proud of myself for NOT commenting in it, because no matter how hard I tried to answer the question, it would have ended up being snarky.

Do I get a cookie or something?
posted by Grither at 6:31 AM on February 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's actually mentioned three times, DU. Once as "tators" and twice as "taters".

"actors" in place of "taters/tators" doesn't make sense at all... she says: especially if that person finds taters (straight or gay) to be offensive

also, just as a general note, not a response to anyone: saucysault meant the difference between monogyny and monogamy
posted by taz at 6:32 AM on February 12, 2009


You say potato
and I say puh-tater...
posted by fixedgear at 6:33 AM on February 12, 2009


Do I get a cookie or something?

You get a tasty tater.
posted by cashman at 6:33 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Every time I cook potatoes for dinner, I hear Gollum in my head hissing Whaaazz tay-turrrz, Hobbit?!?!? And then I am compelled to say it out loud. Which kind of creeps my wife out.

Ahem, the spastic and wonderful line is really "WHATS! TATERS! PRECIOUS?!!?!?!?!?" and I do it better. :P
posted by cowbellemoo at 6:34 AM on February 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


urgh... sorry saucysault, you had it right. doh.
posted by taz at 6:35 AM on February 12, 2009


No. Do not ask. Knowing would only ruin it.

I like potatoes and was even going to make some yesterday, but reading the term messed that up, so now I need resolution.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:35 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Based on my vast knowledge on stupid nicknames for genitalia, I would put this one in the Non-Standard Usage of Southern Slang for Potatoes as Sexual Euphemism pile.
posted by burnmp3s at 6:36 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks taz, I was trying to figure if you were gaslighting me. Here, have a tater.
posted by saucysault at 6:37 AM on February 12, 2009


The exact phrases are "softcore tators" and "hardcore taters".

Yeah, without the Urban Dictionary reference, I thought it was more like a name for link or cookie or something.
posted by Pax at 6:40 AM on February 12, 2009


Meat and two veg?
posted by Abiezer at 6:43 AM on February 12, 2009


Metafilter: taters (straight or gay)
posted by grippycat at 6:43 AM on February 12, 2009


"actors" in place of "taters/tators" doesn't make sense at all...

...I once saw someone mis-type "hung up on" as "ghung u porn".

NEVER, NEVER underestimate the ability of the human being to completely bollox things while typing. "tators" for "actors" seems very possible to me.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:46 AM on February 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


I thought i was analagous to browser cookies too but
"especially if that person finds cookies (straight or gay) to be offensive..." still sounds odd.
posted by pointystick at 6:46 AM on February 12, 2009


But that sentance doesn't make much more sense as "especially if that person finds actors (straight or gay) to be offensive..." either. I wonder if we have scared the OP off so they will never come back to mefi.
posted by saucysault at 6:50 AM on February 12, 2009


sentance=sentence. I swear I can type. I'm not the OP! No, really, I'm not!
posted by saucysault at 6:51 AM on February 12, 2009


It probably means a a week off depending on how you say it.
posted by tellurian at 6:53 AM on February 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


"tators" for "actors" seems very possible to me.

Me too. But not 3 times. (Or not usually. I used to have a terrible problem of typing "const" as "vondy" but that's because my left hand was shifted by one key. "tater" doesn't have a fix like that that I can see, especially since "tator" would include a hand switch.)
posted by DU at 6:55 AM on February 12, 2009


One night in Metafilter makes a hard man humble.
posted by gman at 6:55 AM on February 12, 2009 [8 favorites]


Include the a or not? I was torn.
posted by tellurian at 6:55 AM on February 12, 2009


It probably means a a week off depending on how you say it.

And yet this one is still up. I guess the mods really do think he's getting a bad rap.
posted by burnmp3s at 6:58 AM on February 12, 2009


I gotcher sweet taters right here, bay-bee.
posted by popechunk at 7:01 AM on February 12, 2009


Oh, the Urban Dictionary link to "dick tators" explains it all. Thread closed, baby.
posted by DU at 7:01 AM on February 12, 2009


I have so far resisted the urge to gmail the OP; I wonder if she would answer re: taters?
posted by pointystick at 7:02 AM on February 12, 2009


I have so far resisted the urge to gmail the OP

Tried that yesterday, never got a response.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:04 AM on February 12, 2009


I wonder if she would answer re: taters?

Please don't call them retaterd. The preferred PC term is "differently tubered."
posted by middleclasstool at 7:05 AM on February 12, 2009 [27 favorites]


It's not on Urban Dictionary, therefore it's not real.
posted by jerseygirl at 7:06 AM on February 12, 2009


Oh I didn't think to add the prefix of dick. Sorry, sorry. I am usually sharper with my genitalia related slang w/r/t Urban Dictionary.
posted by jerseygirl at 7:07 AM on February 12, 2009


Oh, the Urban Dictionary link to "dick tators" explains it all. Thread closed, baby.
posted by DU

Care to share with the rest of us?
posted by Grither at 7:08 AM on February 12, 2009


God I loved that thread. Never has metafilter been so united.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 7:09 AM on February 12, 2009 [5 favorites]


Oh, the Urban Dictionary link to "dick tators" explains it all.

Not really, it doesn't say where the term from or the history of it, while the definition vs the AskMe usage ("dick tators" vs "tators") implies that there might be a different meaning for the term "tators." Are there different types of tators and if so, is it strictly for male anatomy?

Yes, I'm seriously asking.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:09 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks for giving this its own post Brandon. Now I can ask my derail questions here.

If we are going with the assumption that tater=penis how does one differentiate between a "softcore tator" and a "hardcore tater"? I would think that to someone so easily offended there really wouldn't be varying degrees of dick pictures?

Why couldn't she just say "penis"? I mean are there really 25 year old people living in the twenty-first century who are so sheltered/repressed/immature that they can't use the proper name for part of the male anatomy in the appropriate context? And these people work in the medical field? They're scientists?

I don't work in a lab and I'm pretty damn immature but I can still say penis. Penis, penis, penis. See I did it right there. It boggles the mind.

Although I guess I just really drove my point about being immature right home didn't I. Nevermind.
posted by Bango Skank at 7:10 AM on February 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Winner and direct link
posted by DU at 7:10 AM on February 12, 2009


IDAHO HOETOE!
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 7:10 AM on February 12, 2009


But if taters are testicles, what would be the difference between soft-core taters and hard-core taters?
posted by taz at 7:11 AM on February 12, 2009


Her boss is Max Mosley and she doesn't like dick tater porn. Well, now she has my sympathies.
posted by saucysault at 7:12 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


she says: The first exposure to his site (which had softcore tators on the site) was not due to “snooping.” HE CALLED ME INTO HIS OFFICE. When I looked at his history I did not break any locks or hack his computer, I merely walked in and looked at his history, and the sites in that history contained hardcore taters
posted by taz at 7:13 AM on February 12, 2009


OK, I did research. That is, I asked my housemate and his boyfriend (one Southern, one upper Midwest) and a friend who has written user documentation for an online gay dating site (straight, kinky, New Englander). I'm from Portland and now living in the South.

Nobody had any idea. But it led to at least one fun conversation about the International Male catalog.
posted by catlet at 7:13 AM on February 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Hmm. Urban Dictionary is a tater goldmine! tater, tater teabag, tossed tater salad, and dick-tater.
posted by grippycat at 7:15 AM on February 12, 2009


You know, taters!? Boil em, mash em, stick em in a stew?

PO-TA-TOES!?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:15 AM on February 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


I didn't mean to imply that "testicles" is the literal meaning for "tators" in that context. But it explains why the word is at all relevant. I assume some kind of...I forget the term....is at play here. (Where you use a "nearby" term to refer to the whole thing. Like "Washington" when you mean "the federal government" or "ass" to refer to a sexual partner).

But yeah, it still makes "hardcore taters" vs "softcore tators" kinda hard to parse.
posted by DU at 7:15 AM on February 12, 2009


So they were benevolent dick taters?
posted by fleacircus at 7:16 AM on February 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


Uh, what did I win? I hope it's not a tater peeler.

And my guess: softcore taters = bulge on underwear; hardcore taters = all is in sight, baby.
posted by Iosephus at 7:20 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, DU you mean synecdoche? Or is it metonymy?
after the AP Englih exam, I kind of forgot about these; have not thought of them in a while
posted by pointystick at 7:20 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Another possibility: y'all got trolled?
posted by PercussivePaul at 7:23 AM on February 12, 2009


What? Trolled? On Metafilter? NO WAY!
posted by jerseygirl at 7:24 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm guessing she just meant 'photos' although how it came out 'taters' is beyond me.
posted by graventy at 7:25 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think it is breasts. Booby photos can be hardcore, or soft-core. Booby photos can be hetero- or homo-sexual in nature. It is even mentioned on Urban Dictionary, for whatever tiny amount that is worth (see: similar terms, definitions 2, 11 and 12.)

None of that addresses the fact that I obviously need to do a better job keeping up to date on AskMe, though.
posted by paisley henosis at 7:25 AM on February 12, 2009


it still makes "hardcore taters" vs "softcore tators" kinda hard to parse.

Ditto for gay and straight taters. Eh? People have sexual identities; genitals don't.

To confuse things even more I found "crotch taters" enquired about here. None of the responders knew what it meant, but add one more possible usage...
posted by springbound at 7:26 AM on February 12, 2009


There's no chance it means "balls," how are there softcore balls? I got a strong troll flavor off that thread before that, and the taters confirmed it for me, but I'm often overly paranoid about trolls because I live on a bridge.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:26 AM on February 12, 2009 [6 favorites]


Obviously it's referring to the male sex organ

Nah, this is by no means obvious. The further descriptor of hardcore vs softcore makes the context even stranger. Plus, she says she was looking at site history, so how would a list of page titles contain images?

Also, the language in the post is a bit formal and haughty, so it's weird that she would slide into childish euphemisms for specific body parts, or even discuss body parts specifically.
posted by desuetude at 7:26 AM on February 12, 2009


Iosephus could be on to something there. And he better get off that thing right now, before I report him.
posted by taz at 7:27 AM on February 12, 2009


I didn't post in the thread because I assumed the mefi detective squad was investigating a possible troll situation. A troll with tators.
posted by saucysault at 7:28 AM on February 12, 2009


Maybe the whole thread is a devious attempt to troll MetaFilter by getting lots of people watching it with an inflammatory question, then posting a non-existent word with several slightly different contexts.

Or, maybe it's some weird slang for "pictures".
posted by lucidium at 7:28 AM on February 12, 2009


Every time I cook potatoes for dinner, I hear Gollum in my head hissing Whaaazz tay-turrrz, Hobbit?!?!? And then I am compelled to say it out loud. Which kind of creeps my wife out.

So, there is this electronic remixy type song thing built around Gollum's quote, similar to the Picard song and the series of tubes, which was popular a while back, and I heard it and liked it and downloaded it and had it on my mp3 player. One day my wife is like "I need some songs to listen to at work, so make me a playlist." I go through my mp3 player and start looking for songs I think she would like and I see that one and think "Hmmm. She likes Gollum. I will put that one on there." She sees me the next day and goes "What is that taters song? You need to take that off. It sucks." Well, I don't get around to it right away, and she is riding with her sister and goes, "Check out this stupid song." and plays it and her sister likes it and they start singing it to each other as a joke, going "Po tay toe, Po tay to!" at random times over the next couple of days, and then I get included in the little inside joke, and so the song, which really has no other value than a one off lol-type song that you hear and laugh at and forget, has become a type of fixture in our household.

I say all this as way of back story to this: last night we were having chicken and mashed potatoes for dinner and I come in from taking the chicken off the grill and say to my wife "How are the taters coming?" to which she replied "WHATS! TATERS! PRECIOUS?!!?!?!?!?" and then we did an impromptu performance of the song in our kitchen involving beat boxing and dancing and lots of talking in Gollum voice.

The internet is pretty great.
posted by ND¢ at 7:29 AM on February 12, 2009 [62 favorites]


Mmmm. Tators on my beanplate.

Tators... on my beanplate... makes me happy.
Tators... on my beanplate... makes me smile.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:29 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


> Include the a or not? I was torn.

Your web 2.0 idea for tatr.com is currently being squatted by a domain name speculator. So make sure you include money in your startup's budget to pay him off.
posted by ardgedee at 7:29 AM on February 12, 2009


Pillowy mounds of Mashed Potatoes. Pillowy mounds of Mashed Potatoes.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:29 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


ROTATOR
posted by EarBucket at 7:29 AM on February 12, 2009


Bets on whether this is a sixcolors or fr0sty_hut question?
posted by asockpuppet at 7:30 AM on February 12, 2009 [8 favorites]


especially if that person finds taters (straight or gay) to be offensive

One possible reading of this is that the "(straight or gay)" parenthetical is intended to bind to "that person", not "taters".

In other words, "especially if that person, regardless of their sexual orientation, finds taters to be offensive".
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:30 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I used to work with this frat boy who whenever he'd do the fist bump would say "Taters"! cuz he thought they looked like little friendly potatoes. He was pretty adorable, and I sexually harassed him constantly but he never noticed. Not sure if this helps...

It's most likely just to be a mistaken slang term--she meant to use some other more common food-based nude man term, like "beefcake", or "unicorn-sandwich."
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:31 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hardcore vs softcore tators could refer to tators either in action or alone/in repose.
posted by DU at 7:35 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Tators in repose.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 7:37 AM on February 12, 2009 [9 favorites]


This Christmas, at the Cinedrome: ACTION TATORS!
posted by DU at 7:38 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's Potato Month at Sweet Tomatoes. If I see my boss there at lunch, should I get a new apartment?

And also apparently it is National Sweet Potato Month/National Potato Lovers' Month. Did we get trolled by the Tater Commission?
posted by catlet at 7:41 AM on February 12, 2009


I. can. not. believe. catlet linked to sweet tomatoes. It is sexual harassment to expose people in the website to sexual material against their will, especially if that person finds sweet tomatoes (straight or gay) to be offensive.
posted by taz at 7:48 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I interpreted it as a slang for "gays" since you can have images for "hardcore gays" and "softcore gays". To use the term "tators/taters" then has the same derogatory sound as "puffs" or "faggots", and in that light makes me even more upset with the OP. I could be wrong.
posted by yeti at 7:51 AM on February 12, 2009


So, a question to the mods, when you approved this was it with a twinkle in your eye and a slight whisper of "oohhh...this is gonna be gooood."

Or was it more "oohhh.. I'm gonna hate babysitting this one."
posted by odinsdream at 7:51 AM on February 12, 2009


Based on the "tators" spelling, I prefer to pronounce the word "ta-TORS". It makes this whole thread even funnier.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:53 AM on February 12, 2009


This thread is full of hardcore beanplators.
posted by DU at 7:55 AM on February 12, 2009


I could never make it in pr0n. Tater tot.
posted by netbros at 7:56 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think, as paranoid as the poster seemed, that she used a random word to avoid typing the word "porn" in her outgoing email. The original post wouldn't have had that problem, being a post and not email, but her followup with jessamyn probably went out via her work email servers.
posted by donnagirl at 7:59 AM on February 12, 2009 [12 favorites]


Bets on whether this is a sixcolors or fr0sty_hut question?

Yeah I thought of sixcolors too although IIRCC the ages wouldn't line up.
posted by Bango Skank at 7:59 AM on February 12, 2009


No, it cannot mean 'gay'. Again, here's the usage:

"The first exposure to his site (which had softcore tators on the site) ... the sites in that history contained hardcore taters, and it is sexual harassment to expose people in the workplace to sexual material against their will, especially if that person finds taters (straight or gay) to be offensive."

As many people said, 'photos' could fit with the usage. But so could some form of 'genitalia' I suppose.
posted by vacapinta at 8:01 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was thinking "taters" might just be a SFW stand-in for "porn." Perhaps it's short for "porn-tatoes." That's the only thing I can think of that can be hardcore or softcore and gay or straight, since there are so many delicious ways to serve porntatoes.

As an aside, is this the kind of party where someone sticks their dick in the mashed potatoes? And could someone let me in on where that line comes from?
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:01 AM on February 12, 2009 [9 favorites]


I could never make it in pr0n. Tater tot.

Me neither. Curly fry.
posted by ND¢ at 8:03 AM on February 12, 2009


I mean are there really 25 year old people living in the twenty-first century who are so sheltered/repressed/immature that they can't use the proper name for part of the male anatomy in the appropriate context? And these people work in the medical field? They're scientists?

Clearly, there are grown men and women who can't just say, boobs, tits, breasts, knockers, etc, but rather say BOOBIES or its cousin, BOOBY.

I think it is breasts. Booby photos can be hardcore, or soft-core. Booby photos can be hetero- or homo-sexual in nature. It is even mentioned on Urban Dictionary, for whatever tiny amount that is worth (see: similar terms, definitions 2, 11 and 12.)

posted by paisley henosis at 9:25 AM on February 12 [+] [!]



So all taters aside, there are adults who are fearful of using even recognized terms for genitalia.
posted by wocka wocka wocka at 8:04 AM on February 12, 2009


Perhaps it's short for "porn-tatoes."

Please let it be this.
posted by middleclasstool at 8:06 AM on February 12, 2009 [8 favorites]


My guess: Its a form of tatters, expanded to mean genitalia in general?
posted by vacapinta at 8:06 AM on February 12, 2009


Agh, tator and tater no longer look like words to me now, just a bunch of jumbled random letters. Thanks for that. It will take me days to recover from this thread!
posted by chinston at 8:07 AM on February 12, 2009


So now when someone gets hit in the crotch Ow! My Balls! style, I can say "he took one in the tater-tots" and have it actually have some basis in something other than my own idle imagination and enjoyment of alliteration?

Cool!
posted by quin at 8:08 AM on February 12, 2009


Or was it more "oohhh.. I'm gonna hate babysitting this one."

That one. It's basically always that one. Anonymous questions are worse than normal ones in that respect—aside from the occasional explicit request-for-followup, there's no natural presence of the poster to defray and clarify stuff. That can sometimes mean more noise than usual and more work for us (which this thread at least was a very clear example of).

And whenever it's a case where someone's asking something that seems a bit off but it's also a legit question, we end up trapped between not wanting to keep someone from getting some answers/responses to whatever their deal is and knowing that it's going to be a pain in the ass to clean up after. It's a weird dynamic to try and navigate.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:09 AM on February 12, 2009


Surely she's referring to porn involving Norwegian and Swedish Travellers. She might want to avoid the term "Tater", though, as it is somewhat disparaging.
posted by Dumsnill at 8:09 AM on February 12, 2009


I'm sorry I sexually harassed you with soup, taz. Can I buy you a martini (made with Chopin, of course) in apology?

Now I want tater/tomater soup for lunch. OR NOT.
posted by catlet at 8:10 AM on February 12, 2009


Or perhaps the OP (or her boss) is Brak:

I've eaten meatballs in Sweden, and porkchops in Peru
But all it did, all it did, all it did, all it did was remind me of you, baby
And your mashed potatoes... sweet potatoes... oh baby, pass the butter.


I can't figure out whether that song is now totally ruined or greatly improved for me.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:11 AM on February 12, 2009


All these years, when I've been offered a spud side dish at a restaurant, I've been secretly participating in my own sexual harassment without knowing it.

Spicy fries?

Who knows what "au gratin" is code for.

Oh god... Fully loaded baked potato?

I pledge to be a rice pilaf gal from now on. Until that turns out to be a secret term for something else.
posted by jerseygirl at 8:11 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Or was it more "oohhh.. I'm gonna hate babysitting this one."

Yes. Though to be honest I was surprised how badly that thread went because I figured people would just be like "you're wrong and were in the wrong" but people really went overboard calling the OP all manner of names and getting super duper preachy on their ass. The follow-up by the OP didn't help at all.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:13 AM on February 12, 2009


Maybe it was tatas.
posted by tellurian at 8:16 AM on February 12, 2009


Bets on whether this is a sixcolors or fr0sty_hut question?

This has sixcolors fingers all over it.
posted by kimdog at 8:18 AM on February 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


In re: potatoes and Hobbits.
posted by scrump at 8:18 AM on February 12, 2009


The other day I was in AskMetafilter and the posters were unable to identify a tater. And no, they weren't new...
posted by chinston at 8:19 AM on February 12, 2009


I could never make it in pr0n. Tater tot.

Me neither. Curly fry.

In the small penis tater game there are no winners
posted by Bango Skank at 8:19 AM on February 12, 2009


As an aside, is this the kind of party where someone sticks their dick in the mashed potatoes? And could someone let me in on where that line comes from?

"Shit, if this is gonna be that kind of party, I'm gonna stick my dick in the mashed potatoes."
posted by middleclasstool at 8:20 AM on February 12, 2009 [8 favorites]


Firefox told me "boobie" was incorrect, but "booby" was right, I thought it looked weird too.

And give me a break, what am I supposed to say, "bosoms"? I figured silly was better than somehow being accidentally offensive.
posted by paisley henosis at 8:22 AM on February 12, 2009


*votes to leave the speculation re the identity of the asker out of it*
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 8:24 AM on February 12, 2009 [5 favorites]


If this is sixcolors, then why does she have to sell stuff on corners from her car?
Was she anticipating pinding taters and losing her job?
posted by pointystick at 8:24 AM on February 12, 2009


From what I can gather sixcolors is a (grad?) student, a lesbian, and hasn't been working in an office - and she just doesn't strike me as the kind of person who'd get het up over her boss looking at porn. I bet she'd find it funny. This doesn't sound like her at all.

Her questions do often come across as a little different and occasionally judgy, and she's rubbed some people here the wrong way, but she's not the sole source of strange questions. Lay offa her.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:25 AM on February 12, 2009 [7 favorites]


finding taters
(and no, it does not seem like sixcolors to me in case that was not clear)
posted by pointystick at 8:27 AM on February 12, 2009


I've actually used the term 'tated, and variations to mean "irritated". It's the first thing I thought of when I read 'taters'. But that's probably not right.

Any chance that 'tators' refers to "commentators", as in people contributing to the site?
posted by iamkimiam at 8:28 AM on February 12, 2009


The only word I can think of that makes sense in this context is "banner ads." I have no idea why you would call them taters/tators, (tasters? teasers?) but check this out:

"The first exposure to his site (which had softcore banner ads on the site) ... the sites in that history contained hardcore banner ads, and it is sexual harassment to expose people in the workplace to sexual material against their will, especially if that person finds banner ads (straight or gay) to be offensive."
posted by desjardins at 8:31 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


*votes to leave the speculation re the identity of the asker out of it*

Agreed, it's mean spirited and tacky.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:36 AM on February 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


There was this big old potato who had three potato daughters (yes, just like King Lear!).

The first daughter got engaged to a potato from Idaho and the big old potato said "Oh boy, my daughter's marrying an Idaho tater!"

The second daughter got engaged to a russet potato and the big old potato said "Oh boy, my daughter's marrying a russet tater!"

The third daughter got engaged to John Chancellor and the big old potato said "Oh boy, my daughter's marrying a commentator!"

--courtesy of one of my fifth grade classmates
posted by Orinda at 8:37 AM on February 12, 2009


I doubt it's breasts.

The guy's cruising a gay hook-up site. Unless he's exclusively looking for trannies, it ain't breasts.
posted by CKmtl at 8:38 AM on February 12, 2009


*votes to leave the speculation re the identity of the asker out of it*

Yes, please.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:40 AM on February 12, 2009


Thanks Metroid Baby! Yours is the first suggestion (taters/tators = porn) that makes ANY sense.
Now why would it be plural.....
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:41 AM on February 12, 2009


Just like AskMe, taters can be a source of very helpful advice.
posted by hot soup girl at 8:43 AM on February 12, 2009


One potato, two potato, three potato, four
Five potato, six potato
Now I'm getting sore
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:44 AM on February 12, 2009 [11 favorites]


This whole thread has been hilarious. Thank you all, especially those who have tried to work out what this means, my prize goes to this explanation with bonus points for linking to the wikipedia article on Tater Tots. Which makes me wonder, do the French call testicles croquettes?
posted by ob at 8:44 AM on February 12, 2009


The guy's cruising a gay hook-up site. Unless he's exclusively looking for trannies, it ain't breasts.

You're right, breasts wouldn't make sense at all.
posted by paisley henosis at 8:48 AM on February 12, 2009


Hakuna me taters.
posted by tellurian at 8:50 AM on February 12, 2009


Score! I got a tater martini out of it all. Thanks, catlet!
posted by taz at 8:58 AM on February 12, 2009


"Banner Ads" fits the context perfectly.

Gators, on the other hand, would make no sense at all. Because you could have gay gators and straight gators and hardcore gators, but I seriously doubt there is such a thing as a softcore gator.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:58 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


The follow-up by the OP didn't help at all.

Yeah, I'm imagining that was probably a bad moment, getting that update request and having visions of the shit-storm it would cause. I feel for you, and I say that as someone who made a couple of comments that were rightfully deleted, in retrospect.
posted by odinsdream at 9:00 AM on February 12, 2009


Oh man. That was a hilarious thread. Thank GOD someone started a MetaTalk on "taters" because I was itching to post even though I had no reason to.... sorry, Jessamyn.

Would there be some sort of text editor program which would take a misspelled word like pr0n and substitute a weird word like tators? Which they then sent out without noticing? I know I've had strange spellings auto-corrected for me in Word. I was thinking that maybe OP used the word "daters" when she meant "dating sites" but that doesn't explain "tators."

Oh this is just like that stupid flashcard post! With the bread and the tree!!

You say tomato; I say to-mah-to.
You say balls/nutsack/boobies; I say hardcore taters....

posted by amanda at 9:01 AM on February 12, 2009


Ob, I think *I* will now call testicals "croquettes." Something about calling balls "taters" is just so wrong to me. The vision... it is not good.
posted by amanda at 9:02 AM on February 12, 2009


On the first season of Rock of Love, Heather (the stripper who tattooed Bret Michaels' name on her neck and -- SPOILER! -- still came in second) once referred to her own MondoBoobs as her "tatters." (Specifically, that her "tatters" were "flip-flopping everywhere" while she rode a mechanical bull. As they do. Later, she notes that archrival Lacey's father was "staring at my tatters." As they do.)

So this raises a few possibilities: 1) Perhaps "taters" is a misspelling of "tatters"; 2) perhaps the OP's boss is actually into chicks with dicks (which would explain the coexistence of "gay" "porn" with presumed boobies); 3) perhaps I should feel more ashamed for watching all three seasons of Rock of Love, but I don't. (Though I must say this season blows worse than a hair dryer through Bret Michaels' Malibu Barbie hair extensions.)
posted by scody at 9:03 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm adding to the chorus that "tators" and "taters" has got to be a SFW substitute for "porn" to get past email filters. I'm sure most of us would have gone with pr0n, but then again we're not snooping on our bosses.
posted by muddgirl at 9:04 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Given the poster's naivete, it wouldn't surprise me if they thought that "softcore" meant "flaccid" and "hardcore" meant "erect". This makes a lot more sense in the context of "tater" referring to exactly one body part since most people wouldn't consider any below-the-waist male nudity to be softcore.
posted by 0xFCAF at 9:05 AM on February 12, 2009 [7 favorites]


Well, I still don't know what "taters" is/are. But if that boss had been watching tater tot porn, I think we'd all might have come down a bit differently.
posted by applemeat at 9:09 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Eh. I'm reading tater as porn for some reason, but because that connection seems really tenuous, I'm instead thinking that hash browns sound really good right now.
posted by Pronoiac at 9:10 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm sure most of us would have gone with pr0n


The flaw in this theory is that the poster DID use pr0n in the original post and surely would have used the same term in her email to Jessamyn.

OP - we're sorry for the pileon! You're not a judgmental busybody at all. Please come back and tell us what this word means!
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:11 AM on February 12, 2009


Adult tater tots
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:13 AM on February 12, 2009


Ob, I think *I* will now call testicals "croquettes."

"Les croquettes" to make them sound classy.
posted by ob at 9:15 AM on February 12, 2009


I think 0xFCAF has a pretty good theory there.

I'm also thinking that this would be a great opera moment in a musical about taking down your company for inconsequential reasons.

Oh my word!
What is this?
Could it be...?
These are taters!
Softcore taters!
Hardcore taters!
It cannot be!
I'm too young....
I don't like taters!!


[rending of garments]
posted by amanda at 9:15 AM on February 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


My question is how did she know what the sites showed when she says she didn't look at them? Supposedly she only looked at the browser history, which suggests that she saw only a list of site titles and URLs. So in that case "taters" doesn't seem like it could refer to any specific genitalia, unless the sites themselves were titled "Get your hard-core taters here!"
posted by PatoPata at 9:18 AM on February 12, 2009


Scody, you're right the new season blows. Also, an interesting take on the taters angle, and one that I at least hadn't considered....
posted by ob at 9:18 AM on February 12, 2009


amanda, I hadn't seen that pictogram thread before. I am glad of that actually, because if I had spent hours thinking about it and THAT was the answer my head would have exploded.
posted by saucysault at 9:21 AM on February 12, 2009


Supposedly she only looked at the browser history

There's no way she wasn't clicking on every single history link that looked suspicious and taking copious mental notes about the exact details of what kinks her boss was in to. Someone snooping that far doesn't just stop at page titles, they want the down and dirty details.
posted by 0xFCAF at 9:26 AM on February 12, 2009


Google image search reveals: Tater, Tater1.

(NSFW!)
posted by klangklangston at 9:32 AM on February 12, 2009


I'm adding to the chorus that "tators" and "taters" has got to be a SFW substitute for "porn" to get past email filters.

Wait, her boss is looking at porn, yet they have an email filter that won't accept dirty words?
posted by desjardins at 9:34 AM on February 12, 2009


It's far too late in the thread to make a "you say po-TAY-ter I say "po-TAH-tor" joke, isn't it? Dammit.
posted by dersins at 9:35 AM on February 12, 2009


Speaking of snooping, never EVER look at someone's favorites/bookmarks. I was housesitting once and got what I deserved - the couple had an enema fetish. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I was moderately terrified every time I had to open a cabinet or closet.
posted by desjardins at 9:36 AM on February 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


Huh, the banners (teasers?) theory makes at least some kind of sense perhaps?
posted by desuetude at 9:37 AM on February 12, 2009


I was going to make meatloaf and tater tots for supper tonight, but now I'm feeing all icky about it.
posted by amyms at 9:37 AM on February 12, 2009


Google image search reveals: Tater, Tater1.

dear gay porn, ur doing it wrong.
posted by taz at 9:39 AM on February 12, 2009


It's far too late in the thread to make a "you say po-TAY-ter I say "po-TAH-tor" joke, isn't it? Dammit.

Pesky time zones. This must be why cortex seems to stay up all night.
posted by catlet at 9:45 AM on February 12, 2009


Anyone know when or where the term was invented?

Meat and two veg. Wedding tackle, baby.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:48 AM on February 12, 2009


No to email filters. She said they got nothin' - no HR, no IT. My Uncle Sam is so paranoid that my PC locks after just minutes of no activity. Their situation is just the opposite. No SurfControl or Websense, he's surfing porn sites. I'm baffled, despite the Urban Dictionary links. She's looking at browser history. She's seeing a list of URLS and/or site names. The only thing that remotely makes sense is photos, assuming she clicks through.

One more thing. Folks might be projecting a little here. She says 'lab' and folks are imaging some big pharma research, or some academic setting. I'm thinking some podunk town where she analyzes blood work for cholesterol numbers, or maybe administers piss tests.
posted by fixedgear at 9:49 AM on February 12, 2009


On second thought, I might not make supper at all tonight, because I'll be here refreshing this thread until the Great Tater Mystery of 2009 is solved. Won't someone think of the hungry families!
posted by amyms at 9:49 AM on February 12, 2009


Klang is link 2 from some kind of healthy eating promotion? I mean did they win a "5 a day sticker"?
posted by ob at 9:49 AM on February 12, 2009


This tater, it vibrates?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:52 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Damn you, I used to call my niece Tater. So much for that nickname.
posted by Ugh at 9:58 AM on February 12, 2009


So, after too much Google searching, the only thing that makes reasonable sense to me is that the OP speaks German and is using the word 'taters' to mean 'persons who commit a certain act'.

"The first exposure to his site (which had softcore offenders on the site) ... the sites in that history contained hardcore offenders, and it is sexual harassment to expose people in the workplace to sexual material against their will, especially if that person finds offenders (straight or gay) to be offensive."

This seems a little far-fetched, but possible if the OP wanted to avoid saying 'pornstar' or something, and has the connotations of guilt and suspicion that match her post.

A German Joys blog says the following about taters:

First, the root: Täter (pronounced as in "Pass the taters, Maw!").

It's derived from the neutral word tun, or "to do." So a Täter is "doer." However, a we don't like the things Täter do: they beat people, scratch cars, embezzle money, smuggle drugs, kill animals, burn embassies, and such like. They are criminals.

There are different sorts of Täter. A Triebtäter is someone who'se motivated by unwholesome drives or urges (Treiben), an "urge-criminal," or sex offender.

posted by amicamentis at 10:00 AM on February 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


She says 'lab' and folks are imaging some big pharma research, or some academic setting. I'm thinking some podunk town where she analyzes blood work for cholesterol numbers, or maybe administers piss tests.

OTOH, if it's just a run-of-the-mill medical testing lab like that, the belief that her boss would be so difficult to replace that it might destroy the practice if he left/was fired seems unwarranted.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:02 AM on February 12, 2009


Speaking of looking at browsing histories... There are five people in my house, and three of us have printers. Two of us are perpetually on the go and rarely home, so the other two housemates tend to default to the third printer-owner (whom I shall dub HP) when they need something printed off. They just split the cost of paper/ink as needed.

One of them in particular instigated one or two incidents where he asked to borrow the laptop of HP so he could print something from an email or whatever, but then hit Ctrl + H, held HP at arm's length/pushed him away, and browsed through the history to giggle at the occasional lewd website. These incidents inevitably resulted in HP being mocked by said housemate in the presence of the rest of us.

Needless to say, it's made me very wary about locking my laptop with three layers of passwords everytime I leave it at home.

Lesson: Snooping is a bitchy thing to do, and Incognito is your friend.
posted by Phire at 10:15 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


the belief that her boss would be so difficult to replace that it might destroy the practice if he left/was fired seems unwarranted.

In contrast to the rest of the poster's beliefs.
posted by ook at 10:22 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is it possible that it is some mishearing of "avatars?"
posted by Morrigan at 10:24 AM on February 12, 2009


My friend and I use "tater" as slang for male genitals. We didn't hear it from anywhere, though... someone related a story about witnessing a man masturbating on the street when they first moved to the city and how their (adorably) naive reaction was "oh, that man is holding a potato in his fly."

(Sorry, everyone, for the visual - particularly those who use Tater as a nickname for friends or relatives.)

My vote is tater = anus. It makes sense in both the the hardcore/softcore and gay/straight debates.
posted by cranberrymonger at 10:27 AM on February 12, 2009


So, after too much Google searching, the only thing that makes reasonable sense to me is that the OP speaks German and is using the word 'taters' to mean 'persons who commit a certain act'.

I like this. I had originally wondered if she was shortening "perpetrator," but in my world, the nickname for those folks is "perps."
posted by PatoPata at 10:28 AM on February 12, 2009


Oh and a semi-related sex act courtesy of Urban Dictionary.
posted by cranberrymonger at 10:29 AM on February 12, 2009


PLEASE NOTE THAT I DO NOT ADVOCATE THE SEX POTATO.
posted by cranberrymonger at 10:30 AM on February 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


Lets hope cranberrymonger's moniker is not eponysterical!
(As an Irishwoman I really object to fetishing potatoes, honestly!)
posted by Wilder at 10:40 AM on February 12, 2009


This mystery will haunt me for the rest of my life.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:46 AM on February 12, 2009 [7 favorites]


I´m invoking rule 34 and going with potato porn. Hardcore (uncooked?) potatoes, softcore potatoes. Hot, tuber-on-tuber scenes, every which way, fried, boiled, even twice-baked.

As long as there weren´t any of those fingerling potatoes involved, it´s all good.
posted by yohko at 10:46 AM on February 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


Holy hell, between this and the original question, I'm not getting a damn thing done today.
posted by Space Kitty at 10:46 AM on February 12, 2009


Maybe it means "Masturbators" ?
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 10:49 AM on February 12, 2009


That AskMe post is better than the last couple books I read.

The argument that she used this bizarre word to get past an email filter (already ably disproven by fixedgear) doesn't hold up when you note that she wrote "gay p0rn" in her original post. Why not just repeat that strategy in the follow-up?

The two most convincing suggestions in this thread are that she either meant "porn" or "banner ads" - but again, if she only saw the links and not the sites themselves, how would she know?

I think I'm gonna have to fall back to my original position - that the OP is just really, really crazy.
posted by Bobby Bittman at 10:50 AM on February 12, 2009


I'm sorry, can we back up to "unicorn sandwich" for a minute?
posted by mykescipark at 10:53 AM on February 12, 2009 [6 favorites]


I think it means when someone tucks themselves into themselves. You know, like in Silence of the Lambs?
posted by ND¢ at 10:58 AM on February 12, 2009


A summary of this thread so far:


Tater haters: "Masturbators!"
Greater Taters: "Hatey haters!"
Tater baiters: "Mashed potaters!"
Tater graters: "Masticators!"

Tater tops: "Sadotaters!"
Tater props: "Great potaters!"
Tater freighter: "See ya later!"
posted by Mister_A at 11:03 AM on February 12, 2009 [8 favorites]


Maybe the the OP meant commentators? Maybe the "hard core taters/ors" and "soft core taters/ors" were graphic comments on the sites?
posted by amyms at 11:22 AM on February 12, 2009


Oh god. I will never know. I will never know! I am falling into despair over the realization that I will never know.

Then I think, at least I can be happy that I'm a jaded 31 and yet there is still so much wonder and mystery in the world.

I think I now understand what it feels like to be a computer stuck in an infinite loop.

Thanks a LOT, tater/tator/wtf.
posted by pazazygeek at 11:25 AM on February 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


DAISYCHAIN CRATERS
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 11:28 AM on February 12, 2009


I haven't read all the posts here and someone may have pointed it out, but for a book I'm working on concerning the interrelationship of sports and language I do know the following etymology to be true:

"Tater" as a Negro League term for a baseball becomes more common throughout baseball once the color barrier is broken. "Tater" later becomes generalized in sports regularly as a "ball" in general. And in the late 90's there are lots of attestations of "taters" to be used as slang for testicles, and the guess is that this is a semantic shift playing on the ball aspect of things since a lot of the attestations are from sports-related activities. It has also been used to mean "having guts" or "having balls" in phrases such as "that guy has big taters".

Whether the term has been further generalized in specific sexual ways over the last several years I don't know (and the different spelling possibilities are interesting as well), so I'll be interested to read the rest of this thread in hopes of finding possible footnotes to put in my text.
posted by zeugitai_guy at 11:30 AM on February 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


You tater! You brunger!
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:30 AM on February 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


Datapoint: Phyllis Dillion would rather you touch her potatoes (or pumpkin!) than her tomatoes.
posted by Bookhouse at 11:31 AM on February 12, 2009


Someone needs to post this question to Yahoo Answers. If any site can solve this mystery, it's that one.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:31 AM on February 12, 2009


Baters?

As in masturbaters?
posted by dios at 11:36 AM on February 12, 2009


This is really throwing me for an existential loop. Worse still, I have to wonder if Softcore Tators are my nemesis or myself.
posted by hardcore taters at 11:40 AM on February 12, 2009


I'm sorry, can we back up to "unicorn sandwich" for a minute?
posted by mykescipark at 10:53 AM on February 12


Not right now, I'm at work.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:43 AM on February 12, 2009


You all should be home, diggin' taters and rutey-bagers.

*dances*

*if you get that reference, you are an even bugger couch tater [groan] than me, which is saying something.
posted by jonmc at 11:43 AM on February 12, 2009


My first though was the tate/ors was a metaphor for "a satisfying thing of substance" You know, like a big plate of taters (mmmm.) or a heaping helping of hot porn (mmmmm).

And the reason the OP is so freaked out is that she had the shocking awareness that she's super into it. That's the only reason she snuck into her bosses office to find more and take a photo of the best web sites to visit.
posted by Ookseer at 11:44 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


^^ goes in hard and pink and comes out soft and sticky ^^
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 11:44 AM on February 12, 2009


tate/ors was a metaphor

"Oh, boy, my bosses office! That's where I get taters!"
posted by ND¢ at 11:49 AM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


You know, the OP probably posted the real answer in this thread but couched as a theory.

*squints suspiciously at everyone in MetaTalk*
posted by DU at 11:50 AM on February 12, 2009


Yes, more knowledge about unicorn sandwiches, please.
posted by cranberrymonger at 11:50 AM on February 12, 2009


Another thing I've been considering: if taters is code for cock or balls or manjunk-in-general, the weirdish notion of "hardcore" vs "softcore" taters could be explained away as covered-vs-not. A dick is a dick is a dick, but a dick vs. a visible bulge seems like a plausible hard- vs. softcore folk taxonomy.

Man in a speedo: softcore taters. The taters are baking.

Man sans speedo: hardcore taters. The taters are out of the oven.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:51 AM on February 12, 2009 [15 favorites]


Hasn't jessamyn posted a really good recipe for tater stuffed chicken before?
posted by ND¢ at 11:52 AM on February 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


Is it a Dutch oven, cortex?
posted by Mister_A at 11:53 AM on February 12, 2009


It's as Dutch as you want it to be, mister.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:58 AM on February 12, 2009


Tater People
posted by ob at 11:58 AM on February 12, 2009


Recipe time!

Soft Tater
------------------
1 Tater

Put tater in your own oven. Bake indefinitely.

Bun in the oven
-------------------------
1 Tater

Put tater in female oven. Bake for up to 9 months.
posted by DU at 11:59 AM on February 12, 2009


if taters is code for cock or balls or manjunk-in-general, the weirdish notion of "hardcore" vs "softcore" taters could be explained away as covered-vs-not.

You know, I like this theory, but remember: some taters are straight, and some taters are gay. It could be that anonymous thinks of genitalia as being the loci of human sexuality - BUT HOW COULD SHE KNOW WHICH WAS WHICH ON SIGHT? I know we all want this to be over so we can think about other things - but in our rush to find the answer, let's not lose sight of the full scope of the question.
posted by moxiedoll at 12:00 PM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


some taters are straight, and some taters are gay. It could be that anonymous thinks of genitalia as being the loci of human sexuality - BUT HOW COULD SHE KNOW WHICH WAS WHICH ON SIGHT?

Taterdar?
posted by burnmp3s at 12:02 PM on February 12, 2009 [5 favorites]


That is not a problem if you consider my prior exigesis, On the Binding of Sexual-Preference Qualifiers to Antecedents.

I'm trying to put together a unified theory of tatorology here.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:03 PM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks for using my first name, cortex. I feel like we're becoming real friends! I'll be waiting for you outside your domicile tonight with some taters.
posted by Mister_A at 12:03 PM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I just keep saying "tater" all day, and no one in my real life knows what it means or why it is so very hilarious.

But that's okay. It's not for them.

It's a present just for me.

posted by middleclasstool at 12:09 PM on February 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


This is the only thing I know about unicorn sandwiches.
posted by dios at 12:09 PM on February 12, 2009


I see doctoral dissertation in this:

"Queering the tater": Sexuality and the Tuber in the Age of Internet Pornography.
posted by ob at 12:10 PM on February 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


Dammit, I can't believe I have to leave for the airport to fly someplace where I probably won't have access to Metafilter all week. How will I sleep at night, not knowing whether the mystery has been solved? Darwin/Lincoln/Scody B-day Weekend is RUINED!
posted by scody at 12:13 PM on February 12, 2009


This gives "Don't get it in my eyes" a whole new meaning.
posted by waraw at 12:22 PM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


OVERTHINKING A PLATE OF TATERS

Let's look at what she said, and 8 explanatory theories raised in this thread:
The first exposure to his site (which had softcore tators on the site) was not due to “snooping.” HE CALLED ME INTO HIS OFFICE. When I looked at his history I did not break any locks or hack his computer, I merely walked in and looked at his history, and the sites in that history contained hardcore taters, and it is sexual harassment to expose people in the workplace to sexual material against their will, especially if that person finds taters (straight or gay) to be offensive.
A] taters = dicks?: Softcore dicks could mean flaccid dicks, and hardcore dicks could mean erect dicks. But there are no "gay dicks" and "straight dicks". Dicks are dicks. Furthermore, you don't see dicks in a browser history, you see urls.

B] taters = balls?: Taters sounds like plausible slang for balls, and Urban Dictionary does include 'dick taters' listed as slang for balls. But there are no hardcore balls and softcore balls. Balls are balls. They don't have a sexual and nonsexual state like dicks. Also there are no "gay balls" and "straight balls". Balls are balls. Furthermore, you don't see balls in a browser history, you see urls.

C] taters = genitals?: See A. Same problems.

D] taters = breasts?: See B. Same problems. With the added problem that the softcore breast site he was on was a gay hook-up site. Was he trying to gay hookup with lesbians?

E] taters = commentators?: There can be both gay and straight commentators and softcore and hardcore commentators. And 'tators' is a plausible abbreviation of 'commentators'. On the other hand, you don't see Internet comments from across the room on a quickly minimized browser and know the contents of those comments. Furthermore, you don't see commentators in a browser history, you see urls.

F] taters = porn actors?: There can be both gay and straight porn actors and softcore and hardcore actor behavior, at least. And see link for possible usage. Unfortunately, if no one else has used the term in this way, it is a stretched theory. Furthermore, you don't see the porn participants and their behavior in a browser history, you see urls.

G] taters = banner ads?: There can be both gay and straight banner ads and softcore and hardcore banner ads. But you don't see banner ads in a browser history, you see urls. Furthermore no other human being has ever used this slang, and it doesn't even have metaphorical plausibility.

H] taters = porn?: There can be both gay and straight porn and softcore and hardcore porn. Furthermore, hardcore porn is something you can "see" from words in a browser history. (hotdicksinhairyassholes.com would be hardcore porn in a browser history). On the other hand, no other human being has ever used this slang, and it doesn't even have metaphorical (or lingustic) plausibility. The euphemism is also incongruent because she had used 'porn' and 'pr0n' in her other comment. But maybe she was just being colorful to have fun, in the same way she also used 'pr0n' after saying 'porn').

So, IMO. 'taters = porn' fits the usage best, but it's still a puzzling bit of slang, and not wholly satisfying theory.
posted by dgaicun at 12:23 PM on February 12, 2009 [28 favorites]


MetaFilter: I DO NOT ADVOCATE THE SEX POTATO.
posted by jason's_planet at 12:27 PM on February 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


Cortex, since you're on the case, maybe you could search the database for all prior uses of the term "taters" and/or "tators" in contexts other than potatoes. Maybe the OP has used the term before, non-anonymously, and we could figure out her meaning from prior posts.

Or is that too stalkerish?

Okay, yeah, it's too stalkerish, but this is driving many of us insane! Insane, I tell you! Do you really want this many insane users on your hands?
posted by amyms at 12:29 PM on February 12, 2009


Tatars. Man, you wouldn't want to see hardcore Tatars.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 12:30 PM on February 12, 2009


I´m invoking rule 34 and going with potato porn. Hardcore (uncooked?) potatoes, softcore potatoes. Hot, tuber-on-tuber scenes, every which way, fried, boiled, even twice-baked.

To elaborate on my own comment: Obviously, the OP lives in a potato-growing region. The fine, upstanding, potato-growing inhabitants have a bias against those who engage in red-hot tater-love in the privacy of their own homes. They would rise up with pitchforks and tater-pullers if they knew of what potato-defiling debauchery lurked within the place of the OP´s employment.
posted by yohko at 12:30 PM on February 12, 2009


"No other human being has ever __________, and it doesn't even have metaphorical plausibility" is my new favourite phrase.

I'm gonna go start an argument right now so I can use it.
posted by Bobby Bittman at 12:31 PM on February 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


Maybe the OP can draw a flashcard with two pictures to describe what "tater" means in this context. If I'm going to lose sleep over trying to figure this out, I'd at least like a visual clue to start me off.
posted by CancerMan at 12:32 PM on February 12, 2009


The German use could be an explanation; the poster is either an ESOL speaker or someone with a limited vocab who is mangling English in an effort to appear more educated; this neoligism was pretty ROLFCopter:

monogyny is not possible

But honey, if he's cruising for gay sex, of course he's monogynous. He's still only into one woman!
posted by rodgerd at 12:43 PM on February 12, 2009


this is driving many of us insane! Insane, I tell you! Do you really want this many insane users on your hands?

This is not hyperbole, just FYI.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:43 PM on February 12, 2009


I hardly know her
posted by kingbenny at 12:48 PM on February 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


They play Simpsons reruns at 7:30pm here and the one on last night was the one where Homer becomes a tow truck driver and the subplot is that Maggie becomes self-sufficient and so Marge replaces her with a bag of potatoes with a bow tied on the top. At one point Marge is walking around the kitchen holding the bag of taters and stroking and singing to it. That scene just got even more erotic!
posted by ND¢ at 12:56 PM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


If it helps, I think "tater" is short for "potato"
posted by found missing at 1:02 PM on February 12, 2009 [8 favorites]


I think, given that the poster is a person who doesn't know the difference between porn and dating sites, we probably shouldn't waste an entire plate of delicious beans on her choice of slang terms for genitalia.

Or even a forkful.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:05 PM on February 12, 2009


Perhaps it's short for tater tots? (NSFW)

Or just slang for "homosexuals"?

I'm almost convinced that it's some sort of slang for gay hook up sites.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:06 PM on February 12, 2009


Note: gay tater.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:10 PM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


In related news, I just spent five minutes googling for gay taters.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:13 PM on February 12, 2009 [7 favorites]


Spec taters?
posted by ltracey at 1:13 PM on February 12, 2009


If it helps, I think "tater" is short for "potato"

Shit, this changes everything.
posted by fixedgear at 1:15 PM on February 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


How come no one around here understands my potato?
Guess I'm only a spud boy looking for that real tomato.

posted by Sys Rq at 1:19 PM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


THE TRUE MEANING OF TATER REVEALED
posted by Mister_A at 1:26 PM on February 12, 2009


cranberrymonger: someone related a story about witnessing a man masturbating on the street when they first moved to the city and how their (adorably) naive reaction was "oh, that man is holding a potato in his fly."

I'm not sure which possibility hurts my brain the most: that there are potatoes that could be mistaken for a penis, or that there is at least one penis out there that could be mistaken for a potato.
posted by CKmtl at 1:26 PM on February 12, 2009


Maybe "tator/tater" is short for "imitator," and the OP is using it to mean "Actor," or "Image."

That's my best guess, though it admittedly is kind of a stretch.

My preferred theory is that she truly is talking about potatoes. Real ones, embedded in her boss's monitor. That are showing complete disregard for all normal human and solanacean ethics through their flagrant worktime pursuit of teh gey.

Maybe the World Potato Congress has a sexual harassment crisis line she can call. Poor thing.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 1:27 PM on February 12, 2009


You don't have permission to access /sex-blog-pictures/suggestive-potato-02.jpg on this server.

I don't know whether to be happy or sad.
posted by taz at 1:33 PM on February 12, 2009 [10 favorites]


This is really weak, but I have heard "http://" pronounced as "hot potato" in my travels on the interwebz. It was just once, and I don't exactly remember the context, but I do remember it. So I'm guessing "taters" = "URLs", if only because It will bug me forever if I don't make a guess.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 1:36 PM on February 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Heck, ArgentCorvid, I'll throw my vote down for that.
posted by CancerMan at 1:42 PM on February 12, 2009


These folks think it's the rectum, and I could swear I've heard people use it that way before. But that doesn't explain the hardcore/softcore, I guess. (Unless she's referring to the degree of--um--expansion?)
posted by equalpants at 1:50 PM on February 12, 2009


A] taters = dicks?

I vote for this.

especially if that person finds taters (straight or gay) to be offensive

I think this means she would have found a woman looking at dicks to be sexual harassment too, no really, I swear I'm not homophobic.

Plus I bet "looked at his history" = "clicked on every link in his history".
posted by JoanArkham at 1:52 PM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Okay, after obsessing over this thread all day and making 20 something comments in it, I have come to a conclusion (which was posited in the third comment in this thread): "tators" is a misspelling of the word "actors" and was the poster's shorthand for "actors who appear in pornography". Observe:

The first exposure to his site (which had softcore actors who appear in pornography on the site) was not due to “snooping.” HE CALLED ME INTO HIS OFFICE. When I looked at his history I did not break any locks or hack his computer, I merely walked in and looked at his history, and the sites in that history contained hardcore actors who appear in pornography, and it is sexual harassment to expose people in the workplace to sexual material against their will, especially if that person finds actors who appear in pornography (straight or gay) to be offensive.

I think the idea that she is only seeing what is in the browser history is incorrect. Notice that she states "which had softcore tators on the site" and she described seeing the site in question when she first walked into his office. So, I think that when she went back to snoop she opened up his browser, visited some of the sites in his history, saw hardcore actors who appear in pornography on them, and then took a picture of his history.

Now how is an actor "softcore" or "hardcore" you ask. I would imagine that the "softcore" tators were wearing firemen outfits without shirts on and the "hardcore" tators were nude.

Mystery solved.
posted by ND¢ at 1:55 PM on February 12, 2009


I thought it had something to do with haters.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:58 PM on February 12, 2009


Mystery solved.

CSI: Idaho
posted by found missing at 1:59 PM on February 12, 2009 [5 favorites]


Have we ruled out Cockney slang? Oi guv, Captain Cook at all them taters sherman tankin' them's corn on the cobs down the apples and pears!
posted by Sys Rq at 2:03 PM on February 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


Could be slang for the buttocks, following urban dictionary's meaning #7.

The OP states that her boss was browsing gay dating sites. I would gather that online profiles might include pictures of the backside (I've never visited such a site, so I'm purely speculating).

Softcore images could be covered-up daisy-duke glutes in provocative poses, whilst hardcore pics could feature the brown-eye itself.
posted by CancerMan at 2:04 PM on February 12, 2009


"tators" is a misspelling of the word "actors" and was the poster's shorthand for "actors who appear in pornography".

But the sites in question were hook-up sites. There wouldn't be any pictures of pornstars or "actors" unless: a) the pornstar himself had a profile, or b) someone posting pornstar photos to their profile instead of their own pictures. Both of those circumstances would require the OP to be able to identify actors commonly appearing in gay porn.

Extending the term "actor who appears in pornography" to guys who post a handful of naughty self-pics on a hook-up site would be a bit much.
posted by CKmtl at 2:06 PM on February 12, 2009


Both of those circumstances would require the OP to be able to identify actors commonly appearing in gay porn.

damnit, you caught me. I'm the OP.
posted by desjardins at 2:10 PM on February 12, 2009


I figured the guy was just a Ron White fetishist. Softcore would be clips from White's Comedy Central special and Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie (2003) (the original). Blue Collar Comedy Tour: Rides Again (2004) and Blue Collar Comedy Tour: One for the Road (2006), that would qualify as hard core Ron White porn. And if you sign up for Blue Collar Radio on Sirius Satellite Radio - well that's just plain stalking.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:11 PM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


ltracey, those are some suggestive butt-shaking taters!

I hope no one here at work saw me looking at the page just now!
posted by jgirl at 2:12 PM on February 12, 2009


First off, you can all stop guessing wrong answers now. I said mystery solved.

Secondly CKmtl, those sites all have ads on them designed to be the first thing that catches the eye. The poster would not distinguish between the content on the site and the ads. She would go to the site, see a flashing ad featuring a muscled guy wearing spandex shorts and boom: a site with hardcore tators.

CSI: Idaho

*gravelly voice* Looks like this tater . . . *dramatically pulls off sunglasses* . . . just got baked.

YOOOOW!!!!!!!!!!
posted by ND¢ at 2:15 PM on February 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


Boil them taters down
bake them hoe cakes round
the only song that I can sing
is boil them taters down

(repeat)
posted by arcanecrowbar at 2:15 PM on February 12, 2009


"tators" is a misspelling of the word "actors" and was the poster's shorthand for "actors who appear in pornography".

But the sites in question were hook-up sites. There wouldn't be any pictures of pornstars or "actors" unless: a) the pornstar himself had a profile, or b) someone posting pornstar photos to their profile instead of their own pictures. Both of those circumstances would require the OP to be able to identify actors commonly appearing in gay porn.

Extending the term "actor who appears in pornography" to guys who post a handful of naughty self-pics on a hook-up site would be a bit much.


She's clearly unable to make such a distinction.
posted by jgirl at 2:16 PM on February 12, 2009


Note: gay tater.

Holy motherfucking shit that's funny.
posted by middleclasstool at 2:16 PM on February 12, 2009


Ah, I see. The combined actor/banner-ad approach. Very well.
posted by CKmtl at 2:21 PM on February 12, 2009


What's the sour cream for?
posted by pianomover at 2:22 PM on February 12, 2009


In related news, I just spent five minutes googling for gay taters.

Careful, man, I happen to know your boss reads this site!
posted by languagehat at 2:22 PM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


OH MY GOD I THINK I KNOW THE ANSWER.

Do you think she means "daters"? Like that's her word for dating sites?

That would fit the best -- she said they weren't all gay sites. She said they weren't all "explicit".

I am choosing to believe this so I can sleep tonight.
posted by pazazygeek at 2:25 PM on February 12, 2009


Goddamn it, I'm not gonna be right until this gets figured out.
posted by Space Kitty at 2:25 PM on February 12, 2009


All I know is that I've accidentally noticed that my co-MeFites have a whole lot of taters in their browsing history. :(

Now what?
posted by taz at 2:26 PM on February 12, 2009


Could be slang for the buttocks, following urban dictionary's meaning #7.

Ok, so 'taters' is slang for buttholes. But like other anatomy theories in the list above, there aren't gay buttholes and straight buttholes.

"tators" is a misspelling of the word "actors" and was the poster's shorthand for "actors who appear in pornography"... I think the idea that she is only seeing what is in the browser history is incorrect... So, I think that when she went back to snoop she opened up his browser, visited some of the sites in his histor

I showed above why this theory is less consistent with her comment than 'taters = porn'. If we have to decide between a theory that contradicts her claims with speculation (by assuming she visited the porn sites when she said she looked at and photographed the browser history only), and one that doesn't, Occam and his Razor says we should go with the latter.
posted by dgaicun at 2:26 PM on February 12, 2009


What's the sour cream for?

Topping.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:27 PM on February 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


Do you think she means "daters"?

What's a hardcore dater? Why would you find daters (straight or gay) offensive? Is this something new to which I can take umbrage?

Arrgghh! We still don't know the answer!
posted by ob at 2:31 PM on February 12, 2009


there aren't gay buttholes and straight buttholes

I was thinking that in the OP's perspective, because it was a gay-dating site they were gay buttholes, versus if the boss had profiles of women instead of men, for straight buttholes.
posted by CancerMan at 2:34 PM on February 12, 2009


Perhaps she meant "Qatar", widely known to be the gayest of the Arab emirates.
posted by found missing at 2:35 PM on February 12, 2009 [14 favorites]


Also know as "Gaytar"
posted by found missing at 2:36 PM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Keytar
posted by Sys Rq at 2:39 PM on February 12, 2009


What's a hardcore dater?

A super sexually explicit dating site, maybe? Like, the difference between a cruising site and a match.com.

JUST SAY IT SOUNDS RIGHT SO I CAN STOP THINKING ABOUT IT PLEASE.
posted by pazazygeek at 2:40 PM on February 12, 2009


If we have to decide between a theory that contradicts her claims with speculation (by assuming she visited the porn sites when she said she looked at and photographed the browser history only), and one that doesn't, Occam and his Razor says we should go with the latter.

As with many people who are incorrect, you need to reexamine your assumptions. I don't think, based on what she wrote, that she for sure did not visit any sites, and we know for a fact that she actually saw the site he was looking at when she first walked in on him. You are assuming unproven facts. When you say to yourself "If A is true and B is true then C must be true" but C makes no sense, then you need to make sure that you are sure that A and B are true.

I love passing on my wisdom to the world.
posted by ND¢ at 2:40 PM on February 12, 2009


Notice that she states "which had softcore tators on the site"

Yeah, but look at how she started that paragraph:
The first exposure to his site (which had softcore actors who appear in pornography on the site) was not due to “snooping.”

Who's site? The boss? He has his own site? Or it's her boss's site 'cause he looked at it? It's all gibberish.

We'll never know the answer because it's incoherence layered on top of batshitinsane paranoia that has stupid naiveness baked into it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:43 PM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think hardcore has something to do with twice-stuffed potatoes.
posted by found missing at 2:45 PM on February 12, 2009


Brandon. I can feel you about to give up. You started this thread. You have to bring us home. Please don't give up.
posted by pazazygeek at 2:47 PM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wait! I think I know! I think she forgot the word "Cookies," and was using the word "Taters" instead! The cookies she found could conceivably be hardcore or or softcore, gay or straight, depending on their file names! (I have never knowingly seen the file name of a porn or dating site's cookie, so I don't know how plausible that actually is.) Additionally, she it's concievable that a person could be offended by the discovery of any kind of cookies, because they could be interpreted as showing misuse of company time and company resources.

Yessss! Queen of the internets!
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 2:48 PM on February 12, 2009


Softcore taters = Baked potato with maybe a nice bit of cheese.
Hardcore taters = Baked potato with some peppers, spices, bacon bits and maybe a lot more cheese.
posted by minifigs at 2:49 PM on February 12, 2009


Occam and his TATOR
posted by desjardins at 2:49 PM on February 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


ND¢, If she says she looked at browser history, then that's as far as I'm going with my assumptions. You can go further, and it might well be true, but it is not more parsimonious. That's as much as I'm going to argue over that. It's not like her comments are giving us much to work with.

versus if the boss had profiles of women instead of men, for straight buttholes.

If you blur your eyes enough, I guess locutions as alien as "gay and straight buttholes" or "hardcore and softcore buttholes" can make sense. But we are trying to blur our eyes as little as we need to. It probably isn't referring to anatomy.
posted by dgaicun at 2:49 PM on February 12, 2009


Um, she it's concievable

Make that Assistant Junior Commissioner of Weights and Measures of the Internet.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 2:53 PM on February 12, 2009


Look, somebody's going to have to fall on the grenade here. One of you has to go back in there and admit that, yes, she is being sexually harassed by snooping in her boss's browser history - soften her up, and then beg her tell us about the taters.
posted by taz at 3:00 PM on February 12, 2009 [13 favorites]


Dammit, I just reread her follow-up and now I don't like my theory anymore.

Do you think it's the product of some kind of bad autocorrect script in Outlook? What synonym for "pornographic images" could autocorrect to "taters"? If it is an autocorrect issue, than the two spellings (one -ors, two -ers) could indicate that at one point she tried to manually fix the autocorrected text and didn't quite make it.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 3:03 PM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


* begins looking at gay hookup sites, 'cause dammit, somebody has to*
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:04 PM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


We'll never know the answer because it's incoherence layered on top of batshitinsane paranoia that has stupid naiveness baked into it.

That's the answer, right there. The OP is a freaking nut. I'd stop worrying about it because unless they show up here and tell you what the hell they meant, you'll never know.
posted by dead cousin ted at 3:04 PM on February 12, 2009


*looks over Brandon's shoulder, feels offended*
posted by desjardins at 3:09 PM on February 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Do you think it's the product of some kind of bad autocorrect script in Outlook?

AKA the Cupertino Effect. I'm not sure I buy it in this case, but it's a fun possibility.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:14 PM on February 12, 2009


If we had inline images, we could look at the OP's photograph.
posted by netbros at 3:14 PM on February 12, 2009


Wait, did someone give Mr. Potato Head?
posted by found missing at 3:16 PM on February 12, 2009 [7 favorites]


I'm down with either "daters" and an over-active spelling auto-checker or "dicks." Because that last one is hilarious.

I just want to say that the thing that continues to crack me up is that when the OP comes back to clarify, the very first comment is essentially, "Wait a goddamn minute! WTF are taters?!"

Y'all's smrt.
And funny.
posted by amanda at 3:18 PM on February 12, 2009


At first I thought "Maybe that's like weird slang for taint?", but then I thought, "But how would one have a softcore picture of a guy's perineum, otherwise known as the Seaman's Buffer?" By definition a picture of that class of thing would be pretty hardcore, unless it was in a book about surgery or tropical rashes or something. And then I started thinking of all the other great names for it: banus, chode, gooch, grundle, the list goes on. Then I started feeling vaguely sick. The light had been green for a while, and the cars behind me weren't very happy.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:22 PM on February 12, 2009 [13 favorites]


I can tell the future. Here is how it's gonna go down.

This whole "tater" thing is going to become a giant internet meme, bigger even than "25 things about me" or The Hamster Dance. It will make all of the major news networks. People will be seen wearing tshirts that say "WTF IS A TATER" and driving in cars with license plate frames that say "HONK IF YOU THINK YOU KNOW WHAT A TATER IS" and yellow rubber bracelets that say "TATER?" (there will be alternative blue ones that say "TATOR!" -- for the rebels).

All the world's pop stars will form a celebrity chorus to drum up support to find an answer: "We Won't Rest Until We Know (The Tater Song)". They will perform it live, on an internationally broadcast results show (on Fox, of course), a three-hour extravaganza with interviews and retrospectives. Anonymous's boss tearfully apologize to his wife and children while Daniel Powter's "Had a Bad Day" plays over images and video of their once happy family.

Mefites will gather in droves , all around the world, huddled around their television sets and making snarky comments, waiting, waiting, waaaaaiting for the final reveal.

Anonymous will walk out on stage, wearing glasses, a trenchcoat and a fedora ("THE IRONY!!" we will all shriek), and announce the meaning of taters.

I can't tell you what the meaning is (I wouldn't want to ruin the moment), but rest assured, THIS will be our collective reaction.
posted by pazazygeek at 3:24 PM on February 12, 2009 [8 favorites]


Have we ruled out Cockney slang?

Reminds me of my favourite Cockney joke (ahem):

Q: How much is Cockney shampoo?
A: Pantene.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 3:29 PM on February 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


The OP uses the word several times in her follow-up, most frequently spelling it as taters. However, the OP also (mis?)spells the word as tators. Do you think this could be material?

Also, I am having a lot of fun with the idea of hardcore and softcore traitors. Envision it: the air reeking of talc from his coiffed wig, some historical-reenactment society actor all done up like Benedict Arnold gyrates his hips, slowly teasing his lacy handkerchiefs out of his sleeve to some pulsating burlesque rhythms.

Rawr.
posted by numinous at 3:35 PM on February 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


I really think dgaicun had it pretty well summed up, before backpedalling a bit at the end there. She didn't use "pr0n" in the followup not because the (nonexistent) email filters wouldn't let her, but because she believed that this followup email would be more closely connected to her name and online existence than the original Askme posting. She picked an essentially nonsense word as a stand in, as people do all the time. Perhaps I tend to use more nonsense or "pet" names for things and people than most folks, but just randomly picking up "taters" to mean "porn" in a perceived-to-be-delicate situation doesn't strike me as very odd at all. Although everything else about this does.
Oh, and I'm willing to believe that she may very well have actually looked at the sites in his history, rather than just the URLs. That doesn't change that "taters" = "porn" still makes the most sense here.
posted by zoinks at 3:36 PM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dictator?

Dicktator - "dick" (rude word!) = tator

I think I may be on to something!
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:36 PM on February 12, 2009


Turgid Dahlia, a friend of mine used to be in the Coast Guard, they called it the 'tween deck.
posted by amanda at 3:36 PM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


goddamnit, I was just about to post "traitor"
posted by desjardins at 3:36 PM on February 12, 2009


Come on, people! Taters totally means "dicks". Why is no one recognizing my genius yet?
posted by JoanArkham at 3:36 PM on February 12, 2009


As for me, my own personal web history has a long list of sites containing hardcore pictures of stables.

Geddit?
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:40 PM on February 12, 2009


Further proof!
posted by JoanArkham at 3:40 PM on February 12, 2009


Look, somebody's going to have to fall on the grenade here.

You mean fall on the tater masher?
posted by arcanecrowbar at 3:42 PM on February 12, 2009


1guy1grenade
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:43 PM on February 12, 2009


Turgid man, I already did that joke. Try and keep up with the rest of the class.
posted by saucysault at 3:44 PM on February 12, 2009


I rarely post, but this thread has compelled me to unlurk and post this short You tube clip by Phil Morrison called Tater Tomater. (very old, but so appropriate for this discussion)
posted by scubbadubba at 3:45 PM on February 12, 2009


Okay, so I went away to do some actual, you know, work, and I came back calmly confident that you people would have cracked the case and I could sleep like a baby tonight, untroubled by any uncertainty about the language vagaries of random internet prudes.

Oh Metafilter. How you have failed me, Metafilter.

I'm so disappointed.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:46 PM on February 12, 2009


Actually, I'm the OP. tater = distended anus. Happy now?
posted by dead cousin ted at 3:47 PM on February 12, 2009


Hm... An idea just struck me:

Maybe the "ta-" part is referencing "tits-and-ass" as a cutesy term for porn or semi-anonymous sexual flings. Taters are people engaging in little T.A. action.
posted by CKmtl at 3:50 PM on February 12, 2009


ADMIN ABUSE
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:51 PM on February 12, 2009 [26 favorites]


Show off.
posted by dead cousin ted at 3:52 PM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Jessamyn, how 'bout hitting reply on the follow-up email and sending the following (drafted for your convenience): "'Sup? Hey, I've been wondering -- what did you mean exactly when you said taters/tators? kthxbye, J."

Problem solved!
posted by AwkwardPause at 3:57 PM on February 12, 2009


Mr. A, I'm at home, and I get a "you do not have permission" message!
posted by jgirl at 4:03 PM on February 12, 2009


Okay - bear in mind that I'm feverish right now, but:

Tater trap (as in "Shut yer tater trap!") = mouth.
Tater pig = potato with a big ol' sausage in the middle.

Magic gay link: maybe anon is a foodie who encountered the tater pig here?
posted by grippycat at 4:07 PM on February 12, 2009


I already did that joke...

I don't read this website!
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:12 PM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


cortex, I think you're on to something there! It seems feasible that "tater" could be short for "gaytater" (pronounced as though you were saying "potater," i.e. gǝ-ˈtā-tǝr), which could be some sort of cutesy(/derogatory) slang for referring to gay men.
posted by numinous at 4:12 PM on February 12, 2009


That raises the difficulty of a "straight gaytater" for theories that don't incorporate my obviating argument about the parenthetical, though.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:15 PM on February 12, 2009


Maybe a gaytator is merely a spectator of gays, and a straight gaytator is a straight man looking at a gay website. Would this not solve the mystery?
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 4:19 PM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


(I actually forget what the mystery is)
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 4:20 PM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Exactly. "...especially if that person finds taters (straight or gay) to be offensive" appears to preclude this, but I admit the possibility of cortex' argument stated above. (Somewhere up there.)
posted by zoinks at 4:20 PM on February 12, 2009


Oops, that was meant to respond to numinous and cortex.
posted by zoinks at 4:21 PM on February 12, 2009


You know, at first I was really skeptical about cortex's misplaced modifier theory... certainly I have made usage errors on this site - but surely, when you're posting a clarification in your own defense, you'd re-read it, right? But then I thought... maybe she wrote it and then upon re-reading it occurred to her that she was being accused of homophobia! and she hastily added that "gay or straight" bit...? Maybe the gay-or-straight manjunk issue isn't an issue at all!
posted by moxiedoll at 4:22 PM on February 12, 2009


Oh, how I miss the img tag!
posted by ericb at 4:22 PM on February 12, 2009


But of course then she would be saying that a straight or gay person may find gay people offensive. No.
posted by zoinks at 4:22 PM on February 12, 2009


A POD of dolphins. A CHARM of finches. A PARLIAMENT of owls. A TATER of gays.
posted by found missing at 4:24 PM on February 12, 2009 [13 favorites]


Are you guys talking about taters?
posted by tepidmonkey at 4:25 PM on February 12, 2009


Oops again - that was meant to respond to numinous and cortex again. If "taters" = "gay person", then cortex's misplaced modifier theory can't hold. If "taters" = "porn" or something else then it could be so.
posted by zoinks at 4:26 PM on February 12, 2009


But of course then she would be saying that a straight or gay person may find gay people offensive.

No! She'd be saying that a gay or straight person may find IMAGES OF TATERS IN THE WORKPLACE offensive! In this way, we could believe that "taters" are "cocks and/or balls" and we could all get a good night's sleep!
posted by moxiedoll at 4:27 PM on February 12, 2009


(sorry about that, zoinks - you were talking about the TATERS = GAY PEOPLE argument, while I was newly enthused about cortex's classic modifier theory. never mind!)
posted by moxiedoll at 4:29 PM on February 12, 2009


Has no one thought of the possibility that tater might actually mean just that? It might be a word for something that has heretofore remained nameless, and that the poster, in her infinite wisdom has named.

What does not have a name? Think on what this might be and you shall find the answer that ye seek!

It might have something to do with Knights Templar/ Holy Grail shit.
posted by ob at 4:36 PM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


We should sic the mefi junior detective squad on her and SHAKE her until she tells us what a tater/tator is.
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:37 PM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sure, but I was specifically addressing the notion that "taters" = "gay person". That can't be so, since in that sentence she would either be saying what I paraphrased above (if the cortex theory were correct), or the parenthetical makes even less sense (if the cortex theory is not true).

If "taters" = "cocks and/or balls" then cortex's theory makes no difference, really, but you've got the problem of "softcore tators" vs. "hardcore taters".

I'm telling you, it's just a stupid placeholder for "porn".

On preview, no worries, moxiedoll.
posted by zoinks at 4:37 PM on February 12, 2009


Wait.

So the site that she saw had softcore tators, but the sites in the history had hardcore taters. Hrmm.

I've got to stop reloading this damn page.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 4:38 PM on February 12, 2009


At a hundred and seventy two I am just gonna jump down here and say:

Tators=Tatas

I am sure of it. gay or straight, male or female. TATAH!
posted by pointilist at 4:46 PM on February 12, 2009


Don’t bend over in the garden, Granny, you know them taters got eyes.
posted by ijoshua at 4:48 PM on February 12, 2009


Look not through a keyhole, lest ye start some frikkin' long-ass threads.
posted by adipocere at 4:53 PM on February 12, 2009


I don't consider this worth incorporating into my primary theory, but just for completeness I feel I should mention the possibility that tator vs. tater is not an error of inconsistency at all but the willful deployment of two distinct but related descriptors-of-agency:

- a tater being the more general class of people involved in tate-related activities;
- a tator being the more specific class of people with strong agency—those who explicitly tate, who go about the business of actively tating.

Whether or not this can also work for the "tater/tator as manjunk" analysis is left as an exercise to the reader.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:55 PM on February 12, 2009 [11 favorites]


Sure, which could realistically fit in with the one being seen as "softcore" and the other as "hardcore" in different situations.
Still, I say that's just a typo (she uses "porn" and "p0rn" in the original question after all), and this is some serious beansplating we're all engaged in here, me included. (Wait, uh, okay.)
posted by zoinks at 5:03 PM on February 12, 2009


Hardcore Tartar
Softcore Tartar
Gay Tartar
Straight Tartar
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:04 PM on February 12, 2009


Jessamyn, how 'bout hitting reply on the follow-up email and sending the following (drafted for your convenience): "'Sup? Hey, I've been wondering -- what did you mean exactly when you said taters/tators? kthxbye, J."

PLEEEESE!!!

I must have closure!!
posted by Bango Skank at 5:06 PM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


And thus, this shall be forever known as TaterGate 2009.
posted by saturnine at 5:07 PM on February 12, 2009


The OP was Joaquin Phoenix. It's all part of his mockumentary.
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:08 PM on February 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Cockumentary, more like.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 5:18 PM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I looked it up and found something that said taters/tators meant breasts, which was confusing because I thought she was talking about her boss looking at gay porn.

I keep picturing a Tracy Flick character, with blonde hair wearing a pink headband, light blue sweater set, and an A-line skirt, with a very severe, angry look on her face.

That was the best AskMe question I've seen all week. I was so puzzled by her question, then I was confused by what tator meant (I asked my husband and he said he didn't know, so we tried to look it up and only came up with some definition relating to breasts, which made no sense since it was supposed to be gay porn), and then I started howling with laughter after everybody who was typing a response started asking what "tator/tater" was as well. I was also a little relieved because I worried that I missed out on learning some important slang.
posted by anniecat at 5:21 PM on February 12, 2009


A quiz on a faggot dating site just told me I'm a hardcore straight gaytater with softcore gay straightator tendencies.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
posted by dgaicun at 5:21 PM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


You're George Bush.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 5:25 PM on February 12, 2009


God, this thread is making me so hungry.
posted by klangklangston at 5:27 PM on February 12, 2009


amitotornot
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:28 PM on February 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm at a client's office and can't read the whole thread without getting into trouble, so please pardon me if this has been done already. First thing I thought of. Umm hmmm.
posted by miss lynnster at 5:33 PM on February 12, 2009




Oh, DU you mean synecdoche? Or is it metonymy?


I think it's supposed to be monogyny.
posted by tangerine at 5:40 PM on February 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm afraid those who want an answer are just going to have to wait.
posted by arcanecrowbar at 5:41 PM on February 12, 2009


I realize I'm coming in at the end here, but, on the typo meme, I once tried to type an energetic and legitimate "OH MY GOD!" when I heard some (truly) shocking news.

However, my left hand was not on the home row. It was one row up. Thus:

OH MY TOE!

Now, I'm not ready to throw my hat in the typo ring, but people can mangle the language when you give them a keyboard.
posted by socratic at 5:42 PM on February 12, 2009


Some substring data:

1. Words in my unix dict file that contain the substring "tators"

agitators
commentators
dictators
dictatorship
dictatorship's
dictatorships
imitators
resuscitators
spectators

2. Words in my unix dict file that contain the substring "tater"

stateroom
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:45 PM on February 12, 2009


From what I can gather sixcolors is a (grad?) student, a lesbian, and hasn't been working in an office -

Agreed. Only the mods know who this is. Sixcolors comes off as a highly functioning autistic or OCD sufferer who has a lot of inter-personal problems. Perhaps we should lay off her already.
posted by damn dirty ape at 5:55 PM on February 12, 2009


Darth Tater
posted by lukemeister at 5:57 PM on February 12, 2009


There are several puzzling features about her remarks that is making guessing difficult:

1) She describes taters/ors as being 'softcore', 'hardcore', and 'straight or gay'. This would indicate almost certainly that the term does not refer to any part of a woman's anatomy because the 'gay' adjective wouldn't make sense. I don't think that it refers to a part of the male anatomy either, because it seems unlikely that the OP would consider male genitals to be softcore. However, perhaps she means that the softcore taters were clothed, or covered (as in, underwear or swimsuit pictures) and the hardcore taters were exposed penises/testicles.

We also don't know her familiarity with these sites, but the fact that she may have mixed up gay dating sites and porn (or else is omitting some information) lends me to believe that she does not look at either very often. She is obviously squeamish about it, and 'taters' may be a regional euphemism.

2) The misspelling of the word that she used three times makes the chance that it was an autocorrect less likely. It could indicate that she was either unfamiliar with the or unsure of the spelling. This also decreases the chances that she misspelled 'actors' or another sensical word.

3) 'Tators' could be an abbreviation of a more common word (such as commentators) but she did not put an apostrophe before the word to indicate that it was shortened.

The word that fits best in my mind would be a synonym with 'sexual/pornographic images', but I can't even use my imagination to connect 'taters' with that.

If the OP comes back and is like, "oh ooops I did mean actors LOL" I will piss blood in my rage.
posted by amicamentis at 6:06 PM on February 12, 2009


I'm going with the "tate/ors" = "testicles" theory. It's not 100% consistent with everything, as has been pointed out above, but I think it's consistent with Anon's style.

1. It's a fairly simple visual analogy, and Anon seems quite sheltered so she probably wouldn't use edgier slang. Small-town slang for a small-town girl.
2. It has some precedent in Southern sports slang (thanks, zeugitai_guy - I love finding nuggets of scholarship in kooky threads like this!), and I get a rather Southern vibe from Anon's post.
3. Hard-core vs soft-core = covered vs bare. This would describe Anon's perception of the taters, not the spuds themselves, of course. She's describing them, so of course we're getting her perception.

This doesn't explain how you could distinguish covered vs bare potatoes from the URLs in a browser history, but I'm going to be uncharitable and assume she clicked a few of the links. Anybody who snuck into the boss's office armed with a camera would probably poke around a little bit.

I will sleep well tonight. (But I will also check this thread tomorrow, in case a definitive answer has emerged!)

Now, just for the record, let me tell y'all that kiwis are a much better stand-in for testicles than potatoes. They're fuzzy, and nice and soft when ripe. And didja ever see one of those double kiwis, like Siamese twins? Hoo boy. Now go bake a kiwi and banana fruit tart for your guy for Valentine's Day, and see if he gets the joke.
posted by Quietgal at 6:12 PM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


OP: I didn't mean that about the rage, baby. I just get a little upset sometimes. You know how I can be. I don't really mind if you spelled something wrong, honest. Just tell us what you meant and everything'll go back to how it used to be... I can make those bad taters and tators go away... come on...
posted by amicamentis at 6:16 PM on February 12, 2009


Now, just for the record, let me tell y'all that kiwis are a much better stand-in for testicles than potatoes. They're fuzzy, and nice and soft when ripe.

I thought avocados were the testicles of the fruit world. Or is it a berry?
posted by Ugh at 6:26 PM on February 12, 2009


Dear AskMe,

My taters have been sitting out, no refrigeration or anything, for a week now. Should I eat them?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:29 PM on February 12, 2009 [5 favorites]


I wonder if "taters" could be "daters", as in "persons featured on a dating site"?

I came so close to emailing her - using my real name - to ask her. This is getting dangerous.
posted by jgirl at 6:30 PM on February 12, 2009


Original poster, if you're listening, please think of the children.
posted by ND¢ at 6:59 PM on February 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


DevilsAdvocate: You'll regret it, and have to spend two days in a bathtub!
jgirl: Yeah, I tried that already - no response yet (^_^)
posted by grippycat at 7:09 PM on February 12, 2009


Are you guays talking about taters?

FTFY.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:15 PM on February 12, 2009


How
on Earth
have you stayed on this topic for well more than three hundred comments?
posted by Kattullus at 7:22 PM on February 12, 2009


Let's just email - safely - and ask her.

If she's still reading, the little prig might be getting the last laugh off of Tatergate.

We don't want that!!

posted by jgirl at 7:22 PM on February 12, 2009


It's the perfect revenge. Go snooping girl.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:29 PM on February 12, 2009


The problem is, there are three uses of Taters but they don't go together. It's like you have three lines of equal lengths, you have three sixty degree angles, you put them together and you don't get a triangle.

At this point the answer would have to be like the song, "My Ride's Here" by Warren Zevon. He starts out:

I was staying at the Marriott with Jesus and John Wayne
I was waiting for a chariot, they were waiting for a train

And finishes with:

I was staying at the Westin, I was playing to a draw
When in walked Charlton Heston with the Tablets of the Law

Bam. Perfect order from absolute anarchy in one line.

Every definition that has, thus far, been plugged into taters is EXACTLY not like this!

And I'm proud to say I looked at that thing as it grew and decided to go, "HmmmmmmmmmmmHmmmmmmmmmmHmmmmmmmmmHmmmHmmmmmmm...."
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 7:42 PM on February 12, 2009


"Back when he was on the road, he received a call to a psychiatric patient, who, according to the call taker, was hallucinating and believed she had roots protruding from her vagina. Well, when he arrived, the patient showed him the offending areas, and there, clear as day, were the roots. It transpired that his patient had put no less than FOUR potatoes up “there” several days ago (new potatoes, I hope, not King Edwards) and, as any gardener will know, potatoes thrive in a warm, damp environment. The potatoes had sprouted."
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 7:55 PM on February 12, 2009


AGITATOR
(AGITATORS)
one that agitates

CITATOR
(CITATORS)
one that cites

DICTATOR
(DICTATORS)
one that dictates

IMITATOR
(IMITATORS)
one that imitates

NATATORY
pertaining to swimming

POTATORY
pertaining to drinking

ROTATOR
(ROTATORES/ROTATORS)
one that rotates

ROTATORY
pertaining to rotation

STATOR
(STATORS)
the part of a machine about which the rotor revolves

TESTATOR
(TESTATORS)
one that makes a will

(SCRABBLE!)
posted by klangklangston at 8:36 PM on February 12, 2009


Someone asked me via MeMail to drop in here. I have never heard this slang before, sorry.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:55 PM on February 12, 2009


Don't know if it helps, but I have a Laotian guy at work who refers to "doing it" as potato.
IE:
"You go home and make potato with wife"

I also love him for this piece of advice:

Him - "Who cooks at your house?"
Me - "I do, why?"
H - "Tonight, you go home and start to cook and put too much salt in food, your wife taste and say 'Oh shit! Let me do that! You take care of baby!'."
M - "Ok, so far so good"
H - "Then you hold baby like this (makes holding baby gesture with one arm) and you pinch the baby like this (simulates pinching the babies bottom) and the baby cries. You wife hears that and goes 'Oh shit! Let me do that'. Then you watch TV."
M - "Sound advice. I'll try it out."
H - "But you probably not going to get potato that night"
posted by JonnyRotten at 9:19 PM on February 12, 2009 [24 favorites]


"Tell me about the taters, George..."
posted by OolooKitty at 9:23 PM on February 12, 2009


The word that fits best in my mind would be a synonym with 'sexual/pornographic images', but I can't even use my imagination to connect 'taters' with that.

Titillating, Anatomical, or Transgressive Electronic Representation (Or Titillating, Anatomical, or Transgressive Online Representation).

It's an acronym from a failed university sexual harassment curriculum from 1989*.


*That I just made up so that I could stop thinking about this and eat some damn dinner. Seriously, seriously: fuck a tater. And fuck a tator twice. This is worse than the goddamn Lost Experience.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 9:25 PM on February 12, 2009


"dig them potatoes if you never dug the girl before"
posted by pyramid termite at 9:27 PM on February 12, 2009


"fuck a tator twice"

Isn't that the alleged behaviour that started this whole mess? We're going in circles here, people.
posted by cranberrymonger at 9:33 PM on February 12, 2009


What I learned from this thread is that Idaho is really the gayest of America's gay states. Sorry, North Carolina.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:36 PM on February 12, 2009


I finally got a chance to ask my 20-year old-daughter, "What on earth might the term 'taters' mean when used in a sexual context?"

She gave me a confused look and said, "I have no idea." Then she gave me a bemused look and asked, "Why?"

I tried my best to explain why. Now she thinks I'm a weirdo, or a loser, or both.

(But I'm pretty sure she already thought those things about me, so no harm done).

I'm giving up and going to bed. Please, for the sake of my sanity, let there be a definitive answer when I wake up!
posted by amyms at 9:50 PM on February 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


STATOR

I like this direction. Porn as emergent behavior of a simple Conwayian model. It's not the boss, in fact, but the computer itself that is looking at the (s)tators.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:50 PM on February 12, 2009


Eat your taters out. I'll never tell.
posted by hardcore taters at 10:21 PM on February 12, 2009


My classmates and I spent like twenty minutes in class the other night coming up with slang words for gays and lesbians and respective activities. (It's a class on gender and sexuality in fiction writing with GLBT and straight people.) I learned the phrase 'he's got sugar in his tank,' and about a horrifying activity called Hungarian stew. I'm just saying, we went through the whole gamut. And no one said a word about taters, tators, potatoes, gayters or pretty much any word suggested.

WHAT THE FUCK DOES IT MEAN.

Please don't make me get out the blink tag.

At least I got to renew my love for PILLOWY MOUNDS OF MASHED POTATOES.
posted by sugarfish at 10:30 PM on February 12, 2009


Who stuck their taters in the mashed potatoes?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:48 PM on February 12, 2009


Also: I'm not so fond of the young Jersey Royals, but love me a nice big pair of King Edwards.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:58 PM on February 12, 2009


Three hundred and sixty-four comments, we still have no idea what taters/tators means, and I'm still laughing about sour cream.

WHAT
THE
FUCK
METAFILTER

(Also: we're bringing tator tots to the meetup.)
posted by Space Kitty at 10:59 PM on February 12, 2009


Brand new year -- brand new food to overthink.
posted by jason's_planet at 11:05 PM on February 12, 2009


I emailed the OP, requesting clarification. Hopefully we'll have an answer shortly!
posted by numinous at 11:08 PM on February 12, 2009


I think it's all perfectly straightforward.

In using 'tators' the OP simply misspelled the early Latin exclamation Tatae! in an unusual way. Rather than simply adding an exclamation point, our learned friend chose to add an exclamatory phrase to indicate her dismay and shock over this discovery. I will substitute an exclamation mark for those uses in the following paragraph to illustrate.
The first exposure to his site (which had softcore! on the site) was not due to “snooping.” HE CALLED ME INTO HIS OFFICE. When I looked at his history I did not break any locks or hack his computer, I merely walked in and looked at his history, and the sites in that history contained hardcore!, and it is sexual harassment to expose people in the workplace to sexual material against their will, especially if that person finds taters (straight or gay) to be offensive.
The use of 'taters' is caused by a faulty space bar AND a somewhat humorous miskey. You see, 'Ta Ters' probably refers to St. Ters of Antwerp, to whom barren women in the sixteenth century offered wax phalli as a fertility ritual.

So obviously we see this young woman was distressed because her boss is looking at images of pagan rites involving wax representations of the male organ. Why she would speculate as to the sexual orientation of the saint I do not know, or why saints should be considered offensive whatever their orientation. It's possible that the scandal that our heroine is truly concerned with is not the tawdry priapic impulses of her boss, but his obsession with ancient fertility cults, doubtless for sinister purposes she dares not describe. For her sake, if he starts asking her if she is familiar with Asherah and starts setting up wooden poles around the office I think she needs to get a new job.
posted by winna at 11:11 PM on February 12, 2009 [10 favorites]


ALL THESE PERVERSIONS ARE YOURS
EXCEPT TATERS
ATTEMPT NO LANDING THERE
USE THEM TOGETHER
USE THEM IN PEACE

posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:13 PM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have a feeling the OP has received a peck of those, numinous. Now she's just being sullen.

I saw another reference online: "I spent the night, and he told me later today that he wanted to, (as my friend would say) take an extended trip to my tater patch. In other words, he wanted to profess his oral love directly to my a**hole."

So, maybe this: The first exposure to his site (which had softcore tators [anus only] on the site) was not due to “snooping.” HE CALLED ME INTO HIS OFFICE. When I looked at his history I did not break any locks or hack his computer, I merely walked in and looked at his history, and the sites in that history contained hardcore taters [anal sex], and it is sexual harassment to expose people in the workplace to sexual material against their will, especially if that person finds taters [anything to do with assholes] (straight or gay) to be offensive.

hm? hm?
posted by taz at 11:50 PM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Right now I really don't remember what the original post was about, but I'm sitting here with a steaming baked potato wrapped in bacon and dripping with sour cream and all I can think of is how terrified I am to click on any of the links in this thread.
posted by Ookseer at 12:19 AM on February 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wonder if this person could cast any light on the issue??
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:22 AM on February 13, 2009


Kattullus: How
on Earth
have you stayed on this topic for well more than three hundred comments?


You can't deny they've got a peel.
Might as well face it, we're addicted to spuds.
posted by Pronoiac at 12:26 AM on February 13, 2009


Right now I really don't remember what the original post was about, but I'm sitting here with a steaming baked potato wrapped in bacon and dripping with sour cream and all I can think of is how terrified I am to click on any of the links in this thread.

Ahem.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:19 AM on February 13, 2009


I'm guessing that Jessamyn won't ask the OP to clarify even if she can easily do so, because it serves her interests as moderator to let the pilers-on be hoisted with their own petards in this case. Reading the pleas for her to inquire, she's probably just thinking "suck it, taters."
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 5:04 AM on February 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I could buy taters for assholes, taz.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 5:10 AM on February 13, 2009


One of the biggest problems with Jessamyn is her constant excuses of "ethics" or "privacy" that prevent her from doing what stuff like this. It's got to stop.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:11 AM on February 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


Just have to note that I just used the term "taters" in an askme answer about cutting vegetables with a mandolin, and I refrained from linking to this discussion. Partial kudos to me.
posted by Mngo at 5:35 AM on February 13, 2009


Also, I must argue against the German theory:

1. Täter generally means crime perpetrator and German is rich with sex-related vocab along the entire spectrum from cutesy-words-for-prudes to OMFG, so there would be little reason to use such an awkward word in a crime-unrelated context so frequently,
2. Täter would seem (to a native speaker) like a pretty different word from tator,
3. It's sort of dubious that the words she'd typo with different typos would be the ones in her native language, while generally spelling the English ones correctly,
4. There are no other Germanisms to speak of, while native-German-speaker ESL tends to broadcast its origins unless the writer is skilled to the extent that it's doubtful they'd make that kind of weird vocabulary mistake,
5. I asked my nearest queer native German speaker, who was first somewhat open to the Täter theory, until she heard about the 'seeing gay and straight and hardcore and softcore taters/ors in a web history' usages, and I told her how taters/ors was spelled, and then she was like "no." Followed by "remind me again why you need to know this or you will never be able to sleep again?"
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 5:38 AM on February 13, 2009


Related
posted by thirteenkiller at 6:17 AM on February 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


She did not answer my email.

She's probably busy watching the Food Channel for stimulation.
posted by jgirl at 6:30 AM on February 13, 2009


jesus christ I thought I was going to wake up today and this would all be solved. You've let me down, mefi.
posted by desjardins at 6:37 AM on February 13, 2009


I kind of don't want to know now. This thread is beautiful.
posted by JoanArkham at 6:49 AM on February 13, 2009


Why hasn't jonmc mentioned the Dictators yet? jonmc, are you OK?
posted by lukemeister at 6:56 AM on February 13, 2009


jesus christ I thought I was going to wake up today and this would all be solved. You've let me down, mefi.

Ok, she emailed me back with what she meant, but I've told everyone 'cept you.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:56 AM on February 13, 2009


/Turns to camera

Hello. We're discussing about taters.
posted by Jofus at 7:19 AM on February 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


This whole tater thing is making me think Obama doesn't love us anymore.
posted by ND¢ at 7:42 AM on February 13, 2009


Ok, she emailed me back with what she meant, but I've told everyone 'cept you.

Brandon, I would flag you for that but there is no "tater witholding" flag! Pony?
posted by pointystick at 8:07 AM on February 13, 2009


We'll never find out. It's got to be some sort of kid-friendly euphemism that her sheltering parents taught her and she assumed was a popular sort of word. If her boss was a woman we'd be hearing about softcore muffins or hardcore hoo-hoos or gay and straight na-nas. Clams, cootchies, poonannys, ya-yas, tacos....
posted by amanda at 8:16 AM on February 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wonder if her boss is really spudly?
posted by jgirl at 8:36 AM on February 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


We'll never find out.

I agree.

"What just happened here? We got hosed, Tommy. We got hosed."
posted by ericb at 8:37 AM on February 13, 2009


What? What?! Whaaaat??!!! We never found out? I'm very sad.

Still, this whole thread means that whenever I'm in a fancy restaurant and the waiter offers me "fingerling potatoes" I'm going to really show myself with howls of laughter and the whole drink-spitting-out thing.
posted by ob at 8:43 AM on February 13, 2009


show myself up, I'm not sure if I'd show myself, but you never know...
posted by ob at 8:59 AM on February 13, 2009


Brandon, I know your real identity. Cough it up.
posted by desjardins at 9:12 AM on February 13, 2009


Taters of the Lost Ark.
posted by Pronoiac at 9:20 AM on February 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Brandon, I know your real identity. Cough it up.
I'm pretty sure that's not his real name....
posted by Floydd at 9:30 AM on February 13, 2009


After reading this thread last night I went to watch some TV and saw this. I didn't know how to react to all those exploding taters.
posted by Biblio at 9:41 AM on February 13, 2009


I would put this one in the Non-Standard Usage of Southern Slang for Potatoes as Sexual Euphemism pile.

Case in point.

As in "girl, I'm puttin' my mojo on yo' jojo." or to translate, "miss, I am going to try to convice you to have sexual relations with me."
posted by Pollomacho at 10:14 AM on February 13, 2009


After much reluctance, OP's boss has forwarded a shot of his favorite hardcore tater. This is the one he occasionally slips on OP's seat just before she sits down to do computer work.
posted by terranova at 10:22 AM on February 13, 2009


Lo, for we are become taters, destroyers of...yeah, idunno.
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 11:41 AM on February 13, 2009


Soon to be an exhibit at the Modern Tater museum.
posted by lukemeister at 11:54 AM on February 13, 2009


can I humbly suggest she meant "cheaters"? There are dating sites dedicated to cheaters, both straight and gay. And she seems to find the act of cheating to be very offensive, therefore, she's offended by both straight and gay cheaters. Also, "taters" is not that far-off from "cheaters".
posted by cosmicbandito at 12:50 PM on February 13, 2009


What's a hardcore cheater? a softcore cheater? How would she be able to tell, just be browsing the history or the URLs?

I do think you're in the ballpark though. It's probably a regional term for slut or hookers.

None of the gay people I asked, both on Mefi and off, had a clue what it meant.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:16 PM on February 13, 2009


softcore cheaters?
posted by found missing at 1:16 PM on February 13, 2009


softcore cheaters are non-explicit sites, hardcore cheaters have explicit photos.
posted by cosmicbandito at 1:31 PM on February 13, 2009


riiiight
posted by found missing at 1:54 PM on February 13, 2009


softcore cheaters?

Softcore cheaters limit themselves to third base. Clinton was a softcore cheater.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:06 PM on February 13, 2009


It's all clear to me now.

She didn't mean taters, she meant tapirs.

Here are some examples of softcore tapirs. For contrast, here is an example of a hardcore tapir.

I'm glad I could straighten this out for everyone.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 2:10 PM on February 13, 2009


And remember kids, World Tapir Day is April 27th! Mark your calendars!
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 2:14 PM on February 13, 2009


You think we have trolls? Check out this guy who tried to sell a baby tapir.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:18 PM on February 13, 2009


A friend of mine just updated her facebook status to indicate that she was going to dinner with friends for Valentine's Day, but that she was sad she was going to miss the Taters.
posted by socratic at 2:34 PM on February 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I saw a tapir in the wild once. He/she didn't look very hardcore at all.
posted by lukemeister at 3:03 PM on February 13, 2009


hah, scrubbing thru Twitter in search of taters: "Someone found my blog by Googling " gay porn taters.""
posted by mwhybark at 3:43 PM on February 13, 2009 [6 favorites]


I saw a tapir with a boner eating taters. True story.
posted by msali at 3:45 PM on February 13, 2009


How does a boner eat taters?
posted by found missing at 3:49 PM on February 13, 2009


Slowly?
posted by Bookhouse at 3:51 PM on February 13, 2009


Okay, old joke:

Hey, my boner has no nose.
Really? How does it smell?
TATERS!
posted by found missing at 3:57 PM on February 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


None of the gay people I asked, both on Mefi and off, had a clue what it meant.

I wonder if that question is one big old troll. Shame on Anonymous, whoever she is, either way.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:03 PM on February 13, 2009


How many gay tapirs are there? I'm not doubting that there are gay tapirs, I'm just looking for a ballpark percentage. That, I'm sure, is easier to produce than a definition of the term 'taters'.
posted by ob at 5:09 PM on February 13, 2009


Also could taters mean masturbators? Have we already had that? We probably have. I really can't be bothered to check the entire thread.
posted by ob at 5:13 PM on February 13, 2009


Soon to be an exhibit at the Modern Tater museum.

I bought a kickass vinyl tote bag at the Tate Modern in 2006. It is now sadly worn out, and I need a new one. I imagine the Modern Tater museum traffics in vinyl products, no?
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 5:17 PM on February 13, 2009


Tapir sexuality
posted by lukemeister at 5:28 PM on February 13, 2009


I imagine the Modern Tater museum traffics in vinyl products, no?

Mostly latex. Sorry.
posted by dersins at 5:33 PM on February 13, 2009


I just, with great effort and remarkable heroism, managed to post an answer here without once referring to taters. I amaze even myself.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:19 PM on February 13, 2009


Would that everyone had your self-control.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:27 PM on February 13, 2009


How many gay tapirs are there? I'm not doubting that there are gay tapirs, I'm just looking for a ballpark percentage. That, I'm sure, is easier to produce than a definition of the term 'taters'.

I actually logged into Pubmed and spent about 45 minutes trying to find an answer to this question. As a result, there's a very real chance that my internet search history has come to look just like anon's boss's did. Also, I feel even more like a dork than I usually do.

Here. Share my peer-reviewed sexy tapir shame.

(Doesn't answer the gay question, unfortunately.)
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 6:35 PM on February 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Note: The above is SFW, though you'd probably be hard-pressed to explain why you were reading it.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 6:48 PM on February 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I just, with great effort and remarkable heroism, managed to post an answer here without once referring to taters. I amaze even myself.

If that turns out to be a "Ha-ha, psych! Actually he was [cleaning out his bowl, drinking alcohol and spilled/left a ring on the table, smoking a cigarette and left some ash (family of ardent anti-smokers)!]" thing, then I really hope there are Repercussions.
posted by CKmtl at 7:12 PM on February 13, 2009


I used to spend way too much time browsing online, but a colleague told me that was harrassment so now I'm trying to tapir off.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:12 PM on February 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think I found the illicit website in question... it all fits together now!

www.pimpmymarriage.com
posted by dgaicun at 7:21 PM on February 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


I like me some french fried pa-taters, mmm-hmm!
posted by Mister_A at 7:33 PM on February 13, 2009


$ whois metataters.com

Whois Server Version 2.0

Domain names in the .com and .net domains can now be registered
with many different competing registrars. Go to http://www.internic.net
for detailed information.

No match for "METATATERS.COM".
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 7:55 PM on February 13, 2009


I have a new hypothesis to propose: I think that the porn-snooper was disturbed by some kind of unusual, niche-scene sexual imagery, and then substituted the word "taters" for metaphorical reasons. Whatever she saw was probably brown, gnarled and craggy, maybe even difficult for a human to accommodate. This leads me to suspect Klingon imagery was involved in the boss's smut. Yes, that's right, it's the tater=Worf hypothesis.
posted by RogerB at 9:39 PM on February 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


PORN TAY TOES
posted by mwhybark at 9:49 PM on February 13, 2009


The vision of hardcore/softcore Klingons makes me fervently long for brain bleach.
posted by winna at 9:55 PM on February 13, 2009


"California potato chip"?
posted by mwhybark at 9:55 PM on February 13, 2009


Yes, that's right, it's the tater=Worf hypothesis.

Banned.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:05 PM on February 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm guessing maybe one of the sites was this one (NSFW).
posted by mwhybark at 10:46 PM on February 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


And in conclusion, may I point out that the mighty (and scarce) Stan Chin spoke with a prohetic voice, lo these five years gone.
posted by mwhybark at 10:50 PM on February 13, 2009


guh. prophetic, ya yutz.
posted by mwhybark at 10:51 PM on February 13, 2009


"there's a very real chance that my internet search history has come to look just like anon's boss's did" ... is it possible that the OP used the word "taters"/"tators" in talking to her boss and his dodgy browsing history was the result of trying to work out what it meant?
posted by paduasoy at 12:44 AM on February 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


Spudenda!
posted by Abiezer at 12:45 AM on February 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think taters is just a stand-in for any sort of noun. In this case, it refers to 'websites' but the OP is just as likely to say something like "the taters are sure riled up today" meaning children, or "Cletus, get your ass in the tater and pick me up" meaning car. Her usage in this case was meant to dissuade the impression that she is a humorless stick-in-the-tater.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 4:20 AM on February 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Would that everyone had your self-control.

I think that AskMe needs some kind of reward system for the times when someone manages to resist the need to post bad in a wildly-annoying AskMe thread. Say, if there is a hellish question (indicated by number of answers + number of flags) and someone starts a post but never posts it during the life of the thread, they get a favorite or the ability to post one inline image or something.

Yes, I just got done not-posting in the sixcolors thread and I do want a medal, thanks.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 6:04 AM on February 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


If nothing else, "tater" has firmly claimed the record on this site for fastest transition from 'amusing in-joke' to 'utterly played-out annoying catchphrase.'
posted by ook at 7:22 AM on February 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, we mashed "tater."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:08 AM on February 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


"Cletus, get your ass in the tater and pick me up" meaning car.

FYI: While I realize that Cletus is shorthand for "dumb hillbilly" there are many, many more interesting old Southern names than Cletus. I have an entire book of them that I am compiling from obituaries. For example, you might want to substitute Ezell or Elbert or Hoover Lee or Jenotus or Sneed or Otha. Today, I note that we lost a Veoliga, age 81, born in Athens GA to Willy and Lillie.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:09 AM on February 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


For example, you might want to substitute Ezell or Elbert or Hoover Lee or Jenotus or Sneed or Otha.

My great great uncle was named Otha. He owned a used car lot in Sardis, TN. We also had a Landruth and an Oyd. My grandmother was Verda Elvira, and her sister Veda Mae Beauton.

I'm sad that there will be no resolution to the Great Tater Conundrum of 09.
posted by kimdog at 10:49 AM on February 14, 2009


Utah has some pretty wild names also. http://wesclark.com/ubn/
posted by jgirl at 11:39 AM on February 14, 2009


Also, comic strip character Snuffy Smith's baby is named Tater.
posted by jgirl at 11:42 AM on February 14, 2009


My great great uncle was named Otha.

My mom's name is Otha. I kid you not.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:55 AM on February 14, 2009


I had a friend who said one day he wanted to have eight girls and name them Vagina Joe 1, Vagina Joe 2, Vagina Joe 3, etc.
posted by Evangeline at 4:43 PM on February 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


My mom's first name is Vesta and my two grandmas were Beulah and Wilda. Soooo, weird names in my family.

My favorite is probably my dad's middle name: Glover. Why? Because he used to tell the girls in high school that the "G" was silent. I've seen photos of him in high school and he clearly thought he was the neighborhood stud. So even though I wasn't around back then and he's no longer with us, I still hold a strong mental image of 1950s schoolgirls rolling their eyes at my father's cheesy pickup line... always makes me smile.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:24 PM on February 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


My mom's name is Otha.
Otha was a very common choice around 1900, sometimes spelled phonetically, "Othar". While I have never heard of a woman being named Otha, "O (consonant) a" was a favorite choice for naming daughters: Oda, Ofa, Oga, Ola, Ona, Ora, Osa, Ota, and Oza.

Is it possible your grandfather was named Otha? Women were often named after their fathers, usually by ending a male name in "ie". Earlie, Piercie, and Nelsie, are recent finds of mine, but my favorite is Franquette. Other "-ie" names are Elossie, Fronie, Exie, Lyncie, Hopie, and Myrdie. I note, too, that women were much more often the recipients of unusual names, so John might be married to Veryl, Thomas might have a sister named Ettaq, and William might have girl cousins named Olervure, Omnolee, and Vallie Ann. Men always have the more colorful nicknames, though, such as "Skin" "Moody" "Shank" "Tit" or "Duck".

My favorites continue to be the full names that conjure up inhabitants of a small, unmistakably Southern town: Shaw Fish, Thelbert Barefoot, Clara Pickle, Clyde Bunch, and Mamie Hair all recently passed (as we say here in NC.)
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 11:09 AM on February 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


By fortuitous coincidence, I'm reading a case captioned KTA-Tator v. Commission for tomorrow's class. (108 T.C. 100 (1997) for those of you so inclined.)

"During the years in issue, petitioner provided various services within the coatings industry, including consulting, engineering, inspection, and lab analysis. Kenneth B. Tator is the president of petitioner, and he and his wife (the Tators) are its sole shareholders."

Clearly, after this heartbreaking loss in tax court, the Tators left manufacturing and started a hardcore/softcore, gay/straight Tator internet dating racket.
posted by non sum qualis eram at 12:04 PM on February 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Beulah was a typical name in the first forty years or so of the 20th century.
posted by jgirl at 1:51 PM on February 15, 2009


That must have been hard on the family. Were there any Tator tots?
posted by ardgedee at 1:52 PM on February 15, 2009


Beulah was a typical name in the first forty years or so of the 20th century.

True. But although I was named after my grandma Wilda (I go by my middle name) and was nicknamed Wildabeest in elementary school, I'm still thankful I wasn't named after my Grandma Beulah. No thank you.
posted by miss lynnster at 4:52 PM on February 15, 2009


What's all this about spuds?
posted by Elmore at 3:08 PM on February 16, 2009


I HAVE LOCATED TATER PARAPHERNALIA

Or, really, my wife did. But I have the camera.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:55 AM on February 24, 2009


Have you cut it apart to examine the core?
posted by klangklangston at 9:56 AM on February 24, 2009


Didn't have a chance; it biodegraded moments after the photo was taken.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:02 AM on February 24, 2009


Is it hardcore or softcore? I can't tell from the taternalia photo.
posted by middleclasstool at 10:10 AM on February 24, 2009


Goddamnit, we're never going to find out, are we?
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:22 AM on February 24, 2009


Goddamnit, we're never going to find out, are we?

No and that's hurts you emotionally, doesn't it? Well have tater, you'll feel better!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:28 PM on February 24, 2009


No amount of taters will fill this void.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:43 PM on February 24, 2009


What the fuck? I get all the way to the bottom and I still have no idea what the fuck a tater is. What the fuck?
posted by chunking express at 11:56 AM on February 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


No amount of taters will fill this void.

Okay, it's been over 24 hours and I can no longer resist the urge to drop a "That's what she said."

I'm not proud of myself, but goddammit.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:47 PM on February 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


I knew you'd cave. Weakling.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:49 PM on February 25, 2009


If some hypothetical "she" were to say to me "No amount of taters will fill this void", I would have no fucking idea what she was talking about, but that would not stop it from being the single sexiest thing I have ever heard.

I LOVE YOU IMAGINARY HOT WOMAN SAYING "NO AMOUNT OF TATERS WILL FILL THIS VOID" AND WHO ALSO APPEARS TO BE HOLDING A POTATO PEELER IN THIS FANTASY FOR SOME REASON!
posted by ND¢ at 8:31 AM on February 26, 2009 [5 favorites]


Although you may just be very hungry come to think of it.
posted by ND¢ at 8:37 AM on February 26, 2009


What the fuck? I get all the way to the bottom and I still have no idea what the fuck a tater is. What the fuck?

You've been tatered.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:44 PM on February 26, 2009


Tater Doodle
posted by tellurian at 10:33 PM on February 26, 2009


I'm not proud of myself, but goddammit.

That's exactly what your mom told told me this morning at breakfast!
posted by Pollomacho at 12:39 PM on February 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh hi. I'm a bit late to the game, but you can get taters here.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:07 PM on March 1, 2009


I just found this thread via the podcast thread, and now having read the whole thing, I wish I'd just gone and played outside instead.
posted by hermitosis at 12:41 PM on March 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


As I might have expected, Paula Deen has the answer...
posted by hermitosis at 7:31 AM on March 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


« Older flapjax at midnight is feature...  |  This makes me very uncomfortab... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments