Gay Slang Vol. 5: Toaster oven
And we return once again to the magical world of the lesbian lexicon and all it entails. Today’s lesson, children, is “toaster-oven”. What is a toaster-oven? Well, in real-world terms, it’s a small electronic device you can use to make bread into toast. It’s amazing. But in lesbian terms, a toaster-oven is a marker of a gay woman’s sexual experience with a straight woman – as in, if you turn a straight girl, you get a toaster-oven.
Confusing, right? I don’t get it either.
The term, as so many gay things do, comes from Ellen, that seminal offering from the inimitable Ellen DeGeneres. In The Puppy Episode – the infamous episode in which Ms. DeGeneres came out, thus landing her the cover of Time Magazine and, eventually, Portia DeRossi – a friend of hers named Susan reveals that she’s like, a lesbian, innit. Ellen, still pretending to be a woman of the heterosexual persuasion, loudly proclaims this, and accuses Susan of trying to “recruit” her to the homosexual army. Susan sarcastically says that she’d have to call national headquarters and inform them of her failure to, in fact, recruit, Ellen, and states that, had she been successful, she would have been rewarded with a toaster oven.
Yes. That’s it. You can watch it here, from about 3:20 on. The toaster oven bit comes into play at about 5:05.
Do you feel enlightened now? Me too. Thanks, Ellen!
In case you wanted a little more info, Ellen and Laura Dern (who played Susan) talked about The Puppy Episode ten years on. It’s kind of adorable.