many ads are associated with a number of different notions it
is rare to come across a visual representation of two key colloquial
terms in one ad. But, as with the other tools ads illustrated
or referred to in
Part 1 if this page, the Benson
and Hedges ad illustrated alongside is more than a mere collection
of nuts formed into an image of an ape. As an ad for a leading
cigarette brand produced by one of the leading ad agencies in
country, the ad has to express meaning over and above the sum
of its parts.
of course, as the dictionary definition states, is a euphanism
for balls. And there are plenty of these forming the ape in
the ad. The ape is of course, also holding a tool in his hand.
Tool, as discussed on the previous page, is another useful euphanism.
Tools can also be used for crushing balls. This ad thus also
manages to convey an anixety raising message about potential
aggression in addition to a sexual message.
appearance on the face of the Ape however is notable and seems
more appropriate to when balls are being cradled rather than
being crushed. Only a masochist would therefore find an aggressive
meaning the most pertinent.
is not much scope in the ad for the extraction of meaning related
to the second dictionary definition, relating to Ape(shit).
There is no indication of rising passion or excitement. The
figure of the ape therefore is largely irrelevant, other than
as an additional means of triggering 'dictionary units' in ones
memory related to the
crazy, absurd, insane. An Americanism of the turn of
the century, adopted elsewhere before World War II,
it derives ultimately from the 19th-century notion of
off ones nut, a slang version
of the colloquial off ones head.
b extremely enthusiastic
or enamoured. 'Hes nuts about her!
n p1 testicles. A
metaphorical use of the word which serves as a more
acceptable euphemism for bails.
out of control, berserk, used
especially in the expression go ape; the image
is of a person reduced to a primal state, either by
infatuation, excitement or, especially, anger. An American
teenagers' term from the late 1950s now in general currency.
' 'I go ape ev'ry
time I see you smile.'
('I Go Ape',
written and recorded by Neil Sedaka, 1960).
left my last school. I pinched a wallet full of credit
cards and went apeshit in about five different counties.
magazine, Stephen Fry, August 1989).