Purple monkey dishwasher
Purple monkey dishwasher is a reference to how a story or fact changes when it is passed on from person to person.
It portrays the scenario that occurs in the common children’s game where you whisper a word into the other kids ear, and they whisper what they heard further – and further – and further.
The last person in line says the word out loud, and it is usually very different from the original word.
It is also an analogy to uninformed rumors. The original information might have been a true fact, but because of different elements passing it on further and further, it comes out distorted.
Origin of the term
The phrase already existed when it was made famous by the popular tv show The Simpsons.
In the episode called “The PTA Disbands”, Bart Simpson whispers a phrase to someone, and after being whispered around to everyone, the original phrase actually made it till the end, but with the addition of Purple monkey dishwasher at the end.
Spread of the term
If someone tells you a crazy rumour they have heard, you can respond to them with Purple monkey dishwasher, to show your disbelief.
As an unexpected side effect, multiple actual dishwasher companies in US received requests for Purple monkey dishwashers after the Simpsons episode.
- Urban Dictionary – Purple Monkey Dishwasher