In a Nutshell

In a Nutshell

Updated Aug 18, 2014 at 05:52PM EDT by Brad.

Added Apr 16, 2012 at 08:40AM EDT by Triple Zed.

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About

“In A Nutshell” is an English idiomatic expression that is often used as a phrasal template to summarize a particular topic or event in a concise manner.

Origin

According to the Oxford Dictionaries blog,[2] the phrase “in a nutshell” comes from a story from AD 77 by the Roman scholar Pliny claiming that Homer’s epic poem the Iliad was written on a parchment small enough to fit inside a walnut shell. The first known use of the phrase as an idiom meaning “compact” or “concise” comes from the late sixteenth century play Hamlet by William Shakespeare:

I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams

Spread

On April 4th, 2005, Urban Dictionary[3] user KinGAleX posted an entry for “in a nutshell” (shown below).



On May 20th, 2006, YouTuber bergloren uploaded a video titled “DBZ in a Nutshell,” which featured dubbed narration mocking the anime series Dragon Ball Z (shown below, left). In the next eight years, the video gained over 500,000 views and 1,500 comments. On March 27th, 2007, YouTuber ShadowLeggy uploaded an animated parody of the Resident Evil films titled “Resident Evil Movie (In a Nutshell)” (shown below), which accumulated more than 2.42 million views and 9,900 comments in the first seven years.


On March 14th, 2008, YouTuber easuter uploaded a clip from the animated television show Family Guy titled “Christianity in a Nutshell” (shown below, left). In the following six years, the video gathered upwards of 1.21 million views and 14,900 comments. On August 22nd, 2009, YouTuber PeaTea64 uploaded a video titled “Kirby Nightmare in Dreamland: In a Nutshell”, featuring an animated parody of the 2002 Game Boy Advance game (shown below, right). Within four years, the video received over 340,000 views and 670 comments.



On October 19th, 2010, Redditor Brawle submitted a post titled “My experience with Reddit in a nutshell” to the /r/pics[4] subreddit, which featured a comic detailing the experience of a person participating on Reddit for the first time (shown below). Prior to being archived, the post gathered more than 12,100 up votes and 1,300 comments.



On January 16th, 2011, YouTuber Expo uploaded a Garry’s Mod video titled “Medieval mode in a nutshell,” featuring characters from the online shooter game Team Fortress 2 (shown below, left). In the first three years, the video garnered upwards of 1.91 million views and 6,100 comments. On September 6th, 2011, YouTuber 99chowder uploaded a video titled “New Super Mario Bros Wii in a Nutshell,” featuring a parody of the Wii game New Super Mario Bros shot with stuffed toy props (shown below, right). In the following two years, the video received over 5.14 million views and 1,500 comments.



On June 19th, 2012, YouTuber KawaiiPiranha uploaded an animation mocking members of the /r/gaming subreddit (shown below, left), accumulating more than 1.17 million views and 4,000 comments in the next 15 months. The same day, Redditor MysicPlato submitted a post titled “/r/gaming in a Nutshell” to the /r/gaming[5] subreddit, which linked to the YouTube video. Prior to being archived, the post received upwards of 19,800 up votes and 900 comments.



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External References

[1]The Free Dictionary – in a nutshell

[2]Oxford Dictionary – Popular Idioms Explained

[3]Urban Dictionary – in a nutshell

[4]Reddit – My experience with Reddit in a nutshell

[5]Reddit – /r/gaming in a nutshell

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