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“Make me a sandwich,” sometimes deliberately misspelled as “Make me a sammich,” is a catchphrase often used by male internet users to mock, discredit or annoy female internet users, playing off of the sexist trope which states that women belong in the kitchen.
The phrase “go make me a sandwich” was first introduced in a Saturday Night Live skit that aired on December 16th, 1995. In the skit, actor Tim Meadows appears as John-John Mackey, a weatherman who tries too hard to be hip by using confrontational language during the delivery of his forecasts. While predicting an incoming storm, he tells the storm to go make him a sandwich.
John-John Mackey: When I see a storm front coming, I’m all, “What’s up, bitch?!” And the storm is all, “Not, much, Sir.” And I’m all, “That’s right, bitch! Now, go make me a sandwich!” And you want that kind of confidence in your weatherman!
Usage of “Sammich”
“Sammich,” a phonetic translation of the word “sandwich,” is believed to have made its appearance in a November 1998 Onion article about the life of an office worker written in stereotypical Ebonics. An explanation of the word was submitted to the writers’ community Everything2 in October 2000, which defined “sammich” as a food item made with care and lots of ingredients, making it better than a normal sandwich. The first Urban Dictionary definition for “sammich” was submitted on January 3rd, 2003, also nothing that the word is reserved for sandwiches “with connotations of extra goodness.” The Oxford English Dictionary officially recognized “sammich” as a word in May 2011.
Throughout the late 1990s and 2000s, the expression was used in a number of other TV shows and stand-up comedy specials, including an episode of X-Files (shown below, left) that aired in March 1999, an episode of That 70s Show in July 2000, as well as Dave Chappelle’s stand-up special For What It’s Worth (shown below, right) and an episode of Rescue Me, both of which aired in September 2004.
The phrase “make me a sandwich” was further popularized by an xkcd comic titled “Sandwich” (shown below, left), posted on August 28th, 2006. In the comic, one of the characters uses the phrase paired with the word “sudo,” which is the Unix command that allows selected users to execute a command as an administrator. Shortly after it was featured on xkcd, the comic was subsequently linked to a thread in Ubuntu forums, a BoingBoing article and actor Wil Wheaton’s blog in September 2006. The phrase became so pervasive in American colloquialism that a panel discussion on its hindrance of women’s participation in online spaces was held at the 2012 GeekGirlCon in Seattle, Washington (shown below, right).
As of October 2012, there are dozens of Facebook fan pages and groups titled with variations of the phrase, the largest of which has more than 8,100 fans, as well as images tagged under “sammich” or “sandwich” on Tumblr and 19,000 videos related to the phrase “make me a sandwich” on YouTube.
Single Topic Blog: 300 Sandwiches
In June 2012, New York Post’s senior reporter Stephanie Smith launched the food photography blog 300 Sandwiches to document a variety of homemade sandwiches she makes for her boyfriend Eric Schulte.
In September 2013, after creating 176 sandwiches, Smith wrote about her blog and the story behind it in a New York Post column article titled “‘I’m 124 sandwiches away from an engagement ring’,” revealing that she decided to start the project after her boyfriend joked that he will propose to her one day if she makes him 300 sandwiches. Smith’s boyfriend, whom she describes as a “gourmet cook” himself, was quoted as saying:
“You women read all these magazines to get advice on how to keep a man, and it’s so easy,” he says. “We’re not complex. Just do something nice for us. Like make a sandwich.”
Consumer Reports – Do you know the muffin-top man--or these new food words?