Disney’s contributions to the English language


It seems that Disney has a substantial influence on our daily lives. When I look at my slippers, they have Mickey Mouse, I eat my burgers in a place called Bambi and I wear a sweatshirt with Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh! When I buy a present for a babyshower or for a birthday of a kid, it is 90% something from Disney… As you can see, even if we don’t realize most of the times, the popularized Disney culture is everywhere even on baby diapers!

Considering this, it is not surprising that Disney has an effect also on English. Here is an article from Oxford Dictionary Blog, telling the contributions of Disney to the English language. I quote the parts that I like most but you can always read the whole article by clicking the link at the bottom.


Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this adjective is indeed in the Oxford English Dictionary. Meaning extraordinarily good or wonderful. It was in the movie Mary Poppins in 1964.

Disneyfy, Disneyfied, Disneyfication

The earliest of these is the adjective Disneyfied—meaning, ‘created by Disney, or altered in a way considered characteristic of Disney’.

pixie dust

Defined as an ‘imaginary magical substance used by pixies, or a hypothetical thing considered to be special or extremely effective’.


Bambi, the young, wide-eyed deer who stars in Disney’s 1942 film. There, we can find some interesting compounds such as Bambi eyes—meaning very large or wide-open eyes—and Bambi factor or Bambi syndrome, two derogatory terms for the tendency of human attitudes toward animals to be dominated by sentimentality or anthropomorphism.

Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse made his debut in the short animated cartoon ‘Steamboat Willie’ in 1928, and for decades has been the mascot for the Walt Disney Company, recognized all over the world.  The adjective was first used to describe something featuring, resembling, or having to do with Mickey. However, as early as 1931, Mickey Mouse also began to designate a person or thing deemed to be lacking in value, size, authenticity, or seriousness.

Source: http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2013/05/disney/

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