Why Does Chandler Say “Dinah”? (‘Someone’s in the Kitchen With Dinah’)

Chandler is quoting some of the lyrics from an 1894 American folk song, called ‘I’ve Been Working on the Railroad’, which was made popular in the later part of the 20th century by being features several times in the children’s cartoon show, ‘Looney Tunes’. He’s quoting the following lyrics from this song:

Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah,
Someone’s in the kitchen I know,
Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah,
Strummin’ on the old banjo.


A Hard Quality (‘Friends English Lesson’)

This is actually not a common English expression. Because this is the first time we are meeting David, the writers of Friends wanted us to know that he’s a scholarly scientist guy – the kind of person who’s a professor at a University. That sort of person usually has detailed discussions with their colleagues, and in those discussions, the language usually becomes unnecessarily complicated.


English Slang: No Snap in His Turtle

This is an example of the Friends trying to be funny, by creating new and surprising English idioms. That’s why the audience laughs. They understand the meaning behind the words (he is unable to perform in the bedroom), but they’ve never heard that combination of words before.

Sometimes funny new combinations of words from TV shows become a regular part of modern English. That’s not the case with this expression!

If you said this to a native English speaker in conversation, they would probably not understand. This is a FRIENDS ONLY joke! 🙂

I Grabbed a Spoon - Preview Image

“I Grabbed a Spoon” (To Grab a Spoon) – Is It a Real Expression?

Ross says “I grabbed a spoon”. Is this a real idiom that English speakers use in conversation? It’s so hard to know because the episode ends after Ross says this. If we could have seen Monica’s face for longer, we would have seen her being confused, because this is not a real idiom. Nobody says this, and if you try to use it in conversation, you will likely not be understood.

Visualization: The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side

Idiom: The Grass is Always Greener On the Other Side

When you look at your grass you see a lot of imperfections. Your own grass is close to your eyes, so you can see all of its details, so you realize that not all of the grass is green.

You can’t actually zoom in on your neighbour’s lawn, because of the fence. You can only view your neighbour’s grass from far away. You can’t see the details of their grass. So, your neighbour’s lawn looks perfectly green.

This is talking about life and jealousy & envy.