Word of the Week: Jede Woche ein neues Rätsel über Bedeutung, Verwendung und Herkunft eines englischen Worts.
Sally Forth-Wright, Radio WKWR’s culture reporter, is reviewing the latest movie releases:
One film I liked more than I thought I would, hence the title, is “Sucker Punch”, a sci-fi thriller which does what it says – it thrills. The director has pulled out all the stops and delivered an emotional rollercoaster which will do well to find its equal this year. But why is it called sucker punch? Well, because …
a) a sucker punch is a particularly powerful absinthe-based perception-altering cocktail which plays a central role in the film.
b) it’s about alien octopus-like creatures which can knock their enemy out with their tentacles.
c) the film’s plot leads you in one direction, then suddenly veers off in a different one when you least expect it.
Here is the correct answer.
“Sucker” is US slang for a gullible person, i.e. one who is taken in by an obvious con trick and goes along with it, unaware. A “sucker punch” describes a blow made without warning so that the victim has no time to prepare or defend against it. The film bears this title because of the intricate, overlapping style of direction which is designed to take the viewer by surprise. According to the director, Zack Snyder, the title also refers to the fact that the film’s main character, Sweet Pea, is capable of more than her appearance leads you to expect. Sally gives us a clue – “hence the title” – in that she did not expect to like the film, i.e. she was “sucker punched”.
a) The boxer James Butler had his boxing license revoked after he illegally sucker punched an opponent in the ring after the fight had already finished.
b) The WikiLeaks affair was seen by many as a sucker punch to President Obama as the political elite in the US failed to see it coming.
c) The 1999 Champion’s League Cup Final between Manchester United and Bayern Munich featured not one but two sucker punches as United scored two last-minute goals in injury time to win despite trailing for most of the match.