September 25th, 2007
When dealing with photo sets on the photo sharing site, Flickr.com, one nifty little viewing feature is the Slide Show. This feature shows the each image on a full-screen black image, with cinematic fades between them.
The slide show interface is simple: just select the images and start the show. However, Flickr’s designers do give users a couple of convenient settings to adjust.
What interested us wasn’t that the designers provided options, but the specific wording of one of the options.
Options in Flickr.com’s Slide Show feature
The option that caught our attention reads:
Embiggen small photos to fill screen
Our first reaction to seeing this option was to ask the logical question, “Is Embiggen a real word?”. It somehow seemed familiar to us, but we weren’t sure.
A quick visit to Dictionary.com showed it wasn’t in the dictionary, but they did have it listed under their “Encyclopedia” column. That was curious.
Looking up Embiggen on Dictionary.com
Clicking on the encyclopedia link brought us to a Wikipedia entry on Socially Significant Phrases from the Simpsons. It is here we learn of embiggen’s origins, the town motto of the Simpson’s home town, Springfield: A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.
Embiggen, a made-up word for a Simpson’s episode, found its way into an options screen at Flickr. We think that’s a perfectly cromulent fairy door.
Other stories on fairy doors we’ve seen on the web:Tweet