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You’ve heard the term “lame duck,” but what about these adjective animals? The Prompt staff breaks down the fauna-inspired lingo you never knew you needed.

Jillian Conochan, Melancholy Dolphin

Remember offices? Remember happy hours? Melancholy dolphin is the damper that 2020 put on your office mate whose sparkling personality was directly proportional to the number of hard seltzers they consumed at happy hour.

Please check on your friends who may be at risk of melancholy dolphin. We, I mean they may be struggling.

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Kelaine Conochan, Combat Wombat

You know that friend of yours who’s a real nice guy—mellow, even-keeled, pleasant—but then turns absolutely belligerent in email exchanges about dysfunctional government? The one who bakes and delivers amazing Christmas cookies, but also sends text messages with violent threats about his fantasy football team’s lackluster performance? A combat wombat is a completely harmless man who resorts to a fantastical machismo in his remote and textual communications.

Eric Mochnacz, Decrepit Mallard

Even worse than a lame duck at the party. The decrepit mallard doesn’t drink booze, but also refuses soda because it’s “too carbonated” and water is “full of chemicals the government doesn’t want us to know about.” They refuse to partake in the appetizer spread because Ritz crackers have gluten, cured meats give them gas, and the host can’t confirm the goat cheese was ethically sourced from happy, grass-fed livestock. They corner your boyfriend and spend the entirety of the party talking his ear off about the benefits of the metric system. They entered into the Secret Santa, but gave the person they drew nothing “Because I am taking a stand against consumerism at its worst.” They ask you to call them an Uber because they can’t drive under the influence of the “vibe” of your apartment. And they never Venmo you for the ride.

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Ariel Cross, Sleepy Bear

Term for a drowsy child, pet, or cute adult who gets grumpy when they are tired, but continues to be adorable despite their prickly demeanor. “Aw, someone’s a sleepy bear.”

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Dennis William, Buff Duck

A swole person, and let’s be honest, it’s always a man, who has never met a leg day he won’t skip. Much like a regular duck, they are round and puffy up top (with muscles rather than feathers) and teetering around on legs that look precariously thin. A buff duck waddles from the weight rack to the bench press, carefully keeping his center of gravity over his spindly appendages, with nary a glance to the leg press. And he’s probably wearing a T-shirt with the sides cut off so you can see his nips.

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Eric Mochnacz, Abject Misery Koala

You haven’t eaten, so when someone attempts to talk to you, you actually rip off their face and eat it. Like a koala without their eucalyptus, just in case the reference didn’t land.

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Sarah Razner, Dramatic Dachshund

There are some people who take the day’s events as they come, processing them with calm clarity. Then, there are those who are dramatic dachshunds. The dramatic dachshund reacts to everything as if it is an emergency. Something as minor as a paper cut or a leaf falling from a tree is seen as a reason for alarm. While a person could handle these “incidents” on their own, the dramatic dachshund has to alert everyone within a 200-foot radius and do so at a high, ear-piercing pitch. Logic is not a factor in their decision making, only what is immediately in front of them, and the emotion it elicits.

Mr. Joe Walker, Hater Gator

Sure, it’s cliché and, no, I didn’t technically invent it, but darn I’m certain most of us have experienced its bite! While briskly swimming through what you hope to be a nontoxic flow of social media posts, you bank on a congregation of sharp-toothed trap-jaws who can’t stand anything or anyone. Their un-constructive criticisms—on everything from music selections to political views to what someone else puts in their oatmeal—comes across your screen like one of those all-naturally crazed, unprovoked runaway crocodilian dino-cousins. And just when you thought your own thread-pool was safe, they crawl in and muck up the water with offensive, deleterious opinions.

The Prompt Staff

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