phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: Found phrase: earworms

Posted by ESC on March 02, 2003

In Reply to: Found phrase: earworms posted by Woodchuck on March 02, 2003

: "Earworms are those songs, jingles, and tunes that get stuck inside your head."

: Possibly coined by James J. Kellaris, PhD
: ("SOURCE: "Dissecting Earworms: Further Evidence on the 'Song-Stuck-in-Your Head' Phenomenon, James J. Kellaris, PhD, presentation to Society for Consumer Psychology, Feb. 22, 2003.")

Good one. I try to avoid earworms by playing some tunes of my own choosing before I go to work each morning. It's kind of like programing my own private radio.

My favorite columnist wrote about something similar to earworms, memes:

"Language is a virus from outer space." ~ William S. Burroughs

"Richard Dawkins described culture in terms of self-replicating pieces of information, or 'memes.' The 'meme' is the cultural equivalent of a virus. It is any data that changes your thoughts and behavior so that you will tell others about it, thus infecting them. If it is an effective meme, it 'evolves' to spread itself among many people. A meme can be anything catchy-it can be 'Mary Had a Little Lamb,' a Shakespearean speech, how to build a boat, or Islam. Try singing the first few words of a popular song in a crowded room and see how many people complete it. They've all been infected by that meme..."