KNOWN as a dystopian universe, The Handmaid's Tale's Gilead also introduced a new vocabulary.
But while fans have grasped the lingo, new viewers may find it hard to keep up with the sayings found in the series.
What do the phrases in The Handmaid's Tale mean?
While Commanders and their wives, among other members of the high society in Gilead (the United States under the rule of the Sons of Jacob), can speak freely, the same cannot be said for handmaids, made to bear children for couples against their will.
All handmaids have specific phrases they have to abide to, putting a strain on their communication.
Luckily, the phrases in The Handmaid's Tale can be understood due to their highly biblical references.
"Under his eye" – this works as both "hello" and "goodbye" and refers to the belief that God is always watching. It can also be interpreted as a reference to Guardians stationed all over Gilead.
"Blessed day" or "blessed evening" – an alternative to "good morning", "good afternoon" or "good evening."
"Praise be" – this is a way to express thanks following a happy event, such as pregnancy or good weather.
"Blessed be the fruit" – the standard greeting between residents although, in the case of handmaids, this greeting has a biblical tie to encourage fertility (considered a handmaid's main function in Gilead).
"May the Lord open" – with another biblical connotation, this is a response to "blessed be the fruit" and also suggests that handmaids pray to God for another handmaid's fertility.
"We've been sent good weather" – perhaps the only small talk that handmaids are allowed, usually during their shopping for the house they belong to. Another handmaid can (and should) then reply with either "praise be" or "which I receive with joy."
"Godspeed" – an expression of good wishes to someone going on a journey.
"The Ceremony" – an inappropriate term to describe the monthly night where Commanders try to impregnate the handmaids, who are laying between the legs of their Commander's wife the entire time. Yes, you read that correctly.
"Gender traitors" – as some may have guessed, being a gay man or woman is considered a crime in Gilead. Both are dubbed "gender traitors" due to their sexuality.
"Particicution" – this refers to a brutal execution during which all handmaids are given the green light to do what they want to a prisoner. Mass beating, and eventually death, subsequently follow.
"The Colonies" – an area in North America contaminated by pollution and radioactive waste, where a handmaid can potentially be sent to, as a form of death sentence. Known to have horrific living conditions.
"Unwomen" – former handmaids convicted of various crimes (being a "gender traitor", for example), or even infertile women who are sent to the Colonies.
When is The Handmaid's Tale next on Channel 4?
Season four's third episode of The Handmaid's Tale will air this Sunday,July 4, 2021, at 9pm on Channel 4.
All episodes are also made available on All 4.
The fourth season was first broadcast in the UK on Sunday, 20 June, almost two months after its initial release on Hulu.
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