Not terribly long ago, The Scotsman newspaper printed a helpful list of 15 words that have alternate meanings in Scotland. It pointed out that pudding has nothing to do with a Jell-O mix but is often a sausage made from pigs’ blood, that messages means grocery shopping, and that if you mince something, you’ve pretty much effed it up.
Unfortunately, the paper failed to include chug on the list, which is why Mountain Dew UK is being dragged across Scottish Twitter for inadvertently telling everyone that they’re chronic masturbators.
On Monday, Mountain Dew UK tweeted a .gif of a visibly sweating twentysomething downing a bottle of neon yellow soda. (He’s tanning it, if you want to dust off another piece of Scottish vocab.) “Epic Thrills Start with a Chug,” it says—which is why everyone from Elgin to Dumfries started giggling to themselves.
“You guys didn’t really consult anyone from Scotland on this UK wide marketing campaign eh?” one presumably Scottish person responded. And no, no they did not: because if they did, they would’ve known that ‘chug’ is slang for masturbation. (Epic thrills may or may not start out that way, but it’s probably best if that’s not how you try to sell a soft drink.)
The only thing that might be more unsettling than the fact that Mountain Dew still hasn’t deleted a tweet that says “We didn’t choose the chug life, the chug life chose us,” is the example sentence (“He was having a chug on the bus.") that Wiktionary uses to accompany its definition of chug.
This isn’t the first time that Mountain Dew has been scorched online. In 2012, it may or may not have asked the internet to help name its new green apple flavor, and the results were unsurprisingly awful. It apologized for its “Dub the Dew” contest after the most popular flavor suggestions included Hitler Did Nothing Wrong, Fapple, and Gushing Granny.
“‘Dub the Dew,’ a local market promotional campaign that was created by one of our customers—not Mountain Dew—was compromised,” a company representative told Consumerist at the time. “We worked diligently with our customer’s team to remove all offensive content that was posted and put measures in place to ensure this doesn’t happen again [...] and we sincerely apologize to all of our fans who may have been offended by this customer’s program.”
For real though, is Fapple really t hat much worse than “Epic Thrills Start with a Chug?” Either way, ye were pure mince, Mountain Dew.