A little bit pregnant?

So, as some of you may know, I’m not a native English speaker. I’m certainly no native American speaker, even less than English. Today’s Dilbert leaves me bewildered – I was pretty sure I knew what the expression “a little bit pregnant” meant. There’s a similar expression in (my native language) German, and a Google search for “a little bit pregnant” doesn’t reveal anything I wouldn’t have expected. But that comic strip doesn’t make the least bit of sense to me… anybody care to explain?

26 Comments on A little bit pregnant?

  1. If it’s any consolation, I’m a native American English speaker and I don’t understand the cartoon either.

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  2. Good to hear 🙂

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  3. Burhan Habib // November 29, 2006 at 7:22 am // Reply

    Well… I found this blog as a result of my search attempt on google… to find the meaning of "a little bit pregnant". Another search result just above this blog entry was Yahoo Answers and there were some explanations there. Although the question is still open and will be closed in another couple of days.From what I have gathered, the term is used to express affirmation I believe… One is either totally pregnant or totally not pregnant! So probably The Boss wanted Asok to confirm if the customer was in for the deal or not! or may be it was intended to confuse the customer… regardless, Asok, being in the same boat as you and me, went in for a genuine attempt :DHope it helps! Hehe!

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  4. After same searches, I raeched the same conclusion.Except for the Boss request, which was, I guess, to try to explain the customer that lihe is neighter black nor white, and to force her to accept an impossible compromise on the bad performance of anything made by the Company…But, like all of you, I am not native American (only French), so it’s all assumptions.

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  5. Alvaro Arraes // November 29, 2006 at 4:12 pm // Reply

    I’d say that two characteristics of Dilbert’s boss is (1)he is completely clueless; and (2)He uses to make bad analogies. So, he is very likely to use an expression like "you can’t get just a little bit pregnant" improperly and tell Asok: "Make our client a little bit pregnant". I agree with psam: probably the boss wanted Asok to convince the costumer of something impossible.Cluelessness example: Once he asked Dilbert to put the company database to work on the e-mail system. Bad analogy example: When Dilbert told him that he needed to know the requirements for the new project in order to make a design, the boss said to him: "That’s like saying you can’t play on the beach unless you know how many grains of sand there are".

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  6. Hm… I understand your comments and I agree with the assessments of Dilbert’s boss 🙂 Problem is, why would he ask Asok to "make the client a little bit pregnant"? That does still not conform with any meaning of "a little bit pregnant" that I heard of so far. Of course that could just be the point here, but then I don’t see how that would be funny… plus, the last image of the strip seems to point to the fact that the misunderstanding is supposedly on Asok’s side, not on the side of the boss. I mean, I see how Asok is taking the whole thing literally, but I still can’t understand what the point is, as the boss is apparently making this totally useless and meaningless request in the first place. Hm…

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  7. I think that what he was saying was to get the client interested (a little bit pregnant) before they realised what they had signed up for. (the whole 9 months!)Not a classic though.

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  8. Stu – I understand and I assume you’re right. If only anybody had ever said something like that before, so we could find it in Google :-DNot a classic, no.

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  9. probably just means, to load her with some work or may be trouble.

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  10. Chano Pedersen // December 21, 2006 at 2:13 pm // Reply

    Pregnant also means convincing , so get our customer a little bit convinced.

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  11. well i’m here in india .. and just the same comic strip appear in the paper today.. maybe they appear a little later here than in the west its December 22 here and I see its been over month since this discussion started.. and i googled the same phrase ..and WHOLA!!! not only do i find some explanations about the phrase …but the context is the same ..the same strip…well i am little pregnant…hehehe … it’ll help to get some native americans to comment on this…

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  12. Unfortunately the link to the cartoon is down so I can’t really comment.

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  13. I’m an American, and I assumed the boss meant something like get her interested or ready before the official meeting, but I also wasn’t familiar with the term, and my dad has never seen it used that way.

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  14. I am not sure myself

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  15. ‘A little bit pregnant’ is just a joke – the joke is that it is impossible to be a little bit pregnant.. you either are or you aren’t!

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  16. I found this page in google and I do not get it as well.

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  17. This is a very old fashion joke. it would be quiet something to be partially pregnant

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  18. i read the same comic strip today (16/03/2009), still unable to find the meaning of this expression….

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  19. @daindavin
    native Americans usually refers to those who where here before we came from England and took over.

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  20. Burhan Habib’s comment above is probably as close as you’ll get to rationalizing this one..i.e. “probably The Boss wanted Asok to confirm if the customer was in for the deal or not!”

    This certainly would appear to embody Dilbert writers’ theme and style..

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  21. American here – I’ve never heard that phrase before either.

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  22. Ohh same comic strip, same google search… same no answer!!! I heard the expression before… but still have no idea what it supposed to mean here… I do think has to be something such as “get the deal signed” but Im stretching here!!!

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  23. Aw cmmon, it’s not all that complicated. The common phrase is ‘get into bed’ with the client. PHB changed that to get her a little pregnant. Dat all.

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  24. Interested Person // June 20, 2010 at 11:22 am // Reply

    Perhaps through the saying “she’s expecting a baby Girl/Boy….” the phrase “a little bit pregnant” could be interpreted as “to raise her expectations”?

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  25. I can’t believe you all never heard of this little tidbit.

    To get `em pregnant is just another term for to boast about the product, its a haggler’s term.

    In other words, to get `em pregnant is to boast about your product until they are filled with anticipation. Right ‘afore you tie up the hog.

    To get `em a little pregnant means to boast in a reserved manner, you feed them a little seed, not so much as to turn them off, just get `em a little pregnant.

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  26. I think it is a combo of Stu’s and Humility’s answers.

    It means get her interested and invested (expectant is a synonym for pregnant), Asok just takes it too literally.

    An awesome classic. She is IN.

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