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What Does "A Couch Potato" Mean? When Should We Use It?

What Does "A Couch Potato" Mean? When Should We Use It?

The phrase "couch potato" may sound funny to you. You might picture a potato lying on a couch. While it's not actually a potato, this expression involves a couch.

A couch potato is someone who spends most of the day lying on the couch. People use the expression to indicate someone is lazy. Some people say the term may be offensive. You should use it with people close to you or people who don't get easily offended.

Let's take a deeper look at this phrase.

What Does A Couch Potato Refer To?

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If you look for the meaning of this phrase in the dictionary, you will find the expression is used to indicate:

  • A chronic television viewer
  • A lazy and inactive person
  • Someone who doesn't like to be physically active
  • Someone who does not exercise but watches a lot of television
  • An idler and a layabout

Expanding The Idea

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Sedentary lifestyles can cause health problems. People in developed countries often live this lifestyle. Nowadays, we spend our time doing activities that don't require physical effort. Internet apps are fighting for our time. Most of the platforms want us to spend our time watching their content.

Children and teenagers are the most affected. We see now that every kid carries a tablet or telephone everywhere they go. They get so caught up in their virtual life that they forget to do basic things.

Parents struggle to have their kids take a shower. Some people forget to shower. You will see people using electronics during mealtime.

In the end, this lifestyle damages our society. There will be a loss of function in some parts of your body. You are likely to gain weight as well.

The Origin Of The Phrase "Couch Potato"

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This phrase is an idiomatic expression. We know this idiom is not very old because it is related to watching television.

It first appeared in 1979 in the United States of America. The newspaper Los Angeles Times released an article using the phrase "…and the Couch Potatoes who will be lying on couches watching television as they are towed toward the parade route."

A comic artist named Robert Armstrong is credited with releasing a cartoon that made the phrase famous. In 1979, Armstrong drew two lazy characters he called "Couch Potatoes."

After that, the phrase became popular. People started using it to name someone who spends lots of time watching television. Watching too much TV makes people gain weight. Making them look like potatoes.

There's another version of the origin of this idiom. This version is more popular. You just imagine a person sitting on a couch. This person is also watching television and eating potato chips. This person is a "couch potato."

Frequently Asked Questions

Is "Couch Potato" A Slang Word?

Yes, this term is considered slang. The expression couch potato is informal. You should only use it when you talk to friends or family members.

Is The Expression "Couch Potato" Offensive?

Any person will have an adverse reaction if you call them a "couch potato." This expression is a criticism of someone's lifestyle.

Some people argue that potatoes are healthy. There have been protests against changing the word potato from this idiom. People claim we should use the term "couch slouch" instead.

What Is The Plural Form For Couch Potato?

The plural form would be "couch potatoes."

Why Is Being "A Couch Potato" Bad?

Here are some of the health issues related to being a couch potato:

  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart failure
  • High blood sugar

Is "You Are A Couch Potato" A Metaphor?

You can use it as a metaphor when you see someone who feels like doing nothing on the weekend. You could say that person is a couch potato. But this person could be very active during weekdays. Maybe they are just resting after a long week.

What Is An "Active Couch Potato?"

An active couch potato is a person who is active 20% of their day. But this person spends the rest of the day sitting. This is very similar to being a couch potato. If you spend more than six hours being inactive, you won't lose much fat. Your body will not turn fat into energy after more than 4 hours of sitting down.

What Can I Do To Stop Being A Couch Potato?

  1. The First Thing You Need To Do Is Accept You Are Living A Lazy Life

Acceptance is the first step to begin the adjustment.

  1. Understand This Is A Process, And It Takes Time.

On some days, you may not feel like exercising. That's normal, and it will take time before you do it enthusiastically.

  1. Find Your Motivation

This could be your health or your appearance. Setting a goal is very important.

  1. Choose A Time In The Day That Is Convenient For Your Schedule

Make sure you exercise at a time that fits your daily schedule. People claim the morning is the best time.

  1. Set A Daily Walking Goal

Counting your steps can be beneficial.

  1. The Place Doesn't Matter.

Whether you exercise at home or at the gym doesn't matter. The important thing is getting it done.

  1. You Can Do Circuits Exercises

Some of the options you have are:

  1. High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
  2. Circuit training
  3. Tabata workout
  4. TV exercising
  5. Household chores
  1. Set Sleep Schedules

Sleeping is a vital part of the exercising routine. Make sure you set a sleep schedule to have a good rest.

  1. Make Small Changes

There are small things you can change in your life. These changes can get you more movement:

  1. Instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs.
  2. Get off the public transportation a few stops away from your destination.
  3. Park far away from your destination.
  1. Prepare Ahead Of Time

Hours before your exercise, prepare your clothes and drinks.

  1. Picture Your Older Self

This helps you to create an image of your future. You might not like it. This could motivate you to make changes in your life.

  1. Create A Reward System That Motivates You To Work Out.

You could give yourself rewards after achieving certain goals. What you could do:

  1. An immediate reward after a workout
  2. Postpone a desire until you end your routine

Synonyms And Other Similar Expressions

Here's a list of other expressions that indicate the same meaning:

  • Couch slouch
  • TV viewer
  • Bystander
  • Goof-off
  • Idler
  • Inactive person
  • Laggard
  • Lazy person
  • Lazy-bones
  • Loafer
  • Lotus-eater
  • Lounger
  • Slouch
  • Sluggard
  • Sofa spud
  • Spud
  • Video-gazer
  • Inert

Other Terms Related To The Expression

Here are other terms that are often related to the expression. Even though we only say "couch potato," there are other words that come to mind.

  1. Television

People usually sit in their couches to watch TV. This usually happens for a long period of time.

  1. Sofa

Couches and sofas are related. Both are pieces of furniture. Both go located in the living room. They are usually positioned in front of the TV.

  1. Lazy

This is related to the perception of the people. Couch potatoes are considered to be lazy.

  1. Loaf

Because people usually eat while watching TV. This happens especially when spending many hours watching TV.

  1. Leisure

Watching TV or lying down is considered leisure. People do this when they don't have anything to do after work or after finishing their house chores. Couch potatoes are people with no pending duties.

Example Sentences Using The Phrase

  1. My mom is a great couch potato; she can watch TV 24 hours a day.
  2. Some people debate whether couch potatoes are less intelligent than the rest.
  3. My mom always tells me, "don't be a couch potato. Go outside and play."
  4. In the past year, I have become a couch potato. The gym is calling me right now.
  5. I've heard my neighbor argue, "You are such a couch potato.". How can you dream about being slim? "You can only watch television and eat all the time."
  6. It never occurred to me that people would call me a couch potato; I think I am addicted to television now.
  7. Get a job and make money, don't lie around like a couch potato. You're an adult now.
  8. If you want to dream about Michelle, stop being a couch potato.

Bottom Line

The phrase "couch potato" is used when you want to call someone lazy. This is an expression you should use in informal settings. You should use it with friends and family members because it can be perceived negatively. Some people don't like to be called a "couch potato."

The phrase started as slang. It first appeared around 1979. A cartoon made it mainstream. It's been used ever since. People have many questions about this expression. Some people don't know how to use it in conversations.

There are many ways to stop being a couch potato. It's up to you to get out of this lifestyle. Your health could be compromised if you are sedentary. The term "active couch potato" refers to someone who visits the gym, then spends the rest of the day relaxing.

It is good to learn new idioms every day. This will expand your vocabulary and understanding. There are many things to remember before using an idiom. You must be mindful of how other people react to the things you say. The main takeaway here is that couch potato is not a polite expression.