Cleveland Steamer

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Cleveland steamer: 1. (n.) The act of one person defecating on the nude chest of another person. 2. (n.) The same act, purportedly done for the sexual gratification or sexual humiliation of coprophiliacs or of extreme practitioners of BDSM. 3. (interj.) A phrase uttered by lowbrow comedians lacking in talent to get a cheap laugh. 4. (n.) In recent use, just a turd. Etymology: unknown or disputed. Date of the earliest known attestation on the Internet: February 3, 1995 on the Usenet newsgroup in response to the question What is a steamer?

A standard Cleveland Steamer

Examples of usage from Wikipedia's original Cleveland Steamer Article

In the abominable TV show Family Guy in the episode "Mr. Saturday Knight," Peter Griffin inexplicably becomes a whore. He propositions his wife Lois as she drives by and stops at a traffic light asking her if she would like a Cleveland steamer.


—It just wouldn't be a good Wikipedia article without a reference to Family Guy.

In the "XXX Wife" episode of the Adult Swim cartoon show Stroker and Hoop, Stroker wins an award for "Best Cleveland Steamer" in a pornographic film.


—Because shit is just so fucking hot.

In the November 2006 episode "Bolshoi Booze" episode of the TV show Prison Break the Steamer rears its moist, brown head. Former prison guard Roy Geary is seen with three call girls in his hotel room. The scene simply begins with one of the girls asking, aghast, "A Cleveland what?"


—One can always count on crude sex jokes to increase ratings.

In 2002, the Detroit talk radio show Deminski & Doyle began an "educational" half-hour discussion of legendary sex acts with the statement, "Try to describe carefully what a Cleveland steamer would be. Fifteen months later, the FCC proposed fine of $27,500 to the station's owner, Infinity Broadcasting.


—When talking about chicks with dicks that put yours to shame gets boring, try the Steamer!

In 2005, a young staffer for U.S. Representative Jane Harman (D-CA) made news by sending around a hoax email stating how one of Lyndon LaRouche's followers "decided to drop her pants and plop a Hot Cleveland Steamer on our carpet and that House Janitorial Services was currently cleaning up this wretched filth."


—That's the way to get back at those LaDouchebags!

In March 2007, as part of the Colbert Report's "Better Know a District" series, Stephen Colbert asked Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth whether he had ever had a Cleveland Steamer.


—Colbert clearly knows that most of his audience still thinks poopy is funny.

In "Big Brother Australia" in 2005, the housemates discussed the Cleveland Steamer with each other in the uncut version of the show.


—Apparently it took about 10 to 15 years for the Steamer to trickle down to Oz.

Jack Black of Tenacious D sings, "All we're asking you to do is drop trou and squeeze out a Cleveland steamer on my chest." in the song "Rock Your Socks."



Bob Kevoian and the fictional band the Mad Armenians, of the Bob and Tom Radio Show, sing a song about the Cleveland Steamer among other sexual acts.


—The "Cleveland Steamer" gives Armenians sexy time explosion!

The Cleveland steamer was also used in an episode of The Conan O'Brien Show, mentioned in a series of commemorative stamps that were inappropriate gifts for the Queen of England.


—No wonder NBC fired this doofus.

Possible Etymologies

Hey, whatever it takes to move product, right?
  • "Lost in the mists of time," according to Wikipedia. That's Wikipedo for "we don't know, we don't know how to find out, we're too lazy to find out, so quit asking."
  • Has something to do with some brand of grill called Cleveland Steamers, which are steam-based cooking machines. While this may be amusing for some it's irrelevant, but it was brought into the Wikipedia discussion to provide yet another "pop culture reference," which TOW thrives on.
  • It may actually be as simple as what the original poster said: Cleveland smells dirty, and turds steam.
  • Perhaps the obvious sockpuppet "Lord Pedicabo," writing on the Cleveland Steamer talk page was right. At one time, a few decades ago, Lake Erie, Cleveland's waterfront, was a dead lake because of industrial waste. At the same time, people would routinely dig clams on beaches to steam for eating. These were called "steamer clams," and were an essential part of a clambake. So, perhaps the two concepts were conflated, and a "Cleveland steamer" became a turd.
  • This is complete speculation, but the "Cleveland steamer" may have originated as a joke played on people in the context of a bar. A man may be drinking a gin and tonic, a respectable drink, and he may be accosted by a bar regular who asks him if he'd like to try something stronger and more manly, like a Cleveland steamer. Hilarity then ensues, especially when it is revealed that a truly fugly waitress will be serving his steamer.

The Drama

A perfect example of what Seth MacFarlane thinks is funny.

The Cleveland steamer was one of the most contentious articles on TOW, with four AfD's calling for "keep", five for "no consensus", which foolishly defaults to keep, and a final "merge" vote to merge it with coprophilia, which isn't really where it belongs either. It was taken to AfD a total of ten times. Most of the drama involved with the Cleveland Steamer can be found in the talk page for the now defunct Cleveland Steamer article and in the ten deletion discussions that occurred when the article was taken to Articles for deletion. Many people thought that the definition, plus some pop culture "references" made for a perfectly good encyclopedia article, while others, citing Wikipedia policy, pointed out WP:WINAD, which stands for "Wikipedia is not a dictionary," meaning that a dictionary definition, a list of uses, and even a stab at an etymology constituted nothing more that a dictionary definition. In reality, almost everyone voting in the deletion discussion couldn't be bothered to decide whether it constituted a good Wikipedia article. They they thought it was funny, and they did not want the Wikipedia bureaucratic fucks taking away their funny poopy article. It is the granddaddy of the sex moves, and has been followed up by literally hundreds of other improbable and impossible sex moves made up by 13 year old boys and older basement dwellers who have never had sex and likely never will.

So what about Gaius?


Gaius Valerius Catullus was a Roman poet of the first century B.C. Since he's been dead a long time, we'll assume that the guy who posted the Usenet article was someone else who had just discovered how to hide his identity with something new-fangled at the time called a "Username." Before eternal September, most people just used their real names and real email addresses to log into Usenet. To give you some perspective, back in the day before it took two hours to download a picture of a naked Azn woman on CERN's new World Wide Web, people used to get their porn from and their autopsy pics (guro for you newbies) from Usually a picture on these newsgroups was broken up into about four different posts. One had to download each post, put them on Microsoft Word, or equivalent, and link them together into one encoded document. Then, one had to use a decoder to turn the uuencoded doc into a .gif. So, long story short, Gaius was a student at Dartmouth College in 1995 when he made this post. According to him, he heard of the Steamer from a guy on the Dartmouth Football Team who learned about it at a place an Ivy-League bound young man with a football scholarship should never have been frequenting at age 17, but then again, he was going to Dartmouth. Gaius's friend learned of the Steamer at an old-style porn theater in Kansas City called the Old Chelsea Theatre. Between screenings of pornographic films like "Leave it To Cleavage," nasty, fugly fatty whores would strip and an old Jewish guy with a fez and no pants would tell bawdy jokes about things like the Cleveland Steamer.

See also

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