Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Reverse Polish notation is a method of writing mathematical expressions, where operators are after their operands, not between. For example, 2 + 2 becomes 2 2 +, and (2 × 2) / 3 becomes 2 2 * 3 /. This comic plays on that, by placing a Polish Sausage (a North American term for Kielbasa) after both halves of the bun instead of between.
The title text is a pun on the fact that Reverse Polish Notation is also known as Postfix notation. "Fixins" is a Southern US slang for condiments such as mustard, chopped onions, and more. The slang is derived from how you "fix" up, or prepare, your food item whenever you have items that can be customized per person after being cooked.
The news section for this comic says "Comic today's you confuses here click if", which is also written in some kind of reverse polish notation and would be "If today's comic confuses you, click here" in proper English.
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- [A sausage is sitting to the right of an empty bun.]
- Reverse Polish Sausage
I know exactly what RPN is but I have no idea what a Polish Sausage is, nor what the "postfixins" joke is about (is a fixin a thing? I've never heard of them). If someone could explain these presumably American terms I'd appreciate it. 188.8.131.52 14:34, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
- Read the explanation, everything is there.--Dgbrt (talk) 15:45, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
- No it isn't. Anon, the US refers to Kielbasa as Polish Sausage, and "fixins" are condiments such as mustard and chopped onions. I'll update the explanation. Yomikoma (talk) 17:55, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
- I didn't know that. Thanks for your help. Further investigations at urbandictionary gave me this: "A Southern (USA) word for the supplemental food...". It does belong only to the south of the US.--Dgbrt (talk) 19:13, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
I think we should explain the "comic today's you confuses here click if" thing. 184.108.40.206 12:27, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
I think RPS is Rock Paper Scissors.
Pickaxe24 (talk) 01:36, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
- Disagree, I see no relation to Rock Paper Scissors. RPS most likely simply means Reverse Polish Sausage. 220.127.116.11 08:34, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
The phrase "fixins" may originate in the South, but I would not say that it "belongs" to them, as I have heard it used by people from several Western states. I cannot say how prevalent it is outside of there, but I would venture to say that it is a common American colloquialism used by at least the South and West. -- Highlander (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
- I don't know about like the Great Plains region, If that's what you mean by West, but up here in the Pacific Northwest, I've never heard fixins. Only ever in connection with the Southern dialect.18.104.22.168 18:18, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
There is also a level of amusement for the American English speaker owing to confusion on first reading, because "postfix" has its stress (vocal emphasis) on the first syllable, as does "fixins". So when combined, it's not clear how to parse the whole "word". --BD (talk) 04:24, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
- I personally read it along the lines of 'post ,fix ins; that is, with strong emphasis on post and a minor emphasis on fix. Dunno about anyone else. 22.214.171.124 18:18, 26 November 2014 (UTC)