I enjoy it when TV shows name their episodes with a certain theme. All the Seinfeld episodes were “The X,” Friends did “The One With X” or “The One Where X,” all the Cougar Town episodes are Tom Petty Songs, and all the Community episodes are named in the style of a college class. I could go on. Each Hannibal episode take its name from French cuisine, mixing high culture with the literal worst of humanity in a way that really underscores what the show is about. But it all hit a snag with the Molly Shannon episode, which is either titled “Oeuf” or “Ceuf,” depending on where you read it. (Wikipedia has “Oeuf,” while NBC’s official site and iTunes have “Ceuf”.) So what gives? Well, here’s what I think happened.
There is no French word ceuf, from what I can find. However, there is oeuf, which means “egg” and would seem to be appropriate, given how the episode is about evil “hen” Molly Shannon brainwashing children into murdering their families. In writing the word, you may skew fancy and join the “o” and “e” together — a ligature known as oethel or ethel. In print, and especially to American eyes, this doesn’t necessarily look like a conjoined “o” and “e.” See?
Hear for yourself:
That’s my guess, anyway. If ceuf means something — in French or otherwise — I’d be happy to hear about it. Does it?