“What is Va Va Voom?” That’s the question posed to prance-y France-y football-y Thierry Henry and prance-y dance-y Yankee doodle-y Dita Von Teese-y during this commercial for a car called a Clio by a company called Renault.

Good question, Renault. What is Va Va Voom, indeed. As the investigative journalists we are, we thought we’d see what we could unearth on this hot topic.

Thierry slipped into the 'Pulp Fiction' costume behind the curtain

Apparently, the phrase dates back to the 1950s but only became well-known when Thierry “Ooh, did it touch my hand? I had NO idea” Henry started using it. It was subsequently added to the Oxford English Dictionary, which also has words in it like erinaceous (meaning ‘like a hedgehog’), pronk (‘a weak or foolish person’) and nudiustertian (‘the day before yesterday’).

The dictionary says Va Va Voom is slang for ‘expressing that something is lively, sexy, passionate, and/or exciting’. Cool, thanks dictionary.

The problem with that is the subjectivity. What’s lively, sexy passionate and/or exciting for one person might be considered quite dull by another. Dita Von Teese, for instance, collects vintage china, particularly eggcups and tea sets. They get her juices flowing, but some might, quite fairly, purport that’s a dull hobby.

Peepholes weren't subtle

Similarly, the ‘Queen of Burlesque' with the same initials as the formation of a blood clot in a deep vein has spoken quite openly about several lesbian experiences, including a long-term relationship with a woman when she was 20 – some might find this sexy and exciting, others would not. Those others would be fools, of course.

The Teese-meister once said: “I've lived out a lot of my sexual fantasies and the ones I haven't are better left as fantasy and shouldn't be revealed. I have always been interested in fetishes. Why is one person turned on by a woman's bare foot and another is turned on by a nice rear end? In my opinion the female form is very visually appealing. I am not a lesbian but I think that there is something about the way a woman's body is made. I used to work alongside strippers and pole dancers. In fact I miss it.”

We bloody missed it too, which is a blow.

Don't look for too long, you'll get seasick... told you.