- USC Digital Folklore Archives - http://folklore.usc.edu -

Surfer Slang

Posted By Lillian Anderson On May 16, 2014 @ 5:56 pm In Folk speech,general,Humor | Comments Disabled

I had signed up for a surfing lesson while on Spring Break in Maui with my parents. When we were learning about how to stand on the surfboard – on the beach of course; we started on dry land learning how to get on the board and how to stand up once we were on it, as well as the proper stance when on the board – when the instructor noticed that I was in a stance for a lefty. He then called out and said something along the lines of, “You’re a goofy foot!”

 

Of course, I asked them what the term meant. “Goofy foot” is a blason populaire term used by surfers for left-handed (-footed?) surfers. It is not all that surprising that surfers would have their own term for lefties, since lefties are much less common than right-handed/-footed people. Most of the human population is right-handed/-footed, and in the West at least (Europe, America) left-handedness was considered to be negative, unlucky, incompetent, socially wrong, etc. So, to a population that was 9/10ths right-handed, being among the 1/10th of the population that was left-handed/-footed would look awfully weird, and thus “goofy,” to the “normal,” right-handed/footed people. Furthermore, since handedness in surfing is shown through the stance, the let-handed surfing stance – meaning the feet – would be “goofy footed” to a right-handed surfer.


Article printed from USC Digital Folklore Archives: http://folklore.usc.edu

URL to article: http://folklore.usc.edu/?p=24563