Folk speech

Susmarioseph

Main Piece:

The following is transcribed from a conversation between the performer (CS) and I (ZM).

ZM: Do you know any like sayings? Like do your parents say anything like, that’s like a… like a proverb or anything?

CS: Mmmm

ZM: Like a one-liner? Or like a two-liner?

CS: When they’re praying, or not when they’re praying, but I don’t know if it’s a proverb. It’s just like a thing that every Filipino says. I don’t know if this counts, but like… Um. When their like mad or just like an exclamation of just like emotion, you know when people’ll be like, “God!” or something like that? Like anything like that.

ZM: Shit. Jes.. er Christ! Yeah people say “Christ”

CS: Yeah. (laughs) Every Filipino, like older person will say like, “Susmarioseph.” Which is like Jesus, Mary and Joseph combined. (laughs) And EVERYONE says it. And it’s, I didn’t understand what it meant until like I asked my mom like, “What are you saying?” It was like a combination, It’s “susmarijoseph.” So it’s “sus,” Jesus, “mari,” Maria, and “oseph” is Joseph.

ZM: Wow. That’s the best one I’ve heard.

CS: I don’t’ know if that counts, but that’s what they say when their mad, when their happy, anything, that’s just… the line they say. It’s like “Oh my god!”, but like, but like better. It’s an evolved version of “Oh my god.”

ZM: Yeah. It combines everything. Touches all the bases.

 

Context:Over the weekend I visited CS at her home and noticed gold coins laying around on various coffee tables and such. A few days later I asked her about them and this continuation of the conversation was recorded then.

 

Background: The performer is a sophomore at the University of Southern California. She is first generation American and her parents came from the Philippines. They are Roman Catholic.

 

Analysis:I thought this was kind of funny because a lot of people will use single names of God when cursing like “Jesus!” “Christ!” or “Oh my god!” This one captures everything in one.

 

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