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“Fricky, Dicky, Dutch!”

Posted By bdevera@usc.edu On May 7, 2018 @ 1:25 pm In Folk speech | Comments Disabled

The interviewer’s initials are denoted through the initials BD, while the informant’s responses are marked as NC.

NC: My father used to say “fricky, dicky, dutch!” whenever he got frustrated with something, but I have no idea why. I thought it was like a normal thing for people to say when they were frustrated. But then I was talking to my brother, and he told me he said that one time and everyone looked at him really weirdly, and that’s how he learned. So he gave me advice so I wouldn’t make the same mistake.

BD: Did your dad get this from anywhere in particular?

NC: I have no idea. My dad’s spanish, so English is his second language, so he definitely didn’t get it from his family. I have no idea. I feel like it’s something—when he says it, it’s like “freeky deeky duck!” because he has a Spanish accent—I guess it’s something that sort of rhymes, when you say it, it rolls off the tongue.

BD: No one else in your family says it?

NC: No.


Analysis: I hypothesize this bit of folk speech arose out of a need to not use profanity. It is interesting how it would have passed down to generations after the informant’s father, if not for the normalization by society—an unusual saying is stifled by those who are not familiar with it. The three words in the phrase seem to have no interconnectedness, save for the similar endings of the first two, and similar beginnings of the last two. Perhaps it only arose for the way it rolls off of the tongue.


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URL to article: http://folklore.usc.edu/?p=42097