USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘cliche’
Folk speech
Proverbs

You can take the girl out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the girl.

“You can take the girl out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the girl.”

 

My informant first heard this saying as an eighth grader in middle school that is located in Downey, CA.  She had gone on a three-week trip to New York.  It was her second trip there.  The first time she had visited New York, she remembers being mesmerized by the city, and when she returned home, all she could think about was going back.  However, on this second trip to New York, she missed home, Los Angeles (Downey is a suburb of L.A.) very much.  No matter how exciting New York was, she became homesick.  A friend she had met on the trip there noticed her homesickness and told her, “You can take the girl out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the girl.”  Physically, Cindy was in New York, but her heart was at home, Los Angeles.

I personally love this quote and apply it to myself as well.  Distance from the place you grew up in and the place where you are surrounded by familiar faces and streets cannot make you forget the attachment to that place.  I have lived in L.A all my life, and if I were to live anywhere else for the time being, I will still have “L.A.” qualities about me.  I would probably not blend in with my new location immediately.  Similarly if a girl from a rural farm ventured into the city, she would still have traits that show she most likely grew up in a farm.  She may seem to be overwhelmed with the loud cars and crowded streets.  If I lived in the countryside for a year, people would obviously know I am from the urban area because I would probably appear very restless and uneasy with the calmness.  Where an individual was raised makes a large impact on that individual’s personality.  Hence, the girl can physically change her location, but her heart remains in the place she has called home for the years past.

Folk speech
Proverbs

What comes around goes around.

“What comes around goes around.”

 

My informant first heard this proverb actually told to him a couple of years ago when he was sixteen years old.  He had been having fun while two-timing two girls, but eventually they found out about his infidelity.  A few months later after he cut his ties with both girls, he wanted to start fresh and leave that incident behind him.  When he was introduced to another girl who was from Fullerton, CA through a friend, he was extremely smitten with her.  Unfortunately, unbeknownst to him, he had become a notorious topic among the girls.  The girl completely ignored him and appeared disinterested.  His friend later that night told Andrew that she already had heard the rumors about him and had said about him, “What comes around goes around.”  She had no guilt in snubbing him because he deserved it for his past wrongdoing.

This idea of karma is interesting because people feel relieved from the sense of justice.  Your transgressions will always come back to haunt you.  I do believe that what goes around comes around.  Conversely if you do beneficial activities, your goodness will somehow be rewarded later.  I believe this proverb has the intention of promoting good behavior while discouraging bad behavior.  I hear this proverb often in dealings with romantic relationships; when someone breaks another’s heart, that someone is bound to have his or her heart broken, too.  I tie in this proverb closely with another one: “What goes up must come down.”  Both advise that your actions have consequences in the future.

Annotation: This proverb is the title of the popular song by American singer Justin Timberlake, “What Comes Around Goes Around.”

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