The original language and script: Munte cu munte nu se-ntâlnește, dar om cu om se-ntâlnește.
The original is represented in Roman form as a Romanian proverb
The transliterated proverb: Mountain with mountain does not meet, but man with man meets
The fully translated proverb: A mountain doesn’t meet a mountain, but a man meets a man.
H: My mum always told me mountains do not meet but people do. I tell that to people till this day.
The informant communicated that this saying is one that always gives them hope of seeing someone again. That their paths will cross again for them to come face to face. It’s a reminder, for most, of how small our worlds really are. We are more connected than we know.
Y: New York is just one of those places where when it’s cold… it’s COLD cold. But in New York, we don’t say it’s cold outside, we say it’s brick outside.
This is definitely one of those slang terms that is practically branded by the region that uses it. It’s possible that the reason New Yorkers use the word “brick” to refer to the drops in temperature is that it’s extremely telling of what city it’s from. During the development of New York, and up to this day, the vast majority of the buildings were made out of brick. If you’ve ever touched the side of a brick house during the winter months, you’d know that the material absorbs the surrounding temperature. In fact, however cold it is outside, bricks usually feel ten times colder. However, the further you get from the general city area, the more buildings you’ll see made out of brick. That being said, it’s possible that this slang term is generally used by New Yorkers who live in a more suburban area like the Bronx or Queens, for example.
K: Every time you can tell someone is just straight-up lying or exaggerating over a situation, they’re sicing it. Sice is just slang for excited or exaggerated. It’s almost like lying but not quite. They’re just making a bigger deal out of what’s really going on. So whenever I hear someone just being overly dramatic, I tell them to stop sicing it up.
DMV= DC, Maryland, Virginia
For the DMV area, this is a very popular slang term. According to the context given by K, it’s safe to say that the culture associated with this region definitely has strong feelings towards dramatic actions. This isn’t something that is at all tolerated which says a lot about how important full honesty is for this group. It’s a good thing to speak your truth but save yourself the embarrassment of being called out for any obvious embellishments.
M: There was this running joke at USC about this weird dude named Nikolay. No one knew who he really was and no one had proof that he even existed. But this became the focus of a lot of USC jokes on twitter and on this app called Herd. People would post random pictures from memes and be like “meet Nikolay”. There was this one time when Fluor Tower flooded and people on Herd would say Nikolay is to blame. I can assure you this man does NOT exist but it’s just funny to refer to him during any situation. His entire existence is just a meme.
Above is an example of a student referencing Nikolay on Herd. Herd is an anonymous social media app that was designed specifically for college students to speak their minds on any topic they choose. Many USC memes either emerged from this app or made its way onto the platform via Twitter or Facebook. The existence of Nikolay has not been proven nor disproven by any means which makes it more of a USC legend. Nikolay has been a central focus in USC meme culture. Only those who indulge in USC meme culture would be familiar with him. This is a way for USC students to pull each other’s legs. It also says something about youth culture and their humor. It’s apparent that the funniest jokes are the ones that make no sense at all.
G: You can’t say Macbeth during any rehearsals or theater-related entourage. I think this has something to do with the play being a huge tragedy. When my high school teacher explained this to me he said: “well it’s because by the end of the play everyone is dead.” And you have to run 5 laps around the entire theatre if you or someone else says it to get rid of the bad energy. One time my theatre teacher said it during rehearsal and then he fell through the stage.
According to the informant, saying “Macbeth” puts a curse on the entire production and cast. It seems that so many people believe this because there have been true accounts of accidents or unfortunate events after saying it. Some are even lethal as the informant explained that their teacher fell through the stage and hurt himself almost immediately after saying it. There also seems to be damage control measures put in place to protect theatrical productions against the curse as the informant mentioned taking 5 laps around the theater. It’s possible that the violent nature of the play is what has caused the superstitions and concerns. Macbeth is all about death and destruction so it’s understandable why this play is now seen as a dark symbol. I have personally experienced bad luck during a show after a cast member said the words. As a result, a number of things went wrong on opening night. People forgot their lines, made the wrong entrances, forgot their props, costumes broke, etc… It was disastrous. In conclusion, whether the superstition is true or not, it is best to not refer to the Scottish play.