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The folk term “dongle” requires a bit of history. When the iPhone 7 came out, Apple announced that they had removed the headphone jack from the bottom of the phone. To work around this, they sold adapters that would allow people to plug headphones into their new iPhones. The folkspeech that refers to these adapters was described to me by a friend outside of a party.

“A dongle now is, is referring to the dongle that allows you to listen to music with your regular, like, three, like your regular eighth inch adapter, your aux adapter into your iPhone, which doesn’t have that port anymore. And if it were called adapter, people would just, it would, it would sort of be a normal thing. But because it’s like, ‘Aw, man, I don’t have the dongle with me,’ or something, like, ‘I can’t listen to music now.’ It’s just like, I think it really is a derogatory – or at least it has a bad connotation to it.”

“The word ‘dongle’ to me has always been adapter. I don’t know when it started. Uh, I’d say that the connotation of dongle, as opposed to adapter, is negative, right? Like a dongle is sort of like something that is like unwieldy, that you don’t wanna be carrying around.”

Failing to Prepare Is Preparing to Fail

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”

This proverb was told by a classmate after our class had ended. I asked him to describe a proverb that he liked.

“Okay, so my proverb is, uh, ‘failing to prepare is preparing to fail.’ Um, I use it a lot ‘cause I think preparation is key in order for you to succeed. And I think I apply that not, not only to work and school but also to sports, ‘cause the more we practice and the more we train, uh, the better will…the outcome will be.”

It Makes Sense If You Don’t Think About It

“It makes sense if you don’t think about it.”

This folk phrase was said by a friend during class. This example is somewhat different from the others because the performer did not know it was folklore. He noted:

“I legitimately thought I made it up.”

“I mean, like, it’s probably from somewhere else, but just like subliminally messaged.”

Here is another example of this phrase, used ast the title of an article:’t_Think_About_It.htm

It is somewhat of a parody of a different common phrase: it makes sense if you think about it. This variation refers to things that only make sense in general terms, and stop making sense under scrutiny.


This folk belief was described by a friend and bandmate as we were finishing a rehearsal. I asked her to tell what she knew of the origin of horoscopes. Horoscopes are the belief that one’s birth date associates them with certain stars and planets, and that personality traits are given through this connection.

“Like, okay, so once upon a time someone was like, ‘Yo, homie, isn’t it weird that all these people who are born at the same time, or like, in the same general time period, have very similar attributes about them?’ And his friend was like, ‘Dude, agreed. I’ve definitely noticed that.’ And so they went off the, the stars. There wasn’t much else to do back then. Everyone’s like, ‘Oh my god, Galileo is great,’ but what else did he have to do, besides look at the sky? Um, anyway, I digress. So, that happened. A few hundred years later, someone else was like, ‘Aw, shoot, we forgot one.’ So they added in another horoscope which threw off the entire thing, and I don’t know why everyone was just cool with that. ‘Cause that means a whole group of people weren’t the zodiac that they thought they were. So um, there’s that. Um, I’m an Aeries.”


This folk term refers to the “free Lyft” given by USC at certain hours. Lyft is a popular ride-sharing app, and USC partnered with them to give free rides to students to help prevent drunk driving. My friend and bandmate mentioned the term at a rehearsal. I asked her when she had first heard this word. ‘A’ refers to my friend, and ‘B’ refers to me.

A: Um, I started hearing it my first, like, week here at USC. As a young fresh. Um…

B: And it’s just USC campus that you…

A: Yeah. I’ve used it other places, and no one knows what I’m talking about. Or I’ll talk, like, “Oh yeah, I was at this party and then I Fryfted home.” And they’re all like, “What the hell…is a Fryft?”

This implies that the term is only used locally, by people who use USC’s free Lyft. Here is an article that uses this USC-centric slang: