Author Archives: John Barrett

Milking the Cat

Informant:

Davis is from Newport Beach, California and enjoys surfing.

Original Script:

Davis: “Dude, stop milking the cat.”

Context:

When someone feels like they are being led on or lied to.

My Thoughts:

Davis said that this is similar to the saying “Stop yanking my chain.” Coming from southern California myself, I thought that I had heard every type of folk speech here, but I apparently have not. This shows that not only is foreign folklore unfamiliar to me, but I guess that even folklore from my culture can be unfamiliar.

Eggy

Informant:

Davis is from Newport Beach, California and enjoys surfing.

Original Script:

Davis: “The term ‘eggy’ basically means that someone is kind of strange or weird. A lot of people in my area sometimes even call a party ‘eggy.'”

Context:

When referring to something as odd.

My Thoughts:

Growing up in southern California myself, I have heard this term a few times, but it meant something different. I always thought that it meant that something is awesome, similar to the term that is commonly used “sick.” This shows that sometimes one folk term can mean more than one thing.

Davey Crockett – The Savior of Tennessee

Informant:

Clarke is from Nashville, Tennessee and considers himself “one of the biggest fans of his hometown in the world.”

Original Script:

Clarke: “Davey Crockett was from eastern Tennessee, like in the mountains, and people say that he fought a bear when he was a kid. But anyway, during the Alamo, when Texas was fighting for their independence, Davey Crockett was the guy who rallied all the troops from Tennessee, which is why we’re called the volunteer state. Also, even though many people died, Crockett is said to be the spirit of Tennessee because he is someone who helped people in need.”

Context:

This story is a way to inspire Tennessee pride in its citizens.

My thoughts:

For some reason, I am almost jealous that Tennessee has an awesome fictional hero. California does not have such figure to look up to, which I think keeps us from having as much pride in our state as those in Tennessee. Hopefully, one day California will have someone to stir up its citizens to be proud that they live there.

Sirop d’Érable: Maple Syrup Popsicles

Informant:

Tim Marino is a nineteen year old student at USC from Calgary, Alberta. He currently plays on the USC hockey team.

Original Script:

Tim: “Usually they bring out these, like, long rectangular tables that they pack snow on, and then they’d, like, pour maple syrup in lines and stick popsicle sticks on the end. Then after a while, they would harden and become, like, syrup popsicles.”

Context:

Winter sweets.

My Thoughts:

It is very interesting to me how desserts, and food in general, of different places are slaves to the world in which they are created. For example, this kind of icy syrup treat would never be invented here in Southern California because there is no snow here. This is truly why different cultures have foods that differ in so many ways

Brick

Informant:

Matt is from Staten Island, New York and currently attends USC.

Original Script:

“It’s so freaking brick right now.”

Context:

When someone from New York wants to say that it is cold outside.

My Thoughts:

I always find it fascinating when I hear people from other areas use slang words that I have never heard. Finding out why a word takes place of another one does not always make sense at first, but after Matt explained that “in New York, the cold can hit you like a brick.”