“So, dreydl. It’s like this Jewish game that you play for the holiday of Hanukkah. And you spin a little top and it lands on one of four things, uh, which is either the letters gimmel, nun, shin, or hey. Uh, on a gimmel you take all of the money that’s in the pot, on a hey you get half of it, on a shin you put some of yours in, and on a nun you get nothing. And you take turns until someone gets all the money. It’s usually played with fake money called gelt, it’s chocolate and it kinda tastes bad, but like that’s the game. The letters…I don’t know what the Hebrew is, but it translates to a great miracle happened there, and there means Jerusalem.”
Note: The letters are:
נ – nun
ג – gimmel
ה – hey
ש – shin.
The Hebrew phrase is נס גדול היה שם, which is pronounced as “Nes gadol hahah sham.” It means what he said it means.
“The Game? Like “I lost the Game?” It sucks and it’s stupid. Basically, if you think about the Game, you lose the game, and you can’t win. But if someone loses the Game, they have to announce that they lost the Game and then everyone else around them hates them because they also lose the Game and it sucks.”
Thoughts: This is a fun bit of children’s folklore. Almost everyone I know has heard of The Game, so I did some digging online about the origins. According to Wikipedia, it probably originated in England or Australia, sometime during the 20th century.
“Okay, so there was some Rabbi in Prague in like, fucking not this time but like the 1600s or some shit probably? Uh, and you know people in eastern Europe weren’t super fond of Jews all the time right, so he was like “I gotta protect my people,” so he built this giant like clay dude and he speaks the name of God in it’s mouth, and you know, ‘cause that’s how…that’s how robots work. And so the Golem came to life and he just kind of like helped out all the Jews in Prague doing like basic tasks and chores. Uh, until like…there’s different versions of the story, but I think one of the versions is he just straight up murdered a child, so the rabbi was like “Oh we gotta get rid of this dude” and so now he doesn’t exist anymore.”
Note: There are many versions of this myth. In the one I grew up hearing, the golem had the Hebrew word for truth inscribed on it’s forehead and was made to go to sleep by changing the word to the Hebrew word for death. Universally though, the golem went on a murderous rampage and was permanently put down and laid to rest in the attic of a temple, which you can still visit today. I do think this story says a lot about the behavior of the Jewish people through history — we have to help ourselves, but not at the cost of doing harm.
“When I went to admitted student day back as a senior, and there was like this panel of like upperclassmen getting ready to graduate and they were doing a Q&A…and they said that there was like a room somewhere that they go to specifically to do the applications each year to read them and then before we graduate they’ll take us to that room and be like “oh this is where you were chosen” or something like that.”
Context: This was an addendum to a different piece of screenwriting folklore, which is that each student was chosen by a “champion”, a specific professor.
Thoughts: This is an interesting addition to the larger piece of folklore (which you can find elsewhere on the archive). It makes sense that there is a singular room that admissions are done in if they’re actually fighting over students. It really does add to the cult-like feeling of such a small major.
“You guys know the phrase that if you meet someone from the internet in real life you say “I like your shoelaces, where did you get them from?” “I stole them from the president.””
Thoughts: I managed to find the real post that this originated from:
I believe I have used this in real life in the mid-2010s. Deeply embarrassing stuff. However, beginning in 2018 and continuing through today, this phrase has taken on a more meme-like or ironic meaning. This phrase is no longer used to identify other internet users, but to mock people who once used it. In my mind, that makes this really emblematic of the culture shift as more and more people got onto social media, as well as the general growing up of the folk group who once used it and subsequently realized it was childish.