The informant is a sophomore studying Film Production at USC.

Main Piece:

“Yeah, we usually call things by like, their names, but I guess it’s not technically their names either… like how those fresnels are ‘tweenies’ or ‘baby baby’ or something. Oh, you know what’s the stupidest one? C-47s. Like, I just want to know who came up with that one, it’s so dumb.”


I asked my informant about any specific terms they’ve heard on film sets. The “C-47s” that the informant mentions is jargon for clothespins on film sets. Fresnels are a specific type of light.


This is an example of occupational folklore. To an outsider, using these terms may be confusing, but within film sets, this jargon is generally standard knowledge, though there are variations depending on regions. In usage, one would generally hear jargon in a conversational setting (eg. “Can you hand me a C-47?” “Can you set up a tweenie?”) There are a variety of stories and reasons why the word “C-47” is used for clothespins, probably the biggest one is that it’s much shorter and more informal to use. Personally, I think the word itself is a bit pretentious (and the informant also mentions that), but people will generally still throw around the term because it’s more in use.