Jinx! You owe me a __


Jinx! You owe me a soda


My information is from a childhood friend of mine. 

A friend of mine explains this phrase as something that would occur between two people, after saying the same thing at the same time. They mostly heard this phrase during elementary school, and they believe it is something that children mostly say rather than adults. They mention that “jinx” on its own is bad luck, therefore making saying “jinx” to possibly cancel it out.

My interpretation and Analysis:

This phrase above is folk speech and also a game that is not necessarily “started” by anyone in order to play, but rather something known and unspoken. In my interpretation it can also be seen as children’s folklore. Based on Jay Mechling’s writing, from Oring’s book on children’s folklore, they may often form games while hanging out or by being in school settings. Children tend to establish a person in power while playing games, and in this case whoever says “Jinx” first is a “winner”. Although I don’t necessarily think that the “loser” or the “jinxed” has to give the winner a soda. It seems more as satisfaction of winning a simple game instead of getting something in return. I interpret “you owe me a soda” as just a possible consequence that someone could add. I believe this because the simpler version of Jinx is not letting the loser talk for a while, which doesn’t require a physical prize and further emphasizes on the unspoken part of the game of Jinx. But overall, these different variations that could stem from “Jinx” seem to mostly rely on how fast you could say it.