In melee (Super Smash Brothers Melee, a game by Nintendo) you have 4 stock lives. There’s a player named Johnny who has a habit of playing poorly—he overall is just mediocre and then suddenly you’re just dead.

“So is Johnnystock like the first two lives where he plays poorly?”

No. It’s just like when someone suddenly kills you. Like out of nowhere.

Informant & Context:

My informant for this piece is an active member of the competitive Super Smash Brothers Melee community, which has been active since 2001. He has attended multiple tournaments and watched others on live stream web sources such as Twitch and Youtube.


This is the first piece of folk speech in video games I’ve recorded that isn’t an insult. Since it is mostly used in verb form (to be Johnnystocked) it serves the purpose of lauding the Johnnystocker rather than chastising the Johnnystocked individual. This is an example of folk speech arising as a manifestation of the actions of those at the center of the community (the professional players).