Pretended Obscene: That’s What She Said


University of Southern California

USC Rugby

International Relations

Italian, Arabic, English

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

27 April 2011

Folk Speech- That’s what she said…

The context.

So I was having my head shaved by CG, my roommate, in a chair on our porch. While he was shaving my head, I stated, “make sure you rub it (the clippers) back and forth…that’s how you finish the head.” As soon as I said this, I realized the situation I had set myself up for. And sure enough, CG responded with, “That’s what she said!” We sat in silence for a second before he stated, “Sorry dude, I had to do it.” When prompted, CG stated that he understood that what he said was supposed to be a sexual innuendo. He explained that he couldn’t really remember when he first heard it or started using it, but that it was sometime when he was in middle school.

Looking at “That’s what she said,” I can definitely state that it is a form of folk speech under the specific category of the pretended obscene. The whole purpose of saying it is to make a relatively benign statement into something inherently sexual. In no form should it be taken as sexist or offensive. I have often heard woman say, “That’s what she said.” I too, recall that it was incredibly popular during my middle school and high school years. During this period, it was not uncommon to hear it on a weekly basis or more.