Put some salt in it


Although she is from Vietnam, my informant attends college in Finland. When I interviewed her, she was at USC for a semester abroad. Even though she has been living in Finland for the past few years, the folklore she is familiar with is very strongly influenced by her Vietnamese upbringing.


Below is an example of folk speech that she uses. (picture of text in Vietnamese attached)


Translated, it means “Add some salt into it.”


My informant uses this phase when amongst her Vietnamese friends, after a particularly bad joke.

What she means with this phrase is that the joke was bland, or “tasteless”. It’s taken good-naturedly by her friends, who respond in kind when she makes jokes that weren’t funny.


My informant said that one of her American friends has also adopted this phrase. Instead of using it in Vietnamese, however, he uses the English translation. She finds this amusing, but is also perplexed that there was no English equivalent.