Tag Archives: folk phrase

Winning or Losing, English or Japanese, just shout “Let’s Go, Justin!”

Main Performance:

Not pictured/heard: The audience absolutely losing it

NC: I think it was in 2004 that happened, you know Moment 37

YJ: The Daigo parry?

NC: Yeah and you hear someone in the audience go, “Let’s go Justin!”

YJ: What about it?

NC: I was studying tech on the videos on twitter last week and saw someone shout it during another tournament match.

YJ: So?

NC: It was in Japanese, dude. There wasn’t even a guy named Justin playing, they just say that whenever something exciting happens.


The informant is my friend, NC, who I have spent an inordinate amount of time together with playing fighting games and going to tournaments around the country with. The particular bit he heard was from a twitter-video. The Moment 37 and Daigo parry that was mentioned refers to a particular match between two incredibly talented fighting game players Justin Wong, representing America and Daigo Umehara, representing Japan. Both their characters are at incredibly low life and Daigo’s character is a slight breeze from losing the match, even blocking an attack would lose him the round. Justin Wong realizes this and goes in with a super-move, a 15 hit attack that will surely kill Daigo’s character, as someone else in the background shouts “Let’s go Justin!”. Instead of dying however, Daigo’s character performs a frame perfect parry, pressing the buttons at the exact time Justin’s character lands their kicks on his own character. 15 frame perfect parries later, Justin is defeated and the crowd, who at this point were already losing their minds, erupts in an an even louder cheer.


I asked NC if there were any “cultural” phenomena within our preferred entertainment medium and we recalled an exchange we had about this particular incident a couple years ago.

My Thoughts:

Even when Justin Wong was the one who lost the match in a spectacular fashion and even when there could possibly be no Japanese person traditionally named Justin in Japan, the phrase itself has gained an iconic status even among the Japanese who were in attendance watching the match in 2004. It feels hilarious to me that the name in the phrase was inconsequential to the emotions that were present when the phrase was uttered. Moreso than ever with the proliferation of internet culture and archived footage of old events, new generations of video-game players can see with their own eyes of what happened in years past. However, the expansion of social media and owned content as also made it so that longer videos of events are not often caught on camera and while it is easily shared between others some content or entire accounts with videos become terminated for a variety of reasons such as proper ownership and the likes. Moment 37 has since become a legend on its own where something of its difficulty in a tournament setting has not been replicated since and the rising industry of E-sports has seemingly come to “own” these types of content. Daigo hismelf and his story beyond this single moment has been published into a serialized comic book series.

For anyone curious: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzS96auqau0

“Hotty Toddy” Ole Miss Greeting

Main Piece: 

Informant: Hotty Toddy is a saying that represents an Ole Miss rebel. 

Interviewer: What does the phrase mean? 

Informant: Hotty Toddy is a rallying cry, an identifier as to who you are and who you support, it crosses boundaries in ways that only sports and the unconditional love of a team or a college can. If you say Hotty Toddy you are showing your support for the Ole Miss Rebel community

Interviewer: When did you first use or hear the phrase? Do you still use the phrase even though you are no longer a student at Ole Miss?

Informant: I heard the phrase when I first attended Ole Miss and started using it immediately and felt connected to the community. And yes of course! I scream hotty toddy when I am excited or cheering on or complimenting a friend. I will continue to use the phrase for the rest of my life!

Interviewer: When was the last time you said Hotty Toddy or encountered the phrase? 

Informant: Recently in NYC I heard a stranger yell “Hotty Toddy” my way when wearing an Ole Miss hat. I yelled it back and felt an immediate connection. This made the large city feel smaller because I knew my Ole Miss family extended to NYC as well. 

Background: The informant shares that she learned the saying from peers and word of mouth from her time studying at Ole Miss. She explains the phrase represents a community around the school. The phrase is used as a greeting. She used the phrase as a student and continues to use the phrase in different scenarios. 

Context: The information was collected between informant and interviewer as an interview recalling times the phrase was used. The informant is a recent graduate to Ole Miss and recalls using the phrase numerous times. 

Thoughts: This saying “Hotty Toddy” has varied meaning and is used in many different scenarios. The phrase is used as a greeting, cheer, or secret message. “Hot Toddy” has changed over time. The first documented evidence of the phrase (then written as “Heighty! Tighty!”) appeared in a November 19, 1926 copy of the student newspaper, The Mississippian. Although originated in sports, the saying has expanded beyond sports and campus connecting the Ole Miss community in weddings, funerals, on social media platforms, and every day life. 

“Zumped” Quarantine Folk Phrase

Main Piece: 

Informant- Last night I was zumped. My boyfriend and I hadn’t seen each other for a few weeks due to quarantine. He invited me to a zoom meeting last night and I was unsure what he needed. On the zoom he then explained that he was dumping me! Over zoom! 

Background: The informant recalls an interaction with her boyfriend where she was ‘zumped’. She used this word in a casual scenario combing the words zoom and dumped. This word and her phrasing poked fun at the odd scenario of being dumped through a video app. 

Context: The informant is a young adult, 22 years old and lives in New York City. Above are the words from the Informant using the phrase Zumped. She used this phrase in a casual conversation recalling the events from the night before. 

Thoughts: The combination of the word Zoom and Dumping is an interesting way for people to bring some humor to an odd scenario. This time of quarantine is very liminal, allowing for many new adaptations of folklore. This new phrase ‘zumping’ is popular because couples who can’t quarantine together are being forced to go their separate ways. This liminal time period has introduced many uncertainties and testing intimate relationships forcing them to communicate through zoom. 

“Yeki bood, yeki nabood”

My friend Panteha is of Iranian descent on her dad’s side. She recalls a phrase in Farsi that her dad would always use to begin stories or fairy tales he told her as a kid.

The phrase is, in the original Farsi:
یکی بود یکی نبود

It is transliterated as “Yeki bood yeki nabood,” which roughly translates to “once there was one and once there wasn’t one.” This phrase is used in essentially the same manner in which many english speakers use “once upon a time” to begin folk narratives, particularly tales. Although these phrases have different literal translations, they serve the same purpose: to establish the fantastical or fictional nature of a folk narrative.