Tag Archives: occupational folklore


Lawyer joke

My friend and classmate Pauline told me the following joke, which she learned from her dad, who is a lawyer: “It was so cold outside today that earlier, I saw a lawyer with his hands in his own pockets.” This joke relies upon the stereotype that lawyers are greedy and corrupt, and the metonymic use… Continue Reading »

Toots The Gaseous Ghost

Informant (L.P.) is an 18 year old student. I had heard her enthusiasm for telling ghost stories the week before, and this one stood out. L.P. works at a local novelty shop. This interview is conducted at my house one Saturday evening. I ask about the ghost in her workplace, which she had mentioned during… Continue Reading »

The OJ Simpson Metaphor

The informant (A.H.) comes from a Black Christian family. A.H. does not identify with Christianity. Now well retired from the game at 54 years old, A.H. played football in the NFL from 1983 to 1987; first drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles, then transferred to the Seattle Seahawks, and finally the San Francisco 49ers. Since then… Continue Reading »

Lawyers in the Ocean

Informant: What do you call a group of a hundred lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? Informant: A good start. The informant (my dad) is a particularly self-deprecating lawyer. While he does take pride in his work, he often admits that he only went to law school because his father had been a lawyer, and the… Continue Reading »