Category Archives: folk simile


We’re All Off like a Herd of Turtles

Main piece: When we’re all leaving but we’re kind of late, someone will say “we’re all off like a herd of turtles”. But my family intentionally mispronounces it, so they say “we’re off like nerd of nerdles” or “we’re off like a turd of hurdles”. Background: My informant is a twenty-year old woman from Richardson,… Continue Reading »

As Smart As Bait

Overview The informant is 50 years old and from Riverside, California. She describes a saying popular in her fishing-obsessed family: “as smart as bait”.  Context As stated, the informant grew up with a father who took her fishing frequently. He was the main perpetrator of this saying, jokingly using it during fishing trips. However, it… Continue Reading »

Miss Mary

Background The informant, Chase, is the brother of the interviewer. She grew up in Chicago, Illinois where he currently resides.  Context Chase tells the interviewer about a childhood rhyme they would sing on the playground. Transcript  “So this rhyme you would sing to your friends on the playground. It was always funny as kids because… Continue Reading »

Chinese Enigmatic Folk Similes

Background: A friend and I were talking about the COVID-19 situation in the US. She mentioned that at late February, when COVID started to spread in the US, some people bought masks and sent them to Wuhan, China to support the medical workers there. She brought up this common saying: Main piece:  泥菩萨过河——自身难保 Pinyin: ni… Continue Reading »