Residence: New York City
Date of Performance/Collection: 3/14/12
Primary Language: English
The informant is a friend from high school. He originally created the expression “girl with the look” on one of the first days of senior year when he saw a girl he was very attracted to. He didn’t know her name so he just called her the girl with the look. The expression quickly became a kind of inside joke within our friend group and rather than ask each other who we were interested in at school, we might ask who each other’s girl with the look was. The expression expanded out a little and other people at our school started using it, too. Another variant is “girl with a look” meaning simply a girl you’re attracted to, whereas “girl with the look” implies infatuation at first sight almost. For girls and gay guys, “guy with the look” also became a thing, though it was never used as much.
My informant liked the expression because it was a way to refer to someone without using a name, which kept it kind of secret and exclusive to those that knew what was being talked about. It kept the discussion within the friend group and also bonded us together by having our own phrase. I like it for the same reasons. Because it started out in one group, it created a sense of community and exclusivity within the group. And even though it’s a new piece of folklore, it did grow to have multiplicity and variation.