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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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BLASON POPULAIRE

ON TURNPIKES THERE ARE LONG BUMPS ACROSS THE ROAD TO SLOW
MOTORISTS DOWN. THESE ARE CALLED CHINESE STOP SIGNS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): FUNCTION ; OBSERVATION ; OBSERVATION ; PRECAUTION ; SAFETY

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Vocabulary
PROVERB -- Blason Populaire

Date learned: 11-19-1968

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BLASON POPULAIRE

ON TURNPIKES THERE ARE LONG BUMPS ACROSS THE ROAD TO SLOW
MOTORISTS DOWN. THESE ARE CALLED CHINESE STOP SIGNS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Vocabulary
PROVERB -- Blason Populaire

Date learned: 11-19-1968

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PIDGIN ENGLISH IN LIBERIA

JUST NOW: RECENTLY, SOON
DASH: GIFT
MOON: MONTH
MEAT: ANYTHING ANIMAL
LOCK: CLOSE, SEAL
LEF: LEAVE IT ALONE
PASS: FATHER, MORE THAN
PART: OWNERSHIP OR POSSESSION
FOR: TO
SOFTLY: QUIETLY
SMALL: FAIR SIZED
PLAY: PARTY OR CELEBRATION
FREN: FRIEND
PROPER: REALLY
VEX: ANGRY, ANGER
CHOP: EAT
NUN : NO
YEA: YES
SORRY: REGRET
IT FINI: THE END,

Where learned: LIBERIA

Subject headings: Favorites
SPEECH -- Vocabulary

Date learned: 00001960S

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LIBERIAN VOCABULARY

LIBERIAN FOLKLORE IS A FASCINATING TOPIC. THIS
RELATIVELY UNEXPLORED AREA OF OUR CULTURE HAS BEEN
ALMOST TOTALLY IGNORED BY SOCIAL SCIENTISTS INCLUDING
ANTHROPOLOGISTS. THIS IS PRIMARILY BECAUSE OF BELIEFS
ABOUT AFRICANS.
THESE LIBERIAN VOCABULARY COLLECTIONS THAT I HAVE GATHERED HERE
NEITHER CLAIMS LITERARY EXCELLENCE NOR AN
ENTRANCING THEME, RATHER, THEY PROFESS FIDELITY.
THE FIDELITY THAT THE VOCABULARY PROFESSES IS TO THE TRUTH.
ALSO, IT IS A DESIRE TO CALL ATTENTION TO CERTAIN QUAINT
AND INTERESTING PHASES OF THE INNER LIFE OF A MUCH
MISUNDERSTOOD SOCIETY AND RACE.
IN COMPILING THESE VOCABULARIES, THE PRIMARY GOAL
HAS BEEN TO MAKE THEM ACCESSIBLE TO ENGLISH READERS.
FINALLY, IT IS MY HOPE AND BELIEF THAT THEY WILL
RETAIN AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE OF OUR NATIVE GRACE AND QUAINTNESS.
BLOW _ BREATHE
BUG_A_BUG _ WHITE ANTS
CONK_ STRIKE
DEH _ THERE
DOO _ DOOR
DASH_ PAYMENT
HANGRY _ FAMINE
HEEN _ HIS
LAY_ LIED
LAY _ LIKE
MAH _ MOTHER
OONAH _ YOUR
PICKEY _ CHILD
SABEE _ HIGHLY EDUCATED
SABEE _ SELFISH
TEM _ UNTIL
VEX _ ANGRY
WEY _ WHERE
YA _ PARDON
ZUIT _ DRESS

Submitter comment: THESE VOCABULARIES ARE NOT SPOKEN BY THE AVERAGE
LIBERIAN CITIZENS. THEY ARE FREQUENTLY HEARD AMONG
THE SECTOR OF OUR COMMUNITY WHO ARE ILLITERATE.

Where learned: LIBERIA ; MONROVIA

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Vocabulary

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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PASTIME

THE FOLLOWING IS A VERSE SUNG AND PLAYED BY YOUNG CHILDREN. IT IS
ASSOCIATED WITH VARIOUS HAND MOTIONS WHICH ARE PLAYED AGAINST A
SECOND PERSON'S BACK. MM
GOING ON A TREASURE HUNT
X MARKS THE SPOT.
DOT, DOT, DASH, DASH, QUESTION MARK.
POKE HER HERE,
POKE HER THERE.
CLIMBING UP THE LADDER,
STEP BY STEP,
GUSHING THROUGH THE MUD.
COOL OCEAN BREEZE.
TIGHT SQUEEZE.
AND NOW YOU HAVE THE CHILLS.

Submitter comment: THIS VERSE WAS FIRST HEARD BY THE COLLECTOR IN 1976 FROM A GRADE
SCHOOL AGE SISTER. THIS IS USUALLY CONSIDERED A PASTIME. HOWEVER,
WHEN THE OBJECT IS TO GIVE THE PERSON THE CHILLS, A GOAL IS
ESTABLISHED AND SUCCESS DEPENDS ON ITS ACHIEVEMENT. THE HAND
MOTIONS CORRELATE TO THE LINES SUNG. HERE, GUSHING IS AN EXAMPLE
OF AN ONOMATOPEIA.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; USA ; SOUTHGATE

James Callow Keyword(s): ONOMATOPEIA: GUSHING

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Children
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Athletic sport and exercise Gymnastics
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse Game Verse
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
SPEECH -- Vocabulary

Date learned: 10-00-1980 ; 06-00-1976

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Y'ALL, YOUS, YOU GUYS.

Submitter comment: EACH OF THESE IS LOCAL SAYINGS FROM DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE COUNTRY.
Y'ALL COMES FROM THE SOUTH, YOUS IS COMMON IN THE UPPER PENINSULA AND
YOU GUYS IS COMMON IN THE MIDWEST.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Vocabulary

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A NUN'S STORY

ONE DAY A FIRST GRADE TEACHER TOLD HER CLASS THAT ALL
THE NUNS AT THE CONVENT WERE GOING TO AN INSTITUTE THAT
WEEKEND. ONE PARTICULAR LITTLE GIRL WENT HOME
AND TOLD HER MOTHER THAT ALL THE NUNS WERE GOING
ON AN "INNOCENT TOOT."

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- School
SPEECH -- Vocabulary

Date learned: 06-00-1964

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YOU'RE SO UGLY, YOU PUT THE "U" IN THE WORD.

Submitter comment: AN INSULT LIKE THIS IS CALLED A "CAP." CK[ DOG

James Callow Keyword(s): DOG

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Vocabulary
SPEECH -- Formula

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WHITE CASTLE'S HAMBURGERS ARE CALLED SLIDERS. AND CONEY
ISLAND CHILI DOGS ARE CALLED BELLY BOMBS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Vocabulary

Date learned: 00-00-1985

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GRANOLAS

GRANOLAS ARE A TYPE OF PEOPLE THAT ARE CLASSIFIED BY THE
LEVELS OF GRAINS (1-5). YOU MUST HAVE THE QUALITIES OF THE
PREVIOUS GRAINS TO GO ONTO THE NEXT LEVEL.
THE FIRST GRAIN WEARS HIPPIE-TYPE CLOTHES (BAGGY SKIRTS AND
LOTS OF PAISLEY), HAS LONG HAIR AND TALKS ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL
PHILOSOPHY AND PEACE.
THE SECOND GRAIN IS SOMEONE WHO PLAYS "THE INSTRUMENT" (THE
GUITAR). OR RIDES A MOUNTAIN BIKE IN SUBZERO DEGREE WEATHER.
THE THIRD GRAIN IS ANYONE WHO IS IN A GREEN PEACE ORGANIZATION
SUCH AS GREEN PEACE.
THE FOURTH GRAIN IS SOMEONE WHO LIVES BY THEMSELF IN A SHACK
IN THE MOUNTAINS.
THE FIFTH GRAIN TALKS ENVIRONMENTAL PHILOSOPHY THAT IS "OVER
THE HEAD" OF ANYONE OTHER THAN ANOTHER 5 GRAIN GRANOLA.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS REFERRED TO BY THE FRIEND AS "WESTERN SLANG."

Where learned: LETTER ; ALASKA ; FRIEND

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Vocabulary

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"SQUIDS" IS A TYPE OF TEENAGER WHO LISTENS TO ALTERNATIVE
MUSIC. THEY HAVE LONG BANGS THAT HANG IN THEIR FACE. THEY
RIDE SKATEBOARDS AND HANG OUT IN KELLOG PARK IN PLYMOUTH,
MICHIGAN. THE FEMALES USUALLY DON'T RIDE SKATEBOARDS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; LIVONIA

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Vocabulary

Date learned: 00-00-1986

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"BURNOUTS" LOOK LIKE THEY'RE STILL STUCK IN THE 70'S.(LONG
GREASY HAIR, THE FARA FAUCET LOOK, RATTY HEAVY METAL T-SHIRTS,
AND REALLY DIRTY JEANS JACKETS). THE FEMALES WEAR "CHINTZY"
OR RATTY FUR COATS, HEAVY MAKE-UP AND SMOKE A LOT.
"CHINTZY" MEANS CHEAP LOOKING OR TACKY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; LIVONIA

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Vocabulary

Date learned: 00-00-1981

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A "DWEEB" OR A "NERD" IS A TYPE OF TEENAGER. IT USUALLY
REFERS TO MALES, BUT THEY CAN ALSO BE FEMALES. THIS TYPE OF
PERSON IS KNOWN FOR SOCIAL INEPTNESS. THEY ARE INTROVERTS
AND USUALLY VERY GOOD IN ACADEMICS. THEY READ CONSTANTLY. THEY
DON'T MESH WELL WITH THE MAIN SOCIAL STREAM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Flint

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Vocabulary

Date learned: 00-00-1982

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A "HICK" IS A TYPE OF PERSON.
1. IT IS USUALLY REFERRED TO SOMEONE IN TEENAGE YEARS
OR OLDER. THEY ARE MOST KNOWN FOR THEIR SOUTHERN SMALL
TOWN MORALS AND MANNERISMS. THEY USUALLY
HAVE A SOUTHERN
ACCENT (THO THOSE IN THE NORTH HAVE A LESS NOTICEABLE ONE).
MOST SOCIAL FUNCTIONS THEY HAVE INVOLVE BEER. THEIR VIEWS
VARY FROM CONSERVATIVE TO RADICALLY CONSERVATIVE.
2. SOMEONE WHO IS BEHIND IN CURRENT VIEWS IN SOCIETY. SOMEONE
WHO LIVES IN A RURAL SETTING.

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Vocabulary

Date learned: 00-00-1985

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Rabbit Track Stew

Down South when a husband is sent out hunting and doesn't get
anything (usually because he got drunk instead of hunting) he
will come home and ask his wife if she can make dinner with
rabbit tracks because that's all he could catch. Also,
rabbit track stew is what people eat when times are tough
and there's not enough food.

Where learned: VIRGINIA, ASSUMED

James Callow Keyword(s): non-food

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Work Commerce Business
Food Drink -- Meat Wild animal
SPEECH -- Vocabulary

Date learned: 00001975CA

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Chin Tickler

I remember this little game my grandmother played on my face
and head. She would knock on my head and say, "head knocker", then
touch my eyes and say, "eye peepers," then pinch my nose and say,
"nose blower," then place her finger on my mouth and say, "mouth
chopper" and tickle under my chin and say, "chin tickler."

Submitter comment: The two of us would continue the little game, laughing until
one of us would finally give in due to stomach pain from laughter.
I did the same with my children.

Where learned: Grandmother

James Callow Keyword(s): Names for body parts

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Athletic sport and exercise Gymnastics
SPEECH -- Vocabulary

Date learned: 00001950S

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ALL-Y, ALL-Y, OUTS IN FREE.

Submitter comment: FROM A CHILDHOOD GAME OF "IT."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Hiding Searching
SPEECH -- Vocabulary

Date learned: 00-00-1971

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IN ANSWER TO AN ADVERTISEMENT IN THE NEWSPAPER, I CALLED
TO INQUIRE ABOUT A REFRIGERATOR THAT WAS FOR SALE.
WHEN I ASKED THE OWNER IF THERE WAS ANYTHING WRONG
WITH IT, HE REPLIED, "NO, I JUST WANT TO GET SHED OF IT."

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Vocabulary

Date learned: 07-00-1964

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NEVER TICKLE A BABY'S FEET BECAUSE WHEN IT STARTS TO TALK, IT
WILL STUTTER.

Where learned: WEST VIRGINIA ; SALEM

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Feet, toes, toenails
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Birth
SPEECH -- Vocabulary

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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IT'S SNOWING DOWN SOUTH IF YOUR SLIP IS SHOWING.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): EUPHEMISM ; Garment ; Modesty ; SLIP ; SNOW ; South

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Vocabulary

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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