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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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POINT INDEX FINGER IN AIR AND TWIRL IT. WRIST CAN
ALSO BE TURNED AT THE SAME TIME.
INFORMANT SAID THIS MEANS "KEEP THE CARNIVAL GOING."
ALSO SAID THAT HE LEARNED ABOUT IT IN A BOOK.

Data entry tech comment: ALSO MEANS "WHOOPEE" IN A MOST UNENTHUSIASTIC WAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; CHEMISTRY BUILDING

Keyword(s): SARCASM

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Mock sympathy and mock enthusiasm

Date learned: 10-27-1970

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RUBBING THUMB ACROSS FOREFINGER SYMBOLIZING
"MY HEART BLEEDS FOR YOU."
RUBBING FOREFINGERS ACROSS EACH OTHER:
THE LITTLEST CELLO IN THE WORLD ACCOMPANYING
THE LITTLEST VIOLIN IN THE WORLD PLAYING:
"MY HEART BLEEDS FOR YOU."
MOVING THUMB AND FOREFINGER TOWARD AND AWAY FROM
EACH OTHER:
MITCH MILLER DIRECTING THE LITTLEST VIOLIN AND
CELLO IN THE WORLD PLAYING "MY HEART BLEEDS FOR YOU."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): SARCASM

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Mock sympathy and mock enthusiasm

Date learned: 00-00-1971

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MOCK SYMPATHY

BY HOLDING THE ARMS AS IF ONE IS PLAYING THE
VIOLIN, ONE CAN INDICATE MOCK SYMPATHY.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Mock sympathy and mock enthusiasm

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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WHEN SOMEONE IS COMPLAINING ABOUT HIS BAD LUCK OR
MISFORTUNE, OFTEN ONE WILL RUB HIS INDEX FINGER
AND THUMB TOGETHER LIGHTLY, AND REMARK, "DO YOU
KNOW WHAT THAT IS? IT'S THE WORLD'S SMALLEST
VIOLIN PLAYING "HEARTS AND FLOWERS" FOR YOU.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): SARCASM

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck
SPEECH -- Mock sympathy and mock enthusiasm

Date learned: 03-00-1971

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A GESTURE MEANING THE INVERSE OF SYMPATHY: WET ONE
FINGER TIP (RIGHT HAND TO LEFT EYE) IN THE NEAREST
WATER SOURCE, BUT NOT YOUR MOUTH, AND THEN PROCEEDING
TO PUT A FALSE TEARDROP IN YOUR EYE. VERY SARCASTIC.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Lansing

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Mock sympathy and mock enthusiasm

Date learned: 00001960S

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THIS GESTURE IS MADE BY RUBBING THE THUMB AND FOREFINGER
TOGETHER. IT IS USUALLY ACCOMPANIED BY THE LINE, "THIS
IS THE SMALLEST VIOLIN IN THE WORLD PLAYING MY HEART
CRIES FOR YOU." IT IS USED AS A FORM OF MOCKERY
AND WOULD APPLY TO A PERSON GIVING YOU A HARD LUCK
STORY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WESTLAND

Keyword(s): SARCASM

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck
SPEECH -- Formula
SPEECH -- Mock sympathy and mock enthusiasm

Date learned: 09-15-1969

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PLAYING THE WORLD'S SMALLEST VIOLIN WITH THE FORE-
FINGER OR INDEX FINGER RUBBING BACK AND FORTH
ACROSS THE THUMB FOR MOCK SYMPATHY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN HEIGHTS

Keyword(s): SARCASM

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Mock sympathy and mock enthusiasm

Date learned: 11-00-1970

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RUBBING THE THUMB AND INDEX FINGER TOGETHER SIGNIFIES
THE SMALLEST RECORD PLAYER IN THE WORLD, PLAYING
THE SMALLEST RECORDING OF "MY HEART BLEEDS FOR YOU."

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Keyword(s): SARCASM

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Mock sympathy and mock enthusiasm

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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THIS IS A GESTURE WHICH I USED TO OBSERVE IN MY HOME
TOWN OF LANSING {MICHIGAN}. THE FOREFINGER OF ONE
HAND IS DRAWN BACK AND FORTH ACROSS THE THUMB OF
THE SAME HAND. IT IS SUPPOSED TO REPRESENT THE
WORLD'S SMALLEST VIOLIN PLAYING "MY HEART CRIES FOR
YOU." IN OTHER WORDS, IT IS USED AS AN EXPRESSION
OF MOCK SYMPATHY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Lansing

Keyword(s): SARCASM

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Mock sympathy and mock enthusiasm

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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THIS IS A GESTURE WHICH I USED TO OBSERVE IN MY
HOME TOWN OF LANSING {MICHIGAN}. THE FOREFINGER
OF ONE HAND DESCRIBES A CIRCLE ON THE THUMB OF THE
SAME HAND. IT IS SUPPOSED TO REPRESENT THE WORLD'S
SMALLEST RECORD PLAYER PLAYING "MY HEART CRIES FOR
YOU." IN OTHER WORDS, IT IS AN EXPRESSION OF
MOCK SYMPATHY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Lansing

Keyword(s): SARCASM

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Mock sympathy and mock enthusiasm

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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WHEN SOMEONE TELLS A STORY TO SOMEONE ELSE IN ORDER
FOR THE OTHER PERSON TO FEEL SORRY FOR THE PERSON
WHO IS TELLING THE STORY, THE PERSON WHO IS BEING
TOLD THE STORY MAKES LIKE HE IS PLAYING A VIOLIN
AND IS SARCASTICALLY SAYING THAT "MY HEART REALLY
BLEEDS FOR THE PERSON."

Where learned: PORT CHESTER ; NEW YORK, ASSUMED

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Mock sympathy and mock enthusiasm

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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WHEN SOMEONE TELLS YOU A SOB-STORY YOU RUB YOUR INDEX
FINGER AND THUMB TOGETHER AND ASK THEM IF THEY KNOW
WHAT IT MEANS. THEN YOU TELL THEM THAT IT'S THE
WORLD'S SMALLEST VIOLIN PLAYING "MY HEART BLEEDS
FOR YOU."

Where learned: GARDEN CITY ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Keyword(s): SARCASM

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Mock sympathy and mock enthusiasm
SPEECH -- Games Riddles Jokes
RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 00-00-1968

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A GESTURE MEANING THE INVERSE OF SYMPATHY. THE GESTURE
MEANING "I'M PLAYING THE WORLD'S SMALLEST VIOLIN FOR
YOU." THE GESTURE ITSELF IS GIVEN BY RUBBING YOUR
LEFT THUMB ON YOUR FIRST FINGER WHILE HOLDING THAT
HAND SLIGHTLY ABOVE SHOULDER LEVEL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Body parts involved
SPEECH -- Mock sympathy and mock enthusiasm

Date learned: 08-00-1967

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PLACING THE HAND OVER THE HEART MEANS SYMPATHY OR
CLOSE CALL FOR ESCAPE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 602 Body Parts
SPEECH -- Gesture
SPEECH -- Mock sympathy and mock enthusiasm

Date learned: 01-23-1971

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TWIRLING THE FOREFINGER IN THE AIR IN A CIRCULAR
MOTION TO DENOTE FALSE ENTHUSIASM.

Submitter comment: I HAVE OBSERVED THIS GESTURE FROM A LOT OF PEOPLE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 602 Body Parts
SPEECH -- Mock sympathy and mock enthusiasm

Date learned: 10-30-1971

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showing 15 items

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