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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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ITALIAN TAUNT

DEGO THROUGH SNOW, DEGO THROUGH MUD,
AND WHEN DEGO FLAT,
DEGO WOP, WOP, WOP.

Submitter comment:

HE WAS IN MY ROOM EARLIER IN THE SEMESTER AND WE GOT TO
TALKING ABOUT TAUNTS AGAINST ITALIANS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): DEROGATORY SLANG FOR ITALIAN: WOP, DEGO ONOMATOPOEIA

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Verse in Other Group of Folklore C800.329

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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YOU SWEEP WITH A BROOM,
YOU MOP WITH A MOP,
BUT WHATEVER YOU DO,
DON'T MARRY A WOP.

Submitter comment:

THIS WOMAN, WHO WISHES TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS, PERMITTED
ME TO COLLECT THESE VERSES FROM HER AUTOGRAPH BOOK.
THE VERSES WERE ENTERED BY HER HIGH SCHOOL CLASSMATES
IN 1939.

Where learned: MICHIGAN, ASSUMED ; WYANDOTTE

James Callow Keyword(s): DEROGATORY TERM=WOP (FOR ITALIAN)

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Chimney corner wisdom, advice, humorous fortune

Date learned: 00-00-1939

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VERSE

THERE WAS A LITTLE NIGGER,
AND HE WOULDN'T GROW NO BIGGER,
SO THEY PUT HIM IN A PEANUT SHELL.

Where learned: OHIO ; YOUNGSTOWN

James Callow Keyword(s): DEROGATORY SLANG

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Narrative Verse

Date learned: 00001950S AND 00001960S

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WOP JOKE

QUESTION; WHY CAN'T AN ITALIAN SURF? ANSWER; BECAUSE HE'S WOP-SIDED

Submitter comment:

SINCE I'M ITALIAN SHE ENJOYED TELLING THIS ONE VERY MUCH. HER EYES
GREW AND A BROAD SMILE COVERED HER FACE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; RIVERVIEW

James Callow Keyword(s): SLANG DEROGATORY

Subject headings: ITAL
RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 01-00-1974

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Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

A MAN, WISHING TO BE A POLAK, WENT TO A DOCTOR. HE TOLD HIM OF AN
OPERATION WHEREBY TAKING OUT TWENTY FIVE
PERCENT OF YOUR BRAINS,
YOU WILL BECOME A POLAK. THE MAN AGREED TO IT AND THE OPERATION TOOK
PLACE. TWO WEEKS LATER, THE MAN RETURNED TO HIS DOCTOR. "HOW'S THE
OPERATION?" ASKED THE DOCTOR. "MAMA MIA SOMETHING WENT WRONG!" HE
REPLIED. EVIDENTLY THE DOCTOR REMOVED SEVENTY FIVE PERCENT OF HIS
BRAINS AND TRANSFORMED HIM INTO A DAGO.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): DEROGATORY SLANG

Subject headings: ITAL
BELIEF -- Poli

Date learned: 09-22-1972

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UGLY

UGLY AS SIN
ANOTHER WAY OF SAYING THAT A PERSON IS UGLY IS TO SAY THAT HE OR
SHE IS 'UGLY AS SIN'

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT LEARNED THIS FROM HER FRIENDS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

James Callow Keyword(s): DEROGATORY ; INSULT

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

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SAYING

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL AND PEOPLE WOULD GIVE THINGS AND TAKE THEM
BACK, THE CHILDREN WOULD SAY,
DON'T BE AN INDIAN GIVER.

Submitter comment:

I LEARNED THIS SAYING IN ABOUT 1950, IN DETROIT, MICHIGAN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

James Callow Keyword(s): DEROGATORY TERM ; FUNCTION ; RACISM

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula
PROVERB -- Blason Populaire
PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

Date learned: 05-12-1965

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A NEGRO STORY

A LITTLE JUNGLE BUNNY (NEGRO) WAS PLAYING WITH HIS
CHEMISTRY SET. SUDDENLY, IT EXPLODED AND MADE HIS
SKIN TURN WHITE. HE RAN IN THE HOUSE SCREECHING FOR
HIS MOMMY. SHE WAS COOKING AND DIDN'T LOOK AT HIM.
"GO 'WAY. GO BOTHER YO' DADDY FO' WHAT YOU WANTS."
HE RAN TO HIS DADDY. HE WAS WATCHING A BASEBALL GAME
AND DRINKING BEER. HE DIDN'T LOOK AT HIM. "I'SE
BUSY. GO BOTHER YO' MOMMY. GO 'WAY." THIS MADE
THE BOY MAD. "I'SE ONLY BEEN WHITE FO' FIVE MINUTES
AND ALREADY I HATES NIGGERS."

Submitter comment:

HARRY HEARD THIS STORY IN A DEARBORN BAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): DEROGATORY TERM ; RACISM

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Formula tale

Date learned: 11-00-1967

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THE ALLIGATOR

THIS GUY WALKS INTO A BAR WITH AN ALLIGATOR. HE SAID
TO THE BAR KEEP, "DO YOU SERVE NIGGERS?"
BAR KEEP, "YES."
"GIVE ME A BEER AND A COUPLE OF NIGGERS FOR MY
ALLIGATOR."

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT HEARD THIS JOKE WHILE HE WAS EMPLOYED AT
THE FORD MOTOR COMPANY DURING THE SUMMER OF 1964.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): DEROGATORY TERM ; RACISM

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote

Date learned: 07-00-1964

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ON PLYMOUTH ROAD THERE IS AN OLD CLOSED UP SANITARIUM
AND PEOPLE SAY IF YOU GO DOWN THERE AT NIGHT YOU CAN SEE
THE NUTS WALK AROUND INSIDE AND YOU CAN SEE PLATES WITH
SANDWICHES AND VASES WITH LIVE FLOWERS. PEOPLE SAY NUTS
STILL COME BACK THERE BECAUSE THEY LIKED IT SO MUCH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): DEROGATORY TERM=NUTS ; INSANE PEOPLE

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 04-05-1972

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ITALIAN VULGAR GESTURE

THE ITALIAN GESTURE EQUIVALENT TO THE AMERICAN
"FINGER" (THE CENTER FINGER OF THE LEFT HAND POINTED
UPWARD) WHICH MEANS "FUCK YOU" IS TO STRIKE THE LEFT
ARM JUST ABOVE THE ELBOW WITH THE FIST OF THE
RIGHT HAND. THE FOREARM (LEFT) SWINGS UPWARD.

Where learned: ITALY

Keyword(s): DEROGATORY TERM ; INTERCOURSE

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Derision Scorn
Filter - Mature Content

Date learned: 00001969 FALL

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SCREW JOB

AN ITALIAN GESTURE FORMED BY CLENCHING FIST WITH ARM
IN A POSITION SIMILAR TO AN ARM IN A SLING. THE
WHOLE ARM IS THEN JERKED BACK AND SLIGHTLY OUTWARD.
THIS SIGNIFIES THAT SOMEONE HAS SCREWED ME OR
JEWED ME.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Keyword(s): DEROGATORY TERM

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Derision Scorn
PROVERB -- Blason Populaire
Filter - Mature Content

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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STUPID NUT--PUTTING THUMB ON NOSE AND TWITCHING FINGERS.

Submitter comment: FROM FRIEND.

Where learned: HOSPITAL

Keyword(s): DEROGATORY GESTURE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
SPEECH -- Foolishness Stupidity Insanity

Date learned: 11-05-1967

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Ethnic Joke: Italian

Two old friends are at an airport, watching theplanes land and take off. Suddenly, one says to the other, "Hey! I bet you $25.00 that the Pope is aboard that plane!" The other guy, thinking that he has a safe bet says "you're on!" They watch the plane land, and sure enough, the red carpet rolls out to meet the plane and the Pope walks out! Later, as they guy pays off his debt, he asks, "How in the world did you know that the Pope would be on board?" "Simple," replied the other. "The plane was marked T.W.A., and as we all know, that means Top Wop Aboard!"

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs and BN added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Submission Card located in pile marked To Be Classified.

Italian, Ethnic

Where learned: DORM ROOM

Keyword(s): AIRPLANES ; Airport ; Bet ; DEROGATORY ; DEROGATORY TERM=WOP (FOR ITALIAN) ; ETHNIC JOKE ; ETHNIC SLUR ; Gamble ; JOKE ; Pope ; Stereotype

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- C566
Filter - Mature Content

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Ethnic Joke: Black

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

Ethnic (Black) Joke

5 Men are on the moon. Because of rocket engine trouble, only 4 can come back to Earth. The captain of the ship proposes a question to be asked to each of the men. If they answer correctly, they return to Earth. If not, they will be left there. He asks the first: "What was the worst sea-going accident of all time?" The crew man replies"The sinking of the Titanic." "Good!" the captain replies. "You have a place with me on the ship." He comes to the second crewman and asks, "how many people died on that ship?" The crew man answers "about 1100 people, sir." "Good!" The captain says. "You have a place on the ship with me." He comes to the third crewman and says "allright nigger, name 'em!"

(Obviously, he didn't make it...)

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs and BN added by TRD

James Callow comment:

The word Negro is written in the top left hand corner of the submission card.

Submission card was located in a pile labeled To Be Classified.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; DORM ROOM

Keyword(s): DEROGATORY ; DEROGATORY SLANG ; Distasteful Jokes ; ETHNIC JOKE ; ETHNIC SLUR ; MOON ; NEGRO ; NIGGER ; RACISM ; Stereotype ; Titanic

James Callow Keyword(s): NEGRO

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- C566
RIDDLE -- W566
Filter - Mature Content

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Entry filtered.

Ethnic Joke: Black

Ethnic (Black) Joke:

Did you hear about the accident on the Lodge Freeway Yesterday?

A colored guy stuck his head out of the window while travelling 60 mph, and his lips beat him to death!

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs and BN added by TRD

James Callow comment:

The word negro is written in the top left hand corner of the submission card.

Submission card was located in a pile labeled To Be Classified.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT INFORMANTS HOME

Keyword(s): AUTOMOBILE ; DEROGATORY ; DEROGATORY SLANG ; Distasteful Jokes ; ETHNIC JOKE ; Freeway ; NEGRO ; RACISM ; Stereotype

James Callow Keyword(s): NEGRO

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- C566
RIDDLE -- W566
Filter - Mature Content

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Entry filtered.

Ethnic: Chinese

Chinese Fire Drill:

When a light turns red, somebody yells "Chinese Fire Drill" and everybody piles out of the car and runs around it and gets back in.

Submitter comment:

I was told this by a group of friends who had attended Roosevelt High School in Wyandotte, MI. (1966-68). In 1969 I participated in such a drill.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

BN [F536] written again above the original BN of the same classification. Nothing is crossed out, although it looks like there may have been something erased underneath the original BN. (The second instance may be for clarification purposes.)

Where learned: Myself

Keyword(s): AUTOMOBILE ; CHASING GAME ; Chinese ; DEROGATORY ; ETHNIC ; GAME

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

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Entry filtered.

Ethnic Joke: Black

Negro:

Excited negro bank bandit says "OK you mudder stickers, this is a fuck up."

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs and BN added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Submission card located in a pile marked [?]

Where learned: BUFFALO ; NEW YORK ; Collection

Keyword(s): Black ; DEROGATORY ; ETHNIC ; HUMOR ; Language ; NEGRO ; Offensive ; SLANG ; Stereotype ; TONGUE TWISTER

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Ill humor Ridicule Mockery
Filter - Mature Content

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Entry filtered.

Ethnic Joke: Newfoundland

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

A minister is walking down the street of a small community in Newfoundland and runs into a drunk.

Minister: You shouldn't drink so much - you'll never get to heaven that way.

Drunk: I bet I'll get to heaven faster than you will.With that the drunk drops dead in the street and a few days later the minister passes on. The minister finds himself in Hell and asks the Devil for a reconsideration. The Devil lets him make a phone call to heaven to ask why he is in Hell.

Minister: Hello, is this Heaven?

Voice: Yes, this is Mary.

Minister: The Blessed Virgin Mary?

Mary: No - not since that Newfie came up here.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs and BN added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Submission card located in pile marked [?]

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): DEATH ; DEROGATORY ; DRUNKENNESS ; ETHNIC ; Icons ; Innuendo ; Minister ; Newfoundland ; RELIGION ; SEX ; VIRGIN MARY

James Callow Keyword(s): Newfoundland

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Ill humor Ridicule Mockery
Filter - Mature Content

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Entry filtered.

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE NEW CEREAL "QUEERIOS?"
YOU POUR ON THE MILK AND THEY EAT THEMSELVES.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD on 12-21-2010

Where learned: Massachusetts

Keyword(s): DEROGATORY ; Homophobia ; HOMOSEXUAL ; HUMOR ; JOKE ; Off-Color ; Stereotype

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote
Filter - Mature Content

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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