Thursday, March 20, 2008

Speaking of homework...

I am taking an American Folklore class. It's more than Paul Bunyan and Pecos Bill, we just finished a unit on food folklore in America.

Anyway, now we're studying family folklore and I just finished reading the chapter in my book on family expressions.

Here is an excerpt as an example:

" 'My shoes are too big!': This expression started when my brother came in drunk one night, and my mother asked him why he was walking funny. It's an excuse for anything now."

Basically, theyre expressions that sprout from one (usually humorous) incident. I was trying to think of some from my family, here's what I came up with.

1)Mom told us younger kids stories of when John was little and he liked to disassemble things, like tape recorders. Mom would have to put the tape recorder up on the top shelf. When John wanted it, he would say, "Quarter down?" I remember hearing that used in refrence to something we wanted, but probably shouldn't get.

2)After we moved to Rhode Island, we came back to California for a visit. Emily was with us for the day, part of which was spent at the LA temple. Mom and Dad were doing a session, and Will, Dave, Emily and I were left in the rental car with all its new bells and whistles. We had a bag of goldfish, which Emily cached in the center console, and dubbed it the "watery grave". Now every center console is the watery grave.

3) John came home after playing Balderdash with some friends and started calling our cat, "Brotus." "Hey, Brotus!" he'd say. After a while, we started calling each other Brotus in greeting. The word actually means, "Something extra, thrown in for free" and I'm not sure that we can claim it as a "family expression", but I'm pretty sure there are less than five other families in the United States that know what the word means, much less use it in common conversation.

Alright, reader, now its your turn. I dare you to think of some family expressions in your home (or childhood home) and write them down. If you like, feel free to respond here with them, or on your own blog. Have fun!