Barb Jones, Georgia, Battle Creek discussed on A Way with Words: language, linguistics, and callers from all over


We were talking earlier about the expression to bang in sick or to bang out of work. And it made me think of all those terms grant for skipping school too or skipping out of something. You know, in South Africa and India, they say bunking and bunking in the UK sometimes you're wagging or you're keeping your swagging. You're scathing. Scything? Yeah, that's another one. And in Ireland, you say I'm mitching. Lots of different ways to get out of class. We'd love to collect some more of these. Send us yours words at wayward radio dot org. Hello, you have a way with words. Hi. You're talking with barb Jones. From Battle Creek Michigan. Hi, barb. I wanted to tell you a little story about what I was for. There was a young cousin that was in her 20s that came to visit from Georgia. It was near my birthday, and of course big four years old, I was so excited and I said, I'm going to have a birthday and she said, I know she says, I'm going to give you a box with 5 handles. Well, being four years old, I was so excited because in my mind, I could imagine a box big enough to have 5 handles on it, you know? And I hadn't gotten a big birthday present before. So when my birthday came, I was anticipating her coming over with that box at the time that she said it, I remember my aunt and my mom kind of giggling a little bit. But I thought nothing of it being that young. So my birthday came and went. And she didn't come by, but she did come by the next day. And I said, close my box with 5 handles. And she's said, here, Leia across my lap, and she had a little hairbrush and she thanked me 5 times. You know, a spanking that's what they used to do sometime. I mean, it wasn't anything that heard. 5 times because it was my birthday. And of course, she rewarded me by taking me to the ice cream store, getting me a big old rainbow sherbert cone and but I was so disappointed and I really think I was traumatized from that. Yeah, slide in the world with that saying come from a box with 5 handles. A box with 5 handles was a hand, the handles were each of the 5 fingers, and the box was the shape of the fist. It forms kind of a square. It looks like a box, yeah. So it goes back to the 1870s. It does really almost. I've never, I have never heard it before and a haven't heard it since, but it stuck in my head all these years. I'm interested that you said that she was from Georgia because we see this expression in a lot of the folklore from the southeast talking about a box with 5 handles, meaning, you know, a hand in 5 fingers swamping upside the head. Oh my goodness, that is amazing. Well, my mom being from Georgia. Yeah, I've also seen a box with 5 nails, which you can imagine, you know, 5 fingers with 5 nails. Clearly, oh, I have never heard any of those. But do you feel better now, barb? Now that you I know you will remember that ice cream with great fondness. Well, yes, it was a great, I had never had a big rainbow sherbert ice cream beach. Cone before. So that was kind of cool, but that's still currented my brain for the rest of my life. And that was actually in the 1950s. So I've had that in my head for a long time. Barb, thank you for sharing your story and your memories. We really appreciate it. Thank you. Take care now. Bye bye. All right. Bye bye. Our team includes senior producer Stephanie Levine, engineer and editor Tim Felton, and quiz guy John Chanel. We'd love to hear from you, no matter where you are in the world, go to wayward radio dot org slash contact. Subscribe to the podcast here hundreds of past episodes and get the newsletter at wayward radio dot ORG. Whenever you have a language story or question, our toll free line is open in the U.S. and Canada, one 8 7 7 9 two 9 9 6 7 three, or send your thoughts to words at wayward radio dot org. Away with words is an independent production of wayward Inc, a nonprofit supported by listeners and organizations who are changing the way the world talks about language. Special thanks to Michael breslauer, Josh eccles, Claire rotting Bruce rogo, Rick sidon worm and Betty Willis. Thanks for listening. I'm Martha Barnett. And I'm grant Barrett until next time, goodbye. Bye.

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