19 Comments

  1. Quoting Walt Kelly (as declaimed by Mis’ Sis Boombah):

    Oh, roar a roar for Nora,
    Nora Alice in the night,
    For she has seen Aurora
    Borealis burning bright.

    A furore for our Nora,
    And applaud Aurora seen,
    For where throughout the summer
    Has our Borealis been?

  2. Hoo roar a roar for Alice!
    Nora Alice! Borealis!
    A roaring Borealis is our Nora, sorry sight!

    I don’t believe someone besides me can recite that.

    In my memory, I thought it was recited by Churchy though. Maybe he used it twice.

  3. Add me to the list of folks here who can recite the original two verses from memory, but you’re right that I couldn’t do the “Hoo roar…” version.

    Didn’t remember who recited it in the strip, though. (I think/thought it was one of the incidental one-off poems in one of the compilation collections, rather than appearing in a storyline, and if so could be most anyone. Well, not Grundoon or Fremont, Boy Bug, obviously. . . .)

  4. And speaking of reduplication, anybody’s writing of a car’s life story would be an auto-biography; their own self-account might have to be an auto-autobiography. (Not sure where hyphens can go though.)

  5. @ Mitch4 – On that one, I don’t understand the caption, unless it’s a simple matter of “youse” being NY/NJ slang. I think the dialog might have been enough of a pun, even without the label.

  6. @Kilby – Yes, I think that’s exactly what it presupposes.
    Obviously, those forms are not universal for NJ residents. But think “Jersey Shore” and other popular samples.

  7. I think of “youse” as an Italian/Brooklyn stereotype. Not wanting to make this political, but how is that okay but a joke about, say, an Asian stereotype a big taboo?

  8. Sorry, answered too quickly. The non-dialog caption is going in a different direction, referencing the kind of cattle associated with the Channel Isle of Jersey. But the depicted scene is about a character from New Jersey, as you observe.

    It would take more expertise than I bring to examine the skin pattern and horns style and say whether this character could really be identified as a Jersey.

  9. Mark M:

    There are a number of factors here. First, that many people from Jersey (or Brooklyn, whatever) often actually say “youse”. It’s a real phenomenon. Second, that the trait in question is not used by a dominant culture to belittle or shame people who have it. Third, that we have numerous examples of people with the trait playing it up or making fun of it themselves, while we simultaneously have few instances of anyone taking offense to jokes about same.

  10. Ewesage of youse is far wider than Italian/Brooklyn if, as in this case, it’s ewesed as a plural, according to Wiktionary:

    – Yous(e) as a plural is found mainly in (Northern) England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, northern Nova Scotia, parts of Ontario in Canada and parts of the northeastern United States (especially areas like Boston where there was historically Irish immigration) and in Mexican-American communities in the southwest. It also occurs in Scouse.

    – Yous(e) as a singular is found in Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Cincinnati [1] and scattered throughout working class Italian-American communities in the Rust Belt.

  11. Is the Jersey cow a dude or a lady? If it’s a lady, is she hitting on them at a lesbian bar, or is she just checking in with the gals, assuming they’re female as well? (Yes, “ewe” is female, but so is “cow.”)

  12. Also there is a TV series on the Motor Trend channel called “Auto/Biography” that profiles a particular car with a mysterious past. The stories are not told from the car’s perspective, however.

  13. I suppose one could explain to a younger person unsure of the meaning of “autobiography” (the traditional kind) that it is basically “long written selfie”.

  14. People are troubled by “you” meaning one person and also two or more people so they try to make a plural version of you – such as “you’all”. In NY they took the dose (meaning those – a pronunciation that my late dad explained to me comes from the Dutch who stayed when New Amsterdam became New York) and you and to make a plural of you. You is one person, youse is more than one. Sometimes it is further expanded as “youse guys”

    Are you going to tell me that my dad lied to me? Again.

  15. @ Meryl A – I don’t know the etymology, but a similar term is used for “plural you” in Pennsylvania: “yins“.

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