Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Verb on! "Ba-rock" the vote

Alongside the evil press he's gotten for his name, many people have talked about the happy coincidences of Barack Obama's name. The city of Obama, Japan is wild about him, I gather. He's also popular in Germany and that's led to a positive dialect joke.*

But those don't really help him with elections here too much. More useful is the now-familiar chant "ba-rock the vote!"** This morning, after Obama's North Carolina victory, one of our contributors just passed along this, from someone in North Carolina:
The Old North State "Ba-rocks" the vote.
That's kind of nice because I've generally heard it just as an imperative but this looks like it's passing into more complete verbhood.***

*For those who know German: Sagt die Mutter zu ihren zwei Kindern: Kennt ihr amoll niewan nochba geeh und froong obama an aama laaia koo? (German: könnt ihr einmal zum Nachbarn hinüber gehen und fragen, ob er mir einen Eimer leihen kann.) Darauf die Kinder unisono: Yes, we can.

**See also the version with lit-crit parentheses: "(ba-)rock the vote".

***Yes, obscure reference to the long-forgotten notions of nouniness and verbiness intended.


Breffni said...

Are you sure "obama" means "bucket" in that joke, and not "ob er mir" (whether he me-DAT)? If that's right, then "an aama" would be "einen Eimer", a-ACC bucket. That reading seems to parse more like standard German.

Mr. Verb said...

Oh my. You're completely right. I got the joke forwarded a while back and recalled that the attached note (from a native speaker) had a gloss. But, yes, you're right.