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Love Joe Floggers? So Don't I! (minicast)
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2009/02/02
4:46am
San Diego, California
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Time to solve another linguistic mystery.

Listen here:

[audio:http://feeds.waywordradio.org/~r/awwwpodcast/~5/7ivayNDx6L0/090202-AWWW-so-dont-i-minicast.mp3

Download the MP3 here (1.3 MB).

To be automatically notified when audio is available, subscribe to the podcast using iTunes or another podcatching program.

You’re in a restaurant. You overhear a conversation at the next table. The woman says to her friend, “You know, I just love the taste of joe floggers.” And her dining companion replies enthusiastically, “Joe floggers? Oh, so don’t I!”

Okay, so where would you likely to hear people talk about the joys of joe floggers?

Well, chances are you’d probably be in…New England, most likely coastal Massachusetts or Maine. There “joe flogger” is a name denoting a variety of culinary treats. It may be a pancake stuffed with plums, or it may be a kind of doughnut. They’re sometimes known as joe froggers or simply frogs. And, as is typical with many food names, “joe frogger” also does double duty as the term for yet another confection: a large, molasses-flavored cookie.

So how about the enthusiastic expression “So don’t I!“? This odd construction actually expresses agreement, not disagreement. For example, someone might say, “I like ice cream,” to which you’d reply, “So don’t I!” meaning “I do, too!”

It’s been called “the Massachusetts negative-positive.” But the truth is that “So don’t I!” is found in pockets throughout New England. And its origins remain a puzzle.

Speaking of puzzles, I’ll be back with another linguistic mystery next time. In the meantime, I’d love to know what regional expressions jumped out at you the first time you heard them. Email me at words@waywordradio.org.

Want to try baking your own batch of joe froggers? Here’s a recipe.

2009/02/04
12:13pm
barbridg
Vancouver, BC
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Umm Umm Good.  This episode really took me back to my New England childhood.  It made me curious about the name, though, and I found a wonderful history of the “Old Joe” who gives these cookies the Joe part of their name.   Well worth reading.

http://www.legendinc.com/Pages/MarbleheadNet/MM/Articles/BlackJoe.html

2009/02/05
11:48am
San Diego, CA
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Hi, barbridg. Thanks for the link. Wish I could go there and investigate personally. Did you ever have “Sir Switchels”? That was a new one on me.


2009/02/19
1:42pm
Lychee
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When I first read the synopsis of this episode, I sputtered, “Flogger? It's Frogger for heavens sake!” I felt a tad sheepish when you went on to mention “frogger”. I grew up in Marblehead and was always told it was a closely gaurded townies-only recipe. I had no idea they were available anywhere else or had other names. They were a very popular cookie of my childhood, along with hermits (which I disliked cause they had raisins in them).

The other part of this episode that gave me pause was the “so don't I” bit. I had never realized how odd that must sound until you mentioned it. I literally paused mid-step to consider if I used that phrase (I do). I mentioned it to my co-worker (a transplant from Florida) and while we figured I must have used it before, it doesn't sound odd until you actually point it out. Funny that.

Enjoyable as always, thanks guys!

"If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague"
2009/02/19
5:29pm
San Diego, CA
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Lychee, you just made my day. This is exactly what I love about looking at regionalisms — the fact that “So don't I” could sound so natural to you, and so weird to, well, me. I'm still smarting over Yankees laughing at me when I talked about “tumping” something over! :-)

I'm not familiar with hermits. What are they, exactly?

2009/02/19
8:55pm
dilettante
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Hermits are a soft cookie, generally (but not always, I guess) made with molasses, spices, and raisins.

I never thought of them as a regional specialty.

2009/02/19
10:18pm
Lychee
Salem, Ma.
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here's a link for recipes for both the Joe Froggers and the hermits I remember

http://www.recipelink.com/mf/1/5862

"If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague"
2009/02/20
12:31am
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my mom used to make “frogs on logs”

This involved cutting a circle in the center of a bread slice and spilling an egg inside.
The single slice open center sandwich is sautéed until the white has solidified.

©
2009/02/20
1:42pm
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Matt,

A family at church call your frogs on logs, “bird(ie) in a nest.”

Emmett

2009/02/20
5:34pm
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Well, that makes sense since it’s a bird egg.
A bit like boil a calf in it’s mother’s milk.
My mom comes from Iowa but I don’t know where she picked up “frogs on logs”.

©
2009/02/23
8:48pm
ward
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In Rhode Island, An egg fried in a piece of bread is called a “poke in the eye”

Ward

2009/05/17
7:02am
ookpik
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Thank you…as a New Yorker now living in coastal New England, I’ve been startled by “So don’t I!” on many recent occasions. (And I just discovered “A Way with Words.”)

I also wanted to note that (like most people probably) I usually just nod and click without really registering the language upon receiving a “cookies must be enabled to view this” error message. It did, however, catch my attention to get that pop-up when I clicked on the link to the hermits and Joe Froggers recipe!

2009/05/18
3:22pm
San Diego, CA
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Frogs on logs? Birdie in a nest? A poke in the eye?

Wow, who knew? I first heard of that cooked-egg-in-a-slice-of-bread thing, it was a “pirate’s eye,” and it was an expression used by a family that had moved to Kentucky after living in Florida and Washington, D.C.

2009/05/18
3:24pm
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Ookpik, glad to hear you confirm the “So don’t I!” locution. I’ve only read about it. Oh, and we once had a caller to the show who was amused by her husband’s use of it. But otherwise, I’ve not heard it used in everyday conversation. (Where in coastal New England, btw.)

And LOL about the cookies.

2013/01/20
7:36pm
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The egg in the center of a slice of bread was “toad in a hole” when my grandmother made them for me. She would carefully fry the cut-out circle as well, and use it as a little cover over the “toad.”

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