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Way Back
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Topic Rating: +3 (3 votes) 
2012/10/25
7:39pm
Dick
Fort Worth, TX
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RobertB said
Are you sure the other via is the same?

There are not two definitions of via.

RobertB said
It's a neat way to say 2 families converge to Wyoming from Indiana and South Dakota. But this wouldn't sound right: My family's 2 sides are from Texas via Bangkok and Tokyo. Maybe does too.

In the first sentence I would prefer "converge at Wyoming"  but I can not really say why. The rest is correct indicating two places where their journey began and one place where it ended.  Via is not used because there is no indication of route or method of travel.

The second sentence could be correct if their final destination was Texas, and Bangkok and Tokyo were cities on the route.  It would be clearer if a beginning point were given.  However, if Bangkok and Tokyo are supposed to be two separate beginning points that "converged" at Texas, then "via" should not be used because the route is not indicated, only the beginning and end.

2012/10/25
9:00pm
Scott B.
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As kids in the 70's, we used to argue over who got to ride in the way back.  I was talking about that with my mom recently, and she commented that you'd be arrested these days for piling kids into a vw beetle like she did all those years ago.

 

I was reminded to respond to Grant's request for comments on this as I listened to one of David Sedaris's essays on the BBC website.  He too grew up calling that part of the car the "way back."  I grew up in Maryland; I think he grew up in the Carolinas.

2012/10/26
4:44am
RobertB
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2012/10/27
2:14pm
Alan Jay Swire
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My family always call the back area of our Station Wagons, the "Wayback". Similar to a previous poster, I also wondered if it had a Rocky & Bullwinkle connection. Originally, I grew up in the eastern part of New York State, adjacent to the Massachusetts border.

2012/10/29
1:21pm
Christine Wynkop Vicars
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We called that space in our station wagon the "way back" too. It was the 70's, in Florida, but mom & dad were from eastern MA and western PA, respectively.

And Grant & I were apparently living in parallel universes…my folks traded that station wagon in on a Pinto (yes, a red one!), and my mom was an Avon Lady. So when the three of us kids would pile in and do Avon runs with her, you wanted to be the one in the “way back”. Because that’s where the orders and “door bags” were, and all you had to do is hand them over the seat, while the others had to take them up to the houses. But mom made sure we took turns. So that was a real hot bargaining commodity between us kids -- usually involving doing one person's chores for their turn in the "way back".

Ahhh, memories!

2012/10/29
1:21pm
geekwif
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I grew up in South Dakota in the 70s and we always called the back of our station wagon the "way back".

2012/11/12
5:47am
sara k
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I grew up in central New York during the '90s and my family used this term. We either had vans or SUVs, not many cars with trunks. That may be the reason for our use of "way back."

2013/01/14
6:39am
Peg Spencer
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Way back! Yes! I grew up in Arizona in the 1960's and we called it the way back. But ours was a VW bug, not a station wagon. Still, we piled into it just as if it were a station wagon. Two parents and 4 little girls, with the lucky girl riding in the "way back."

(My parents were raised in the Eastern US, in Pennsylvania and the DC area)

2013/03/23
7:22pm
LawgirlVT
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I had to create an account just to add that we definitely called it the "way back" when I was growing up in northern California in the '70s and '80s!  I always assumed that's just what everyone called it until I heard this episode.  I asked my husband what they called it in Vermont and he said "the back," but when I asked him about the "way back" he knew what I meant, too.

 

2013/05/18
4:42pm
James Hibbert III
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When I was a kid in New Jersey in the late 60's and early 70's, we referred to the sunken storage area behind the back seat of our Volkswagen Bug as the 'way back'. I was able to lie down in that space until I was about 6 or 7 years old when I outgrew it. It was perfect for sleeping when we were driving at night. This was back before there were seatbelt laws requiring everyone in the vehicle to be strapped in. The rear window was angled just right so you could look up towards the sky and look at the stars.

2013/05/20
5:21am
Mike Hennessy
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Growing up in the 50's in Iowa, I had seven siblings.  My mom almost HAD to drive a station wagon.  Some of us always had to sit in the rearmost, rear-facing seat.  It folded up to take the rear half of the cargo area behind the back seat.  We called it the 'wayback seat' or just the 'wayback', because it was 'all the way back' or 'way in the back'.  We knew it was kind of a joke but we also didn't know a real name for it.  It was like a rumble seat, but those faced forward, so this was different.  Anyway, we thought 'wayback' was a good joke.

2013/06/03
9:27am
tchellman
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Ha! We used "way back" in our family, too. It wasn't necessarily for a station wagon either. If anything had a space behind the back seat, that was the way back. But to be honest, as a child, I always thought it had something to do with the WABAC machine from Rocky and Bullwinkle!!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WABAC_machine

2013/06/03
12:01pm
Glenn
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I had no idea that the Wayback Machine was actually WABAC. I wonder if it ever was spelled out in the cartoon, or if the joke spelling appears only in the scripts. I dug up this episode in which the Wayback Machine is invented and presented in hopes that they might reference the acronym or what it stands for. It is a fascinating view, regardless of failing to find the spelling WABAC on it.
Origin show

Has anyone discovered solid evidence in the show of the WABAC spelling, aside from the analogy to UNIVAC, ENIAC, etc.? (c.f. Brainiac.) How do we know it's not, for instance, WAYBAC as it is here, as reported directly by "the last living director of the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, Gerard Baldwin"? Anyone found a script online or anything?

2013/06/03
10:52pm
Robert
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Regarding possible link between the fabled car seat and  Rocky & Bullwinkle, etymologists will be mindful that when the TV show first came on line, the actual operators of such vehicles were already adults in their 30s and 40s. Considering that, and they being somewhat harried parents perhaps, Genesis could easily take this form: MIKIE! STOP! PULLING! HER! HAIR! GET! IN! WAY! BACK! THIS! SECOND!

 
And even granted that the kiddies could have a role in it, would you  associate time travel fantasies with being banished from the rest of the family, whether out of noble self sacrifice, or parental fiat, or just plain losing out to your brutal bigger siblings? Memories have a way of turning  into sweet wine, but the making of memories may not be so fun.
2013/06/03
10:53pm
Heimhenge
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It's certainly far from conclusive, but check out this from the FAQ at the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. They seem to think it was originally spelled "WABAC" on Rocky and Bullwinkle. Couldn't find a direct citation anywhere on their website though. They do have a Contact link, but I have a feeling it might be difficult to reach a person who could really answer that question.

 

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