Go [name], it's your birthday

Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Wed May 15 16:46:19 UTC 2002

I'm wondering about a catchphrase that I've seen from time to time, in
movies and TV and occasionally used by people I know. "Go [name], it's your
birthday! Go [name], it's your birthday." The phrase is delivered in a
sing-song patter, often accompanied by rotating arm movements. The phrase is
not just used to acknowledge a birthday, but rather any time there is
something to celebrate or the named individual has done something worthy or

The most famous appearance that I've found is in the 1999 movie, _American
Pie_: "Go trig-boy, it's your birthday."

The furthest back I've been able to trace it is a 1994 Usenet post: From:
DarkStarr (p00838 at psilink.com), Subject: Re: Extremists, Newsgroup:
soc.culture.african.american, Date: 1994-03-23 18:15:05 PST.

I gather its origin is somewhere in African-American slang, but does anyone
have anything more specific?

(Search tip: This one was a bear to search. "It's your birthday" pulls up
thousands of unrelated hits and you can't search on the exact phrase
starting with "go" because the medial name changes with each use. Finally it
hit me that the phrase is usually repeated, and a search of the exact phrase
"it's your birthday go" pulled up a 100 or so precise hits.)

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