Go [name], it's your birthday

Drew Danielson andrew.danielson at CMU.EDU
Wed May 15 18:28:15 UTC 2002

Dave Wilton wrote:
> 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
> notable.
> 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.)

Yeah this is a hard one to search for.  You may want to try searching
for "it's your birthday" "get busy", since the second phrase is also
part of this incantation (often pronounced as 'bIz E:' or something like

"gó Stinký, itsyer birthdaý, gét bizzaý"

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