Whip game on

Michael McKernan mckernan at LOCALNET.COM
Mon Aug 15 18:51:43 UTC 2005

 Wilson Gray wrote:

>Yes. "Whip game on" is the local, St. Louis version of the more
>widespread "run (a) game on." The StL version also means "defeat
>utterly" in a sport or a game. A person who is in position to shoot the
>moon in a game of (dirty) hearts might exclaim to the other players,
>"I'm gon' whup game on all y'all's asses! Think I won't?!" The other
>players then reply, "'Spec' you will!"
>This was a ritualistic, catch-phrase-y kind of thing. The question,
>"Think I won't?" always required the answer, "'Spec' you will," among
>friends. In an unfriendly situation, a person might "wolf" on another
>and finish with "Think I won't?" If the other person chooses not to
>"nub" or "pug" or "go to blows" or "throw (some) blows," he can back
>out by smiling and saying "'Spec' you will." Otherwise, he can reply

Thanks for these detailed observations, Wilson.  I appreciate your taking
the time to lay out this ritualistic verbal challenge scenario and possible

Makes me remember once when a good old country boy (in rural western
Massachusetts) half-seriously went through a pick-a-fight routine with me.
We were total strangers.   I was playing music at a dance, and made an
announcement through the PA system.  He called out from the back 'What did
you say about my wife?'

I wish I could remember his  sequence of escalating aggression.  It struck
me as a classic routine, where he had a come-back for anything I might say
to disavow my connection with the situation.  But watching his face, I
could tell by his smile that he was only toying with me, for the enjoyment
of the crowd, rather than actually trying to start a free-for-all.  After a
while, he gracefully allowed it to become a general joke that we were all
included in, accepting me and the rest of the band, and letting the dance
go on as if nothing had happened.  For a moment though, I was searching my
limited experiences for an appropriate response (like 'Spec' you will').
Don't think I found it, he just let me off the hook easy.  He certainly
seemed to have  the skill to have made me look pretty wussy, if he'd wanted

If Wilson, or anyone else on the list would share examples of similar
challenge/response sequences, I'd appreciate it.  (Think of it as teaching
me how to defend myself, verbally...)

Michael McKernan

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