Strokin' (Was: Re: WOTY)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Mar 10 14:37:49 UTC 2008

At 9:21 AM -0400 3/10/08, Wilson Gray wrote:
>Is it a song by Clarence Carter that contains the verse:
>"Watch me do my stroke one time:
>"Watch me do my stroke two times:
>"Unh! Unh!
>"Watch me do my stroke three times:
>"Unh! Unh! Unh!
>"Different strokes
>"For different folks"
>That's the first and only recorded version that I've actually heard
>with my own ears. I've always assumed that it referred to sex. But,
>that's only my assumption and I'm not interested in arguing the point.
>In ordinary speech, the phrase is/was? clipped to "Different strokes."
>Re: "stroke books"; *that's what the person that I heard say the phrase
>used them for.*
>-Wilson  [+ emphasis mine--LH]

Wow--a double center embedding in the flesh, au naturel!  Now
whenever I hear anyone referring to stroke books, I'll be thinking of
center embedding.*  Talk about different strokes for different folks!


*on which there's now a nice little wiki-stub:  I've actually read
that novel _The Embedding_ cited there, and can even sort of
recommend it.

>On Sat, Mar 8, 2008 at 6:05 AM, LanDi Liu <strangeguitars at> wrote:
>>  ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>   Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>   Poster:       LanDi Liu <strangeguitars at GMAIL.COM>
>>  Subject:      Re: Strokin' (Was: Re: WOTY)
>>   So is Clarence Carter the first reference we have to using it for
>>   "normal" sex?  If someone told me he was stroking a girl, I would take
>>   it to mean he was petting her.
>>   Wilson -- I would guess "stroke books" are so called because they are
>>   books to stroke off to.
>  >  Randy

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