[Ads-l] "We must increase our busts!"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat May 30 22:08:34 UTC 2015

I'd neither heard nor heard of this exercise for girls and what today's
TIME coyly - and, IMO, incorrectly - refers to as "that catchphrase" -
isn't it a *chant*? - in its last-page 10 Questions interview of the great
Judy Blume, before it was discussed some years ago, here on the ADS-L.

The knowledge that there is a literary reference to this chant motivated me
to Google it, leading me to a YouTube of Ms. Blume and another woman
demonstrating the exercise with its accompanying chant.

Now comes the relevance.

According to Ms. Blume, the chant is simply,

"We must! We must increase our busts!"

In my wife's NE PA dialect, the chant is,

"We must! We must increase our busts!
 We must! We must! The boys depend on us!"

Naturally, anymore ;-), she finds that pretty creepy, but, as a
ten-year-old, she thought nothing of it, one way or the other, not even
knowing the meaning of the word, "bust," with any certainty, and with not
the least idea or interest as to why boys would be depending upon the
exercise having a positive outcome.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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