[Ads-l] "California sober"

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Thu Dec 9 21:10:33 EST 2021


See my 2013 Boston Globe column linked below. An excerpt:

---
Consider the “rolling stop,” in which the driver treats a stop sign as a
yield. The region most identified with this casual technique is California,
and, like many such traffic insults, it’s especially favored by those in
the immediate vicinity, in this case neighboring states such as Arizona and
Oregon. I found a reference to the “California stop” all the way back in
1964, when an Arizona state commissioner named John P. Clark was arrested
in Tucson on charges of driving drunk and failing to heed a stop sign.
Clark admitted to newspaper reporters that he had made a “California
rolling stop” but denied being intoxicated. In the late ’70s and ’80s,
“California roll” developed as an alternate term, no doubt helped along by
the popularity of the sushi roll.
---


On Thu, Dec 9, 2021 at 7:44 PM Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at gmail.com> wrote:

> I think you're getting confused with the inside-out sushi roll.
>
>
> On Thu, Dec 9, 2021, 4:28 PM Benjamin M Brainard <brainard at uga.edu> wrote:
>
> > I always thought that was called a "California Roll" vs stop
> >
> > ..ben
> >
> > --
> > Benjamin Brainard VMD, Dipl ACVAA, ACVECC
> > Edward H Gunst Professor of Small Animal Critical Care
> > Director of Clinical Research
> > College of Veterinary Medicine
> > University of Georgia
> > 706-542-9383 (v)
> > 706-357-0109 (f)
> >
> >
> > On 12/9/21, 4:17 PM, "American Dialect Society on behalf of Grant
> > Barrett" <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU on behalf of gbarrett at WORLDNEWYORK.ORG>
> > wrote:
> >
> >     [EXTERNAL SENDER - PROCEED CAUTIOUSLY]
> >
> >
> >     I've seen it as "Cali sober" on Reddit and there are many hits for it
> >     there. The oldest mentions for both forms of the expression are from
> >     about two years ago.
> >
> >     https://www.reddit.com/search/?q=%22cali%20sober%22
> >
> >
> >     GB
> >
> >     On Mon, Dec 6, 2021 at 5:51 PM Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >     >
> >     > Looks like "California sober" is to "sober" as "California stop"
> > (i.e., a
> >     > rolling stop) is to "stop." (Larry Horn would call these
> "ironyms.")
> >     >
> >     > I discuss "California stop" (aka "Hollywood/Michigan/New
> > York/Philly/St.
> >     > Louis/American stop") in these 2013 pieces on regional traffic
> terms:
> >     >
> >     >
> >
> https://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2013/04/06/boston-driving-bad-needs-its-own-lingo/UM7UhGh5qCdZPVukFH37QN/story.html
> >     >
> >
> https://www.vocabulary.com/articles/wordroutes/word-on-the-street-sketchy-traffic-lingo/
> >     >
> >     > --bgz
> >     >
> >     > On Mon, Dec 6, 2021 at 5:57 PM Bill Mullins <amcombill at hotmail.com
> >
> > wrote:
> >     >
> >     > > "California sober" -- never ran across this before today.
> >     > >
> >     > >
> >     > >
> >
> https://www.lx.com/entertainment/what-does-california-sober-mean-definition/45920/
> >     > >
> >     > >
> >     >
>

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