awkward turtle

Grant Barrett gbarrett at WORLDNEWYORK.ORG
Fri Apr 16 18:14:56 UTC 2010

Thanks, Amy. I'll add the link to the web post.

Pronate! Nice word.

The "awkward turtle" thing is so huge I don't know if it can be said
to be localized.

Check out all the videos of it:

Grant Barrett
grantbarrett at

On Fri, Apr 16, 2010 at 05:42, Amy West <medievalist at> wrote:
> Sorry to bug the ADS-L with a Way with Words-related posting, but I
> thought this might be of interest to Charlie Doyle and other
> folklorists out there:
> We were "discussing" the recent "Awkward Turtle" episode of A Way
> with Words: just 4 of my 14 students had heard of it. At least 2 knew
> of the hand motion (put one pronated hand on top of the other with
> finger tips pointed away from you and wiggle/circle both thumbs) but
> one knew of an additional variant: "and it had babies," and its hand
> motion of separating the hands curling in the fingers except the
> thumb and pinky, and waggling the thumbs and pinkies of both hands.
> My class is mostly students from Central Mass.: 3 of the students who
> were familiar with "awkward turtle" were from outside Worcester, only
> 1 from Worcester knew of it. 2 of the 4 students had cheerleading
> connections, so I'm wondering if it's particularly associated with
> that group.
> ---Amy West
> PS Grant, you said on the show there'd be a link about the Lunsford
> study and the article in Wired by Clive Thompson about it, but there
> wasn't.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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