Cool, Me, Slumming

Boondocks and Yo-yos

I was talking and walking with a co-worker last night and our conversation went to the term “boondocks”. I told him, did you know that that term is really a Tagalog word?

If you’re not sure yourself, I did some research. Who did I ask? Jeeves.

boondocks [n. BOON-doks]

If you are from the boondocks, then you come from a rural place, far away from the big city. The boondocks can also be a wild, densely vegetated place, like a jungle or thick forest. Such places can also be called the boonies. Both words are slang, and they are always plural. This word sounds like the name of one of America’s wilderness folk heroes, Daniel Boone. But its origin is in the South Pacific, far from Daniel Boone’s Kentucky home.

It entered English from Tagalog [tah-GAH-log], the language spoken in the Philippines. American soldiers there heard locals referring to the back-country as bundok (mountains), and dreaded being assigned to marches out there. They brought the word back home with them, and it came to be applied to any wild, remote area.

Another informative link pertaining to the song “Down In The Boondocks” by Billy Joe Royal and the origin of the word “boondocks” can be found hither:

So, what about yo-yos? The yo-yo back then wasn’t a toy for us Filipinos.

In the Philippines, the yo-yo was a weapon for over 400 hundred years. Their version was large with sharp edges and studs and attached to thick twenty-foot ropes for flinging at enemies or prey. — The History of the Yo-Yo (Or What Goes Up Must Go Down), By Mary Bellis

Historical records indicate that 16th century hunters in the Philippines hid up in trees and used a rock tied to a long cord, up to 20 feet in length, to throw at wild animals beneath them. The weapon was able to be pulled up and thrown back down for multiple attempts at the prey. This gave rise to the widespread idea that the practice was the true forerunner of the yo-yo, but this is a stretch of imagination and has no real basis in fact. It is extremely likely, however, that the yo-yo did travel from China not only to Greece, but also to the Philippines, where the yo-yo is known to have been a popular toy for children over a very long period of time. — History Of The Yo-Yo, By Valerie Oliver

Interesting how you find a lot of information on the Internet.

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