What about Go Know?

untitledSo, about the title of this blog.  I have moved very quickly from thinking this was such a clever name and that everyone would immediately get its wonderfully nuanced meaning, to complete amazement that my friends have never heard the expression. Where have you all been??!!!

I now still believe that “Go Know” is a very clever name, but realize that only Don and I seem to know why.  Did I make up “Go Know” or is it an expression that I just can’t believe you haven’t heard?  The latter.  See if this explanation helps…

Here is a shamelessly edited excerpt from William Safire’s New York Times “On Language” column of March 25, 2007:

“[Is there a] Yiddish possibility as a source for the phrase “Go Figure?”  Writes Jeffrey Friedman, “It is derived from the Yiddish expression gay vays, ‘go know.’ ”

“In his 1989 “Joys of Yinglish,” Leo Rosten wrote: “In English, one says, ‘Go and see [look, ask, tell]. . . . ’ Using an imperative without any link to a conjunction is pure Yiddish.

“My call: “Go figure” is a clip of standard English “Go and figure it out for yourself,” given a Yiddish overlay by “go know” and an expressive shrug and weary rolling of the eyes long identified with an ethnic group.”

Okay, so I wasn’t raised remotely close to a household where Yiddish was spoken.  But I’ve lived in New York for almost 40 years, and my college roommate called me “psycho-Semitic.” Who knows where my Polish grandmother got her spirit?  At any rate, I love the phrase and we use it often in my home to express that complete mystification with events often required in the modern world.  Eye-roll and shoulder shrug mandatory, and even more compelling when executed by Mr. Christensen, my hubby.

So on to the next layer of meaning.  Go!  Well, we are certainly following that exhortation.  Know!  And, we hope to come back smarter than we left.

So now that you understand why we chose the name, hope you are able to see how richly it describes our adventure.  And, as for our cover girl for befuddlement, bet you were surprised if you have been subject to my politics!

Go know.

3 thoughts on “What about Go Know?

  1. I know for a FACT (okay, so it’s just a strong hunch) that I was Jewish in my last life, but I don’t know from Go Know. I thought you picked it because it rhymed, ala Ho Ho Ho from Don and Jo. Now I know. So I’ll go.

  2. Sarah is looking Jewish there, isn’t she-trying to pick up some Jewish voters!? Go figure, go know!

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