Reflections on Jinx
“Jinx, you owe me a coke!”
Have you ever said that or something similar when you have said something at the same time as someone else? That was what we kids in Stephenville used to say, and I remember both having to buy someone a coke and someone having to buy me a coke.
Raf tells me he doesn’t remember saying that in New Jersey, but the other day I was watching a episode of Castle, and both actors said something at the same time. One then said, “Jinx” and then told the other that he could not speak until she allowed him to or he would owe her a soda!
I had never heard the expression outside Stephenville, and especially on national television, so I was quite startled and decided to do some research.
On the Internet I learned that Jinx, or “personal jinx”, is a children’s game with myriad and varied rules and penalties when two people unintentionally speak the same word or phrase simultaneously. If one of them hollers “jinx” before any further conversation has begun, the other person is in a state of being jinxed and may not speak further until he is released from the jinx.
One source says the jinx is ended when anyone speaks the jinxed person’s name backwards three times, but other “rules” say the jinxee can only be released from their silence by the jinxer allowing it.
Also, a source said that a more common penalty is that the looser owes the winner a coke, and victory is often announced then the jinxed person speaks out of turn and the winner yells, “You owe me a coke.”
I then decided to try to find out where the phrase came from. Now, you must remember that I grew up in the 1940s and 1950s, but the first answer to my question said that it began in the 1990s in elementary school. Well, we know that is so much rubbish...makes me think kids think nothing happened in the world before they were born!
Some similar phrases for simultaneous speech include “pinch, poke, you owe me a coke”, “jinx machine is out of order so shut up and pay me a quarter”, “Jinx! Buy me a Coke! Inky-dinky-pinky-winky! Flush it down the kitchen sinky! Alley Ooop! Alley Ooop! Doh hinky. The king of France wet his pants right in the middle of a ballroom dance. Yodleayheehoo! Yodleayheehoo! Nee nee nee ne nee nee neee ne nee nee nee nee. Huh!", or “Jink, you owe me a coke...Blue, you owe me two!”.
Anyway, those are happy memory times, and I can almost see me and my best friend, Dianne, outside the Dairy Queen buying each other a coke! Or more likely a Dr. Pepper!
Any other thoughts from anyone?