Kool-Aid wtf is it? Cultural Clarification Needed

15 comments

For everyone not in the US, that's right the world does revolve around you in the US. But I don't get the Kool Aid call. What the hell do you guys mean by that? What is Kool Aid and what does it mean when you say drinking the Kool Aid? Or whatever else you say about Kool Aid?

The only thing I can guess is along the lines of 'believing the hype.' Someone who drinks the Kool-Aid believes the hype? Is that right?

WTF does it mean?

Comments

Jim Jones

http://religiousmovements.lib.virginia.edu/nrms/Jonestwn.html

Jim Jones managed to convince his followers to drink a fruit flavored drink that was laced with cyanide and tranquilizers, resulting in their deaths. The press reported the drink as 'Kool-Aid', a drink popular among American children. It's a simple flavor packet that is mixed with water and sugar. Some reports say that it was Flavor-Aid, which is similar.

I would hazard a guess that a good number of people that have used the phrase aren't familiar with its origin. The next time someone says, 'I'll be there with bells on', it's a good bet that they don't know the origin of that phrase either, in fact, it's a good bet that they are using it incorrectly and aren't aware of it.

That's the origin

Geesh, I did a project on Jim Jones when I was like 12. Loong time ago - but yes, that's the origin. Also add in the fact that drinking the KoolAid was a faith/religion based action and perhaps this term makes more sense.

Blind Following

If someone has "drunk the Kool Aid" they aren't thinking, they've simply joined the cult.

Jones and his followers actually were in Guyana at the time of their mass suicide/murders... South America.

Americans aren't the only ones who use obscure cultural phrases but we typically don't get all bent out of shape about other people's idioms... we just ask what it means without assuming the person thinks they are the center of the universe. ;-)

::cough::What Scottie said.

::cough::

What Scottie said. I hadn't wanted to contribute to the, well, overexcitability of the original poster in assuming that, because America (like other countries) has its own idioms, we feel we are the center of the universe or anyone's universe.

I've had to look up my fair share of UK idioms; you'd think they'd be the same as those in the U.S., but it just ain't true. The French ones are even more obtuse (to me).

My favorite was when an Aussie female in another forum posted a note to a male moderator: "Can you knock me up tomorrow?" -- which apparently means "come to my house" or something of the sort. However, in America, "knock up" means "to get pregnant".

Language barriers and cultural idioms are one of the problems of text-only communication. They're also the reason I tend to write in very dry can't-be-misunderstood language, which undoubtedly makes me sound stuffy. But talk to me on the phone or in person, and it's quite a different matter.

Hah - How wrong could I be

I too struggled with this one - only difference was I read Tom Wolfe's Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test in the 60's. Oops...

Oops....

Me too.
I thought that all Cool Aid references were about acid and tripping.
Think Tom Wolfe got there first.

I know what you mean. It's

I know what you mean. It's not enough to be a native of a country or to speak its language well; when new idioms are created, you may *still* not get the cultural reference.

Despite what I said above, I too did not know what "drink the Kool-Aid" meant, beyond the fact that Kool Aid is a children's drink (of questionable nutrional value; as I recall, it calls for 1 cup of white sugar to a gallon of water, but I last looked a l-o-n-g time ago). At any rate, I figured it meant something along the lines of "became a true believer in a negative sense" ... but guessing what something means, or being only partially right, is not the same as knowing.

More of an age thing than a cultural thing

What was an international tragedy in 1978 is probably lost on many people posting today... who were like... not born yet...

On a similar note I imagine "going postal" doesn't mean much outside of the US or to anyone who's not aware of the violent incidents in US post offices between 1986-1997.

But "shake your booty" is

But "shake your booty" is understood, is that what you're trying to tell us Scottie?

:) Sorry. Too much coffee for me this morning.

(In case anyone wondered, this was a joke.)

I understand both of them,

I understand both of them, and I think I get most americanisms, I suspect mainly because I like the type of UK comedy that takes the piss (there's one which confuses you lot) out of American-speak.

I read Dominics original post as tongue in cheek humour, that's the thing which I find hardest online, you can normally work around not understanding a cultural reference but there are huge gaps in how we understand each others humour and I'm often sitting here wondering if so-and-so is really as wierd as they appear or I'm missing the humour somewhere. I reckon its about 50/50 on balance.

Eskimo humour is really dry.

.

>>I'm often sitting here

>>I'm often sitting here wondering if so-and-so is really as wierd as they appear or I'm missing the humour somewhere.

No they really are weird. Fact and real people are far more strange than anything we can make up, which is what makes the web so neat providing the Suits don't take it over with public relations blovation.

TRUTH ALERT

TRUTH ALERT

No they really are weird. Fact and real people are far more strange than anything we can make up, which is what makes the web so neat providing the Suits don't take it over with public relations blovation.

Rooting for Bush

Quote:
My favourite was when an Aussie female in another forum posted a note to a male moderator: "Can you knock me up tomorrow?" -- which apparently means "come to my house" or something of the sort. However, in America, "knock up" means "to get pregnant".

I'm Aussie and getting knocked up means getting pregnant to me too, so I don't know what she was on about.

Thanks for the explanation on the cool aid thing, it's something I could never understand.

And yes, the centre of the universe crack was just a piss take.

The funniest US saying is rooting for someone. Like "I'm rooting for George Bush." In Australia rooting means having sex, so it's like you want to fuck George Bush. Bush also means pussy / vagina in Australia so if you say "I'm rooting for Bush" it's even funnier, like saying I want to fuck pussy or you are hoping to get laid. Then there is the whole root beer thing. You ask a female behind a bar in Australia for a root beer, she would likely say 'Well the beer is two dollars, but if you want a root I'm not interested.'

...

Two Dollar BEER!!! Oh My God...

Someone in your country forgot that Beer is proof that god loves us...

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