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April 12, 2013: Giddy Up

Yesterday I giddied down and looked up Giddy up. The original phrase was “get thee up” or “get ye up.” It means let’s go. (This is the commonplace rallying cry.)

This phrase came to my attention when I heard my friend Christopher Benson use it. At the time, I figured that he taken it out of a non-horse context. Last night I discovered that he, a Seinfeld fan, had copped it from an episode (or two) in which Kramer uses it. I have never watched Seinfeld. I suspect that back in the day, had we had a television, that I would have enjoyed this.

I was initially disappointed because I then realized that Christopher was not being insightful, clever, or imaginative. Rather, he was just doing as a television character had done. And he got the same response—we all got up and got on with our day. Ironically, Christopher is usually the last person to giddy up. He’s tough to motivate.

Tinni getting a quick trim

I briefly considered searching around for yet another rallying cry. Then, after thinking about it for a bit, I decided that giddy up is for me still an apt rallying cry. Seinfeld is a more erudite source of a turn of a phrase than is Larry the Cable Guy. And it’s fitting that I, a horse woman use it, for it works well in both a horse and a non-horse context. In fact, I’m just going to be giving it a contextual nudge when out of the range of horses because I’m now at least mentally always in the range of horses. So Giddy up it is, and giddy up it’s going to be.

I further began thinking about Giddy up as this relates to language usage. The social constructivists (I will call them the pluralists) such as Vygotsky, contend that all words (sentences and phrases) are universal. MM Bakhtin contends that words (sentences and phrases) are not only universal, but take the form of utterances. And an utterance is context-flexible. And so, Get ‘er Done cannot and should not be attributed exclusively to Larry the Cable Guy. And Giddy up cannot and should not be attributed exclusively to Christopher Benson.

Conversely, those like Piaget (I will call them the individualists) contend that yes, the word (sentences and phases) are not universal. Rather, they were one lucky person’s ahh haa moment.

I who am an individual pluralist am now going to advance this idea. It works like this. This is how giddy up came into usage. A man, a very brave man, got on a very wild Icelandic pony. He snuck up as the horse was eating, because this is what Icelandic horses do best. He hopped on the animal’s back, and grunted. The horse then lifted its head in surprise, and took off. Others, seeing that this worked, did the same. Someone who was a bit more verbal, then said “git ye up.” This phrase then came into common usage. Other riders modified, and then shortened git ye up, and so it eventually became giddy up. Giddy up was used in a horse-related context for a long, long time. It was later successfully used out of context because it was by then so commonplace.

Giddy up. I will continue to use this in a horse-related context, relying some on my yoga training. I will from this point in time on, take three deep breaths, put my core in neutral pelvis, and then ask said horse to giddy up. And out of context, I will use it as a personal rallying cry, and thus get my ass and other’s asses in gear. (Okay, slightly out of context. Horses and mules are related.)

Larry the Cable Guy has nothing on me. My show will have me standing next to a saddle rack as opposed to a barbecue grill. And I’ll sell horse treats, as opposed to tater tots and cheese burgers.

Next: 103. April 13, 2013: Love and Animals