Smart & Pregnant
February 19, 2008 8:17 AM   Subscribe

A question about kid lore ("smart" = "pregnant").

When I was a kid in Arizona, the following schoolyard "joke" was common:

Kid A: Are you smart?
Kid B: I guess. Sure.

I did not understand it then. I do not understand it now.

My friend Joshua remembers it from his kidhood in Fresno, but in Fresno the added element was that Kid A would claim that smart meant pregnant in French.

I made some calls. My sister remembers kids using this same saying. She also remembers them using PG in place of pregnant— -- that may be a clue. My brother-in-law had never heard or this, nor had my 18-year-old niece. Nor my ma, for that matter.

Anyone know what this means (if anything)?
posted by user92371 to Society & Culture (20 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I remember "PT" being used back in, say, fourth grade. If yes: "pregnant teen." If no: "potty-trained."
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:24 AM on February 19, 2008 [2 favorites]

I never heard "smart" = "pregnant," but when I was in grade school kids would ask "Can you ride a bike?" and if you said yes, everyone would laugh and say, "Bike means dick in German!"

Sophisticated, huh?
posted by breezeway at 8:31 AM on February 19, 2008

Never heard that one, and sure don't understand it!

But on a similar note: my childhood was during the days when cable TV was new and rare. Our schoolyard joke:

Kid 1: Do you have HBO?
Kid 2: No.
Kid 1: What? You don't have Human Body Odor? Then you must not be human HAHAHAHA Kid 2 isn't human HAHAHAHA.
posted by chez shoes at 8:36 AM on February 19, 2008

I remember "happy" = "pregnant," but not "smart." I definitely remember the "PT" thing DoctorFedora mentioned. And I seem to recall kids saying "Your weenus is showing," where it turned out "weenus" supposedly was the term for the loose skin on your elbow.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I seem to recall boys asking other boys "Are you a dude?" Of course you had to answer "Yes," at which point the questioner would laugh and tell you that "dude" meant "camel butt."

I'm no sociologist, but I would guess that it's simply a common juvenile fun-making tactic. I always thought it was better to use real words and meanings that people simply didn't know, like the classics "Your epidermis is showing!" and "Show me your uvula!"
posted by cerebus19 at 8:43 AM on February 19, 2008

The version I heard made a good deal more sense (and may be the origin of yours):
Kid 1: [Question]
Kid 2: [Answer]
Kid 1: Are you sure?
Kid 2: Yes.
Kid 1: Are you positive?
Kid 2: Yes.

At this point, kid 2 is informed that "positive" means pregnant.
posted by Partial Law at 8:43 AM on February 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

I remember smart=pregnant, PT and epidermises on display.

We also had this one, which is way too dated now: "Have you ever seen Soap?"
posted by hydrophonic at 8:44 AM on February 19, 2008

Maybe it was a West Coast cultural thing? Like, a local television PSA trying to prevent teen pregnancies that said, "Be Smart" or something similar that was misinterpreted? I've heard the "PT" one and "'are you positive' = 'positive for AIDS'", but not "smart = pregnant."

On the same line as DoctorFedora, in our school yard it was

Kid 1: Are you a homo?
Kid 2: No.
Kid 1: What? You're not a homo sapiens? HAAAAAA I guess that means you must be a monkey!

Kid 1: Are you a homo?
Kid 2: (Remembers from the first time) YES.
Kid 1: What? You're a homosexual? HAAAAAAAA Kid 2 is a homosexual! Kid 2 likes [girls / boys]! HAAAA!
posted by pineapple at 8:49 AM on February 19, 2008

I remember the positive for AIDS one.

Kid 1: Do you know what HIV is?
Kid 2: Yeah
Kid 1: Are you positive?
Kid 2: Yeah I am positive.
Kid 1: HA HA Kid 2 tested positive for HIV!
posted by ND¢ at 8:55 AM on February 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

breezeway, I heard the same thing: bike=dick. Riding bikes=sex.
posted by unknowncommand at 9:09 AM on February 19, 2008

The one I remember was:

Kid 1: Are you special?
Kid 2: Yes!
Kid 1: Yeah, you're 'specially stupid/ugly/smelly!
posted by parilous at 9:12 AM on February 19, 2008

Kid 1: Hey, are you a virgin?
Kid 2: ....No!

Things were pretty different back then.
posted by granted at 9:12 AM on February 19, 2008

"your epidermis is showing" "dont look!"
"are you a homo sapien?" "no!"
"are you special?" "yes" "special ed!"

meh. kids are dumb as dirt and mean to boot.
posted by phritosan at 9:18 AM on February 19, 2008

From my schoolyard days:

Q: Are you a PLP?

A: Yes


A: No


posted by unSane at 9:34 AM on February 19, 2008

breezeway: this might shed some light on why kids found the word "bike" so hilarious.
posted by sdn at 9:45 AM on February 19, 2008

Kids are awesome.

I only remember the Pregnant Teen/Potty Trained dilemma (New England raised, ~30yo).
posted by Rock Steady at 10:06 AM on February 19, 2008

I'm not even sure if this is real, since the only source that I know of/can find is from Irving's Cider House Rules, but "quick" used to mean pregnant. And "quick" is also sort of slang for being smart.

my 2¢.
posted by Flamingo at 11:33 AM on February 19, 2008

pineapple's example is the one I remember in my schoolyard.
posted by spec80 at 12:15 PM on February 19, 2008

I remember it as being that you're too stupid by yourself, but being pregnant meant that the baby added brain cells.

...of course this could just be me.
posted by arcticseal at 1:00 PM on February 19, 2008

I can attest that, during my grade-school years, "bike" often meant "penis." Of course, "bicycle" meant "vagina."
posted by hoboynow at 2:38 PM on February 19, 2008

To build off what Flamingo said, "quicken" has long been a verb that refers to pregnancy (the OED cites it going back to 1530, the meaning being "to reach the stage of pregnancy where movements of the fetus are perceptible"), with "quick" itself having some chiefly archaic meanings (and/or meanings used in specific contexts) relating to life and growing and plants.

But to be honest, I doubt that's what happened here (it would have to be a fairly old schoolyard trick, after all). I'm more inclined to agree with Partial Law and say it's some schoolkids playing telephone on the "positive" pregnancy test bit of things.

Then again, nothing presented so far has been too persuasive?

(and in any case, I merely wanted to give a short elaboration on the quick/smart/pregnant connection)
posted by librarylis at 1:38 AM on February 20, 2008

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