Questions and answers, part 2 (a veritable juggernaut)

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In my experience, folks have different approaches / attitudes to questions (and answers):

1. some people love to ask questions

2. some people like to answer questions

3. some people don't like to ask questions

4. some people don't like to be asked questions

5. some people like to ask a question as a prelude to telling someone something

and so forth and so on, in any number of permutations and combinations.

"Mommy, guess what I saw at school today?"

"Daddy, guess what Joey told me yesterday?"

"Did you know that…?

"Do you know what that doohickey is for?"

I once was severely upbraided by an uncollegial colleague for prefacing a point of information that I had delivered to a large audience after a panel presentation at a conference by saying, "Did you know…?"  He told me that it was presumptuous to speak that way and that everybody in the hall knew what I was talking about, when clearly no one else in the room had any clue about the esoteric, obscure, yet quite intriguing object to which I was referring before I told them.  In fact, it was a Song period (960-1279) artistic representation of the Indian juggernaut in East Asia.  One of the panelists had concluded her presentation with a slide of such an enormous decorated wagon just for effect, without knowing how to identify it or what it signified.

17th century, from Hindi जगन्नाथ (jagannāth) or Oriya ଜଗନ୍ନାଥ (jôgônnathô) or Urdu جگنّاتھ(jagannāth), from Sanskrit जगन्नाथ (jagannātha, Jagannath) (Jagannath), a title for the Hindu deity Vishnu's avatar Krishna. English form influenced by suffix -naut (sailor). Doublet of Jagannath.

From British colonial era in India, witnessing the Rath Yatra (chariot parade) at Puri, Orissa. The festival features a huge annual procession, with a wagon of the idol of Jagannath. Pulled with ropes by hundreds of devotees, the wagon develops considerable momentum and becomes unstoppable.


Such a huge wooden cart, called a danjiri, is still to be seen being pulled through the streets of certain Japanese cities (Kyoto, Osaka, etc.) during major festivals (matsuri ).

danjiri だんじり

(regional, Kansai, western Japan) float; vehicle used in a festival

Synonyms: 山車 (dashi), 山鉾 (yamaboko)
Alternative spellings

Nobody in the audience, including the speaker herself, had a clue what that fascinating image on the screen was called.  She had concluded her talk with it simply for visual effect, not for any particular meaning.  I thought it would be polite to begin my explanation of what that unusual vehicle was by asking a question about it.

To me, questions (and answers) are the lubricants of conversation and discussion, yea, ratiocination.  I could barely speak, perhaps even think, without them.

I was going to title this post "Interlocutoriness", but soon realized that is too legalistic.  As a teaching or instructional method, better to think of what I do as maieutics, in honor of Socrates.

A curious final twist about "juggernaut" that I did not know until I began to write this post is that, from the time I was a wee lad, the word always conjured up in my mind a gigantic wooden wagon that could crush anything in its way.  When a few days ago I ASKed Google Images to refresh my memory about what a juggernaut looks like, I was gobsmacked to find that nearly all  the images were of a ginormous, heavily muscled figure who looked like a comic book hero.  Somehow the ancient Indian megacart had gotten transformed into an American superhero.  Since I don't know how and when that happened, I will ASK the collective readership of Language Log to tell me.


Selected readings


  1. martin schwartz said,

    March 8, 2023 @ 9:47 pm

    The Skt. term is from jagnnātha- 'Lord of the World' (out of sandhi jagad-
    '(the world as) that which moves' and nātha- 'leader.master'.
    I remember comicbook exclamations like 'jumpin'/joltin'
    juggenaut', a usage in part sound-symbolic, I'd say,
    based on juggle, jigger, etc. In the heyday of the
    Krishna Consciousness crowd in Berkeley there was a juggernaut
    procession. The papier-maché crowned Krishna looked like a traditional Indian idol.

  2. David Cameron Staples said,

    March 8, 2023 @ 10:16 pm

    The Comic book character Juggernaut first appeared in 1965, so he's been around for a while. He's associated with the X-Men, although in theory he's not a mutant.

    So, summarising the summary of the summary: In the Marvel Universe, the X-Men are mutants, who have a special gene expression which gives them superhuman powers. (Or cripples them, or just gives them decorative feathers or blue skin or something, or sometimes makes them lethal to all life in a 100m radius and too dangerous to be allowed to live. But they tend not to get uniforms and go out fighting crime.) The founder and leader of the X-Men was a telepath named Charles Xavier.

    The story is that he and his bully of a step-brother, Cain Marko, were both in the US army in Korea, when they found an ancient temple. Charles was worried, but Cain disregarded the signs and touched the ruby which was clearly labelled Do Not Touch. By doing so he received the gift of the god Cyttorak, and became The Juggernaut. His (magical, literally god-given) power is that once he starts moving, nothing can stop him, thus the name.

    Over the next almost sixty years in the comics, Stuff happened, so there's not much point going over all that. It's the origin story which contains the connection.

  3. Chas Belov said,

    March 8, 2023 @ 10:44 pm

    Hmm, interesting that you see "Mommy, guess what I saw at school today?" and "Daddy, guess what Joey told me yesterday?" as questions where I see them as commands.

  4. Victor Mair said,

    March 8, 2023 @ 11:23 pm

    @Chas Belov

    The way little children I have known phrase those utterances they mean, "Mommy, (can you) guess what I saw at school today?" and "Daddy, (can you) guess what Joey told me yesterday?" But you're right that they might also be interpreted as commands the way you have seen them.

  5. Brian said,

    March 9, 2023 @ 12:36 am

    I certainly feel that interpreting the true intent behind an asked question is a major minefield of social interaction, and likewise the dangers of how other people will interpret questions asked of them. It's exhausting.

  6. AntC said,

    March 9, 2023 @ 12:49 am

    [nobody] had a clue what that fascinating image on the screen was called.

    He he. I'm pretty sure I would volunteer 'juggernaut' off the bat. And I've no idea what this talk is of comic-books. The modern meaning would refer to a large articulated lorry(?) — sorry, 'truck'.

    better to think of what I do as maieutics, in honor of Socrates.

    Yes, even as I started reading your post I thought 'Socratic method'. When I was giving technical training in Chinese cultures (Singapore, Hong Kong) I found I had to be careful. In an anglo culture, the instructor asking q's would be seen as 'breaking the ice'/establishing the level of existing knowledge to build from. But I got no response at all: nobody wanted to risk embarrassing themselves by giving a wrong answer. Even with a little progress, I found I had to say 'yes that's right and …' to appear to build on the answer; even if it wasn't right at all.

    some people love to ask questions

    Yes that's me! To tease out the detail. Again in some cultures (including on the impersonal interwebs), that can be taken as 'challenging' — as in disagreeing. That's not what I'm doing if I ask a 'what-if'.

  7. Rosemary Kuwahata said,

    March 9, 2023 @ 2:39 am

    "Juggernaut" for me has always had a nuance of a huge, powerful, unstoppable force, which one of those "Indian megacarts" would have been once the pullers got running and picked up steam (and the large Japanese ones as well). (they look more dangerous than the running of the bulls in Spain. Today on the news I heard that the Prime Ministers of Australia and India had been paraded around a cricket stadium in India >> "Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi have been feted in front of a roaring crowd of some 50,000 people at the fourth Australia-India cricket test in Ahmedabad. The two leaders did a lap of honour around Narendra Modi stadium in a gold-painted chariot emblazoned with bat, wicket and ball to celebrate 75 years of cricketing contests between the two nations." After reading the above views on Juggernaut, I looked for a photo of their "gold-painted chariot". There is an image of it here:
    Being cheered by "a roaring crowd of 50,000", these politicians probably think that they are superheros.

  8. Dave J. said,

    March 9, 2023 @ 3:23 am

    Regarding No. 4: “some people don't like to be asked questions”, I have been married to a CIA (Chinese-Indonesian-American) woman for over 20 years. I have noticed that she does not like to be asked questions. My previous wife was from Japan, and she too did not like to be asked questions. When I lived in Japan I also noticed this. Am I correct in concluding that most Asian people do not like to be asked questions, and if so, does this have something to do with “face”? I would appreciate your thoughts on this, as it has bothered me for a long time (and has led to many arguments).

  9. AG said,

    March 9, 2023 @ 3:56 am

    Dave – and I say this with great respect and tenderness – PERHAPS the several billion inhabitants of Asia don't like to be asked questions, but I'm afraid that Occam's Razor might point to a different possible conclusion, something a little closer to home involving your choice of conversational topics or style.

  10. Victor Mair said,

    March 9, 2023 @ 7:06 am

    @Rosemary Kuwahata

    Thank you so much for finding and introducing that golden chariot ridden in by Modi and Albanese!

    BTW, I find 434,000 ghits for the "Kuwahata" spelling of your surname. It's the name of a well-known stop-motion anime director.

    215,000 ghits for "Kuwabata", the form of the name I was previously familiar with; it's the surname of an actress, etc.

    7,840,000 ghits for "Kuwabaru", name of a cartoon character.

  11. Ralph J Hickok said,

    March 9, 2023 @ 7:35 am

    Something that's puzzled a bit for a long time is people who begin by asking, "Can I ask you a question?"

    My stock reply is, "You just did," although I don't let it sound as snarky as it may seem.

  12. Andreas Johansson said,

    March 9, 2023 @ 7:39 am

    @Ralph J Hickok:

    A common variant at work is "Do you have time for a question?"

    The implication, of course, is that the question they want to ask is likely to require a substantial amount of time to answer, but it's still a bit funny.

  13. bks said,

    March 9, 2023 @ 8:24 am

    In the late 1970's I heard a talk by Arthur C. Clarke at UC Berkeley. He started the talk by saying, "Before I begin my talk I'd like to answer a question that I'm often asked." The answer to the question took him about 50 minutes to expound at which point he concluded and asked the audience if they had any questions.

  14. Victor Mair said,

    March 9, 2023 @ 8:24 am

    One of my colleagues is fond of prefacing his questions thus: "I have a question."

    On "quick question" (a pet peeve of mine) and "reach out to you", see "May I ask you a question?" (6/12/17).

  15. Jerry Packard said,

    March 9, 2023 @ 8:46 am

    The form of the ‘did you know’ question amazes me in and of itself, namely, the fact that it is in the past tense. I only noticed that when I saw a segment in an academic newsletter titled ‘do you know?’. Now, it seems like ‘do you know’ should be perfectly ok, but we all know that it feels a bit odd, but I’m not sure why!

  16. Victor Mair said,

    March 9, 2023 @ 9:40 am

    "did you know?" — 657,000,000 ghits

    "do you know?" — 943,000,000 ghits; song by Diana Ross, Enrique Iglesias, Punjabi remix by Diljit Dosanjh

    Do you know
    ਮੈਂ ਤੈਨੂੰ ਕਿੰਨਾ ਪਿਆਰ ਕਰਦਾ?
    Do you know
    ਮੈਂ ਤੇਰੇ ਉੱਤੇ ਕਿੰਨਾ ਮਰਦਾ?
    Do you know
    ਤੇਰੇ ਲਈ ਮੈਂ ਤਾਂ ਪਿੰਡ ਛੱਡਤਾ?
    Do you know
    ਤੇਰੇ ਲਈ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਨਾਲ ਲੜਦਾ?
    Do you know
    ਤੇਰੇ ਲਈ Mustang ਲੈ ਲਈ?
    Do you know
    ਮੈਂ ਤੇਰਾ ਨਾਂ ਲਿਖਾਇਆ ਗੁੱਟ 'ਤੇ?
    Do you know
    ਆਹ ਜਿਹੜੇ ਤੇਰੇ ਪਿੱਛੇ ਘੁੰਮਦੇ
    Do you know
    ਮੈਂ ਕੱਲ੍ਹ ਸਾਲ਼ੇ ਸਾਰੇ ਕੁੱਟਤੇ?
    Do you know
    ਮੈਂ ਤੇਰੀ ਘਰੇ ਗੱਲ ਕਰ ਲਈ?
    Do you know
    ਮੈਂ mummy ਮੇਰੇ ਵੱਲ ਕਰ ਲਈ?
    Do you know
    ਜਦੋਂ ਤੂੰ ਕਿਸੇ ਨਾਲ ਖੜ੍ਹਦੀ
    Do you know
    ਨੀ ਮੈਂ ਓਦੋਂ ਕਿੰਨਾ ਸੜਦਾ?
    Do you know
    ਮੈਂ ਤੈਨੂੰ ਕਿੰਨਾ ਪਿਆਰ ਕਰਦਾ?
    Do you know
    ਮੈਂ ਕਿੰਨਾ ਤੇਰੇ ਉੱਤੇ ਮਰਦਾ?
    Do you know
    ਤੇਰੇ ਲਈ ਮੈਂ ਤਾਂ ਪਿੰਡ ਛੱਡਤਾ?
    Do you know
    ਤੇਰੇ ਲਈ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਨਾਲ਼ ਲੜਦਾ?
    Do you know?
    Do you know?
    Do you know?
    Do you know?
    ਦੁਨੀਆ ਦੀਵਾਨੀ ਐ ਮੈਨੂੰ ਮਿਲਣ ਦੇ ਲਈ
    ਪਰ ਮੈਂ ਤਾਂ ਪਾਗਲ ਆਂ ਤੈਨੂੰ ਮਿਲਣ ਦੇ ਲਈ
    ਦੁਨੀਆ ਦੀਵਾਨੀ ਐ ਮੈਨੂੰ ਮਿਲਣ ਦੇ ਲਈ
    ਪਰ ਮੈਂ ਤਾਂ ਪਾਗਲ ਆਂ ਤੈਨੂੰ ਮਿਲਣ ਦੇ ਲਈ
    ਕੰਮਕਾਰ ਛੱਡ ਆਵਾਂ, ਕੁੱਝ ਵੀ ਨਾ ਪੀਵਾਂ-ਖਾਵਾਂ
    ਤੇਰੇ ਲਈ ਲਿਆਂਦਾ chocolate
    ਅੱਜ ਤਕ ਕੀਤੀ ਨਹੀਂ ਮੈਂ ਇੱਕ minute ਕਿਸੇ ਦੀ ਵੀ
    ਤੇਰੀ ਕਰਾਂ ਦੋ-ਦੋ ਘੰਟੇ wait
    Do you know
    ਮੈਂ ਸੁੱਤਾ ਨਹੀਓਂ ਉਸ ਦਿਨ ਦਾ
    Do you know
    ਤੂੰ ਜਿਦ੍ਹੇ ਬੋਲੀ "Hi, " ਬੱਲੀਏ
    Do you know
    Jaani ਉਂਜ ਸੰਗਦਾ ਨਹੀਂ
    Do you know
    ਨੀ ਤੇਰੇ ਅੱਗੇ shy, ਬੱਲੀਏ?
    Do you know
    ਸੀਨੇ 'ਚੋਂ ਦਿਲ ਬਾਹਰ ਹੋਇਆ ਆ?
    Do you know
    ਨੀ ਜੱਟ ਦਾ ਸ਼ਿਕਾਰ ਹੋਇਆ ਆ?
    Do you know
    ਤੇਰੇ ਤੋਂ ਪਹਿਲਾਂ ਕੋਈ ਵੀ ਨਹੀਂ?
    Do you know
    ਨੀ ਪਹਿਲੀ ਵਾਰੀ ਪਿਆਰ ਹੋਇਆ ਆ?
    Do you know?
    Do you know?
    Do you know
    ਮੈਂ ਤੈਨੂੰ ਕਿੰਨਾ ਪਿਆਰ ਕਰਦਾ?
    Do you know
    ਮੈਂ ਕਿੰਨਾ ਤੇਰੇ ਉੱਤੇ ਮਰਦਾ?
    Do you know
    ਤੇਰੇ ਲਈ ਮੈਂ ਤਾਂ ਪਿੰਡ ਛੱਡਤਾ?
    Do you know
    ਤੇਰੇ ਲਈ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਨਾਲ਼ ਲੜਦਾ?
    Do you know?
    Do you know?
    Do you know?

    Lyrics in English with lots of Romanization:

  17. Jerry Packard said,

    March 9, 2023 @ 10:16 am

    Hmmm… Maybe it doesn’t seem so out to the rest of you!

  18. Yandoodan said,

    March 9, 2023 @ 11:05 am

    You can get the result you want from Google Images by googling "juggernaut india". One picture shows people dwarfed by a wheel. Those things are huge!

  19. Cervantes said,

    March 9, 2023 @ 2:15 pm

    In speech act theory, I would say that the best way to classify "Guess what I saw at school today?" is not as a command — Mommy isn't really expected to guess, she's expected to say "What?" This is a conversation management speech act and more specifically a topic introduction. The illocutionary act can be translated as "I am going to tell you what I saw at school today," and its perlocutionary purpose is to pique Mommy's interest and get her attention.

  20. wanda said,

    March 9, 2023 @ 3:16 pm

    Late 30's American here. I was familiar with the meaning "giant, forceful thing that mows people down," so when I encountered Juggernaut the X-men foe in a video game, his attacks made sense. (He would charge at you, but you could jump out of the way.) I had no idea that the juggernaut was a giant cart until I was an adult.

  21. Victor Mair said,

    March 9, 2023 @ 4:17 pm

    From Philip Lutgendorf:

    One of the Orientalist tropes about the Puri temple chariot-procession (which, by all evidence, actually moves quite slowly) was that “frenzied devotees” would sometimes commit suicide by hurling themselves under the giant wheels—this was seen as evidence of the “madness” of Hindus and Hinduism, lending a menacing overtone to the Anglicized word.

  22. KIRINPUTRA said,

    March 9, 2023 @ 5:27 pm

    There’s clearly something to the idea that East & Southeast Asians from the wet rice region dislike Socratic styles of discussion. (So, not including India, and maybe not North China.)

    Allowing the unpredictable cutting edge of questions to “cut across” the flow of face-giving seems to feel cruel & unusual to some. The practice of asking a question to drive discussion when you already have an idea of how others may answer, and follow-up questions at the ready for various possible answers, is seen as douchey behavior unless it’s a Teacher doing it “to” students.

    An inferior can gently, humbly ask driving questions if a student-teacher dynamic is established, and the thrust of questioning is to further their own learning based on the teacher’s literally unquestionable intellectual authority.

    So there’s no blanket dislike of questions. In fact, E & SE Asians constantly use questions like “How much do you earn?” to reinforce certain aspects of social hierarchy. A common way to question a young person’s way of life is to ask them what their parents think of it. Non-apex Westerners tend to dislike such questions, especially when encountered over & over again, which of course they tend to be. Westerners try to ask novel questions, but this is douchey & threatening to Wet Rice Pacific Asians outside the context of same-generation, informal-pronoun relationships or the equivalent. Rather, the Peoples ask identical “safe” questions over & over again, and they may find that Westerners “dislike questions”, based on experience.

  23. crturang said,

    March 10, 2023 @ 5:53 pm

    @martin schwartz
    >>The Skt. term is from jagnnātha- 'Lord of the World' (out of sandhi jagad-
    '(the world as) that which moves' and nātha- 'leader.master'.

    Actually, the initial meaning of nātha would have been a helper from the root nāth. The master of the world more accurately would be jagadIsha.

  24. julie lee said,

    March 11, 2023 @ 12:01 pm

    From Prof. Mair's post:

    "Mommy, guess what I saw at school today?"

    "Daddy, guess what Joey told me yesterday?"

    When I was giving technical training in Chinese cultures (Singapore, Hong Kong) I found I had to be careful. In an anglo culture, the instructor asking q's would be seen as 'breaking the ice'/establishing the level of existing knowledge to build from. But I got no response at all: nobody wanted to risk embarrassing themselves by giving a wrong answer.
    May I make a few comments on the above items:

    As a child in a traditional Chinese family in the 1930s and 1940s, I would never have dreamt of asking: "Mommy, guess what I saw at school today?" "Daddy, guess what Joey told me yesterday?"

    These questions presume that you can talk with your parents. We could never talk with our parents. Wouldn't know how. They talked AT us, not with us. We were taught to listen, and to "listen (to the) talk " (tinghua) . "Tinghua (listen to talk)" meant to obey. We were always asked to tinghua (obey). This kind of upbringing had serious unfavorable consequences for us when we first came abroad to Western culture. Perhaps Chinese parents are different today.

    As to AntC's experience when giving technical training in Hong Kong and Singapore and not getting a response when he asked questions,
    I am not surprised. It reminds me of an experience I had as a student in National Taiwan University in the 1950s. I had come from abroad where I had attended English-language British schools. I was in a class at Taiwan University given by an American Jesuit priest in English. He was describing the Renaisssance in Europe. The class was silent. He went on and on and on, thinking the information was new to the class of Chinese students, who were all English majors. Silence from the students. Later, I was amazed to find that all the information he gave was in the Taiwan high school's history book on Western History, which those students would have studied. I think they didn't speak up because Chinese children were not taught to speak up to their elders.

  25. julie lee said,

    March 11, 2023 @ 12:12 pm

    The Chinese high-school history book was of the 1950s vintage and one my Taiwan U. classmates would have studied. It described the Renaissance in Chinese.

  26. Taylor, Philip said,

    March 11, 2023 @ 1:40 pm

    " Perhaps Chinese parents are different today" — I cannot comment from first-hand experience, but I can from second. I became very good friends with the second of my three Chinese teachers, and spent time not only with him but with all his extended family — his wife, his father, and his son. All four talked to each other as equals, there was no tīnghuà !ing, and there were no obvious differences (as far as I could see) between their relationships and the relationships that one might expected in a western home. To put things in a temporal perspective, it is probably some ten years since I spent time with them (both in Shanghai and in Kyoto), and at the time my teacher would have been approaching retirement age. His son would have been in his mid-to-late 20s and his father in his late 80s.

  27. julie lee said,

    March 11, 2023 @ 7:50 pm


    Thank you for your observations. A few thoughts here:

    There are exceptions, and things can also change. Actually, my own family (myself, children, and grandchildren) is just like the three generations of your friend-in-Shanghai's family (his father, himself, wife, and son ) in that all three generations of each famiiy speak to one another like equals, as in a Western family.
    There are many reasons for this.

    One thing to note is that the old
    Chinese family was Confucianist and the modern Chinese family in China lives under a communist regime. Confucianism inculcates inequality while communism inculcates equality, to put it simply. My mom used to say: "I am not here to be your friend; I am your mother." Confucianism makes it very clear that parents and friends are not equal. But that old society is no more, and many of its members have come to the West, or have been influenced by the West.

    I have the feeling your friend's father had the same kind of Confucianist upbringing as myself.

  28. TIC Redux said,

    March 12, 2023 @ 9:35 am

    I’m quite surprised that (unless I somehow missed it) my immediate mental image of a “juggernaut” hasn’t yet been mentioned here… That word has long conjured, for me, a swastika… I still lament the loss — or, as I continue to hope, the mere (impermanent) misplacement — of a prized possession… I happened upon it among my grandfather’s possessions, and subsequently carried it in my pocket for many years… It was a large, promotional coin (for a company that I no longer recall) — and a great conversation piece… It said “Good Luck”, and bore numerous associated images — the largest and most prominent of which, by far, was a swastika… It was, I’m sure, from a time before that symbol was appropriated – and, sadly, forever tarnished (to put it mildly) at least in Western minds — by the Nazis…

  29. Taylor, Philip said,

    March 12, 2023 @ 10:38 am

    Do you happen to recall, TIC, whether the arms of the swastika pointed clockwise or anticlockwise ? The direction has a significant impact on the perceived associations. Incidentally, see here for some illustrations of such coins/medals …

  30. Taylor, Philip said,

    March 12, 2023 @ 10:39 am

    Oops, sorry, forgot to add the link — here should have read here.

  31. Taylor, Philip said,

    March 12, 2023 @ 11:07 am

    "Here" was not correctly hyperlinked in my preceding, and my correction has been redacted. The correct URL, in plain text, reads

  32. TIC Redux said,

    March 12, 2023 @ 11:08 am

    I wouldn’t swear to it, PT, but my recollection is that it had one characteristic that was not in keeping with the Nazi version… Either the arms were reversed (pointing to the left) or it was oriented flat on one arm (not at an angle, as if rolling)… As you probably know, the swastika was a not uncommon element in decorative tile friezes(s?) on, among other things, firehouses in the early 20th Century…
    PS- Unfortunately, your link didn’t work for me…

  33. TIC Redux said,

    March 12, 2023 @ 12:17 pm

    Wow, PT, thanks for sharing that link!… My coin was brass (or per’aps bronze?) and, although I didn’t recognize the obverse in a quick perusal of those photos, the reverse was identical to maaany of them — with the swastika sitting “flat”, its arms “pointing” to the right… So, now for, I hope, a very LL-worthy question… Three of the smaller good-luck symbols are quite common — the four-leaf clover, the horseshoe, and the wishbone… But what’s the other set of “hieroglyphic” symbols?…

  34. TIC Redux said,

    March 12, 2023 @ 6:45 pm

    Well, I looked more closely at the link PT shared, and noticed the tabs on the right-hand side… The “Tokens” tab has a ton of information, including a couple of possible explanations of the “hieroglyphic” (or hobo?) symbols I mentioned above… I suspect that there’s someone here on LL who can set the record straight…

  35. Philip Anderson said,

    March 13, 2023 @ 8:00 am

    @TIC Redux
    I assume that these token designs developed from earlier ones, but it seems unlikely that the hieroglyphs were added by someone who could write in hieroglyphs; I suspect the original pattern was copied from an unidentified source.
    I wonder whether the forearm symbol was based on a rabbit’s foot, a known good luck symbol that does appear on some designs? Early appearances of rabbit’s feet are not much older than the earliest tokens though (so maybe such designs would have been unfamiliar?).

  36. TIC Redux said,

    March 14, 2023 @ 6:38 pm

    Thanks, PA…

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