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Yogiisms

From Academic Kids

Yogiisms are quotes of Yogi Berra, who, besides being a baseball player, was also famous for fracturing the English language in provocative, interesting ways. Similar phrases, spoken by other people, are also sometimes called "Yogiisms". Many Yogiisms are oxymorons.

Contents

Examples

It ain't over 'til it's over.

This quote is undoubtedly the most well known Yogi-ism. It is also one of the more coherent ones. He first said this about the 1973 National League pennant race.

I want to thank you for making this day necessary.

This was said at Yogi Berra day in St Louis in 1947. It is supposed to be the first Yogi-ism. By his account, he asked a teammate to write a short speech, and he misspoke, replacing the word 'possible' with 'necessary'.

It's like déjà vu all over again.

Many people think that Berra would have never said the word déjà vu, as it wasn't his kind of language. But Yogi himself insists that he said this in reference to home runs by Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle, who often hit homers.

When you get to a fork in the road, take it.

Berra insists that this is part of some driving directions to his house. In his hometown of Montclair, New Jersey, there is a fork in the road and either way you take, you will get to his house. Some people find this to be a very poignant quote, thinking it means that when you find a challenge, overcome it.

I didn't really say everything I said.

Yogi can't even escape creating a Yogi-ism in his disclaimer for not creating all of the Yogi-isms. He was pointing out that he didn't say everything that people think he said, which is very likely.

Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded.

This one may have been invented by someone else. Yogi said it regarding a restaurant that had become very popular.

Tomorrow night is another day.

Yogi said it when his team lost a night game. He knew they would play better tomorrow.

We have a good time together, even when we're not together.

This quote was talking about his wife Carmen. Apparently it makes perfect sense to them, and it means that he likes to spend a little time away from her, but wants to be back together after it.

Our similarities are different.

This quote was actually said by Dale Berra, Yogi's son. It's interesting to note how similar they are in their linguistic ability.

I thought they said steak dinner, but then I found it was a state dinner...
...It was hard to have a conversation with anyone; there were so many people talking.

This was about a fancy dinner he attended at the White House.

We make too many wrong mistakes.

This quote was about his team, the New York Yankees, when they lost the World Series in 1960.

Other quotes

"Slump? I ain't in no slump... I just ain't hitting"

"You can observe a lot by watching"

"It gets late early around here..."

"A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore"

"If I didn't wake up I'd still be sleeping"

"I usually take a two hour nap from 1 to 4"

"If you don't know where you're going, you'll wind up somewhere else"

"The future ain't what it used to be"

"If they don't want to come, you can't stop them"

"Always go to other people's funerals otherwise they won't go to yours"

"You have to give 100 percent in the first half of the game. If that isn't enough, in the second half, you have to give what is left."

"Never answer an anonymous letter"

"Think! How the hell are you gonna think and hit at the same time?"

"Why buy good luggage? You only use it when you travel!"

"Ninety percent of this game is half mental."

In context

When asked what makes a good manager of a baseball team, he said "A good ball club"

When asked what time it is, he said "What? You mean right now?"

When he was asked if first baseman Don Mattingly had exceeded expectations, Yogi said "I'd say he's done more than that!"

His wife Carmen asked where he would like to be buried, and he said "Surprise me!"

He was told that he looked cool in his summer suit by the Mayor of New York's wife, and he said "You don't look so hot yourself."

At a dinner in an Italian restaurant, he was asked how many slices should be cut in his pizza, and he replied "You better make it four, 'cause I don't think I could eat six."

In advertisements

Television commercials have taken advantage of Yogi's fame in speaking, and advertisers have scripted some things for him to say that are similar to true Yogiisms.

In an Entenmann's commercial, Yogi said, "This box is opened until it's closed."

In an AFLAC commercial, Yogi said, "They give you cash, which is just as good as money."

See also

malapropism

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