Friday, July 30, 2010

West Virginia, USA

And a new US map card for my collection...and so far, at least on this blog, my first West Virginia card.

The card lacks the usual facts the majority of these map cards have on the backside. So I will leave those for some other time when I get such a postcard, and now Ill just give you something else.

A common story told about West Virginia is the folktale about how it got the nickname "West, By God, Virginia". According to the legend, a West Virginia native who was being inducted into the US Army during the First World War (some versions make it as early as the Spanish-American War), was repeatedly asked by his induction officer, "What part of Virginia?" And the soldier, finally getting fed up with the confusion, said "Not Virginia! West Virginia! West, by God, Virginia!". This story, whether true or not, has entered American folklore, and it is not unusual to hear not only West Virginians themselves, but other Americans, refer to the state as "West, By God, Virginia";, or often as "West By-God", or sometimes simply as "By-God". Many West Virginians, when travelling outside the state, or when abroad, enjoy paying homage to the legend by referring to their home state in this manner.

Makes me wonder, is the phrase "Behind God's back" common in other countries too? I know it has nothing to do with the above story, but just got me thinking into it....

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