Stick Fly Lingo

Interested in the language and references used in Stick Fly?
Check out these buzzwords in our handy dictionary.

Pop Culture

Birkenstock: German shoe company that produces sandals that were all the rage among the American hippy population of the 1960s; now, the company also makes clogs and other styles of comfortable shoes

Cotillion: formal ballroom dance for young people

D.H. Lawrence: controversial English novelist and poet from the turn of the 20th century whose graphic depictions of sexuality led to the banning of several of his books; his most famous works include Sons and Lovers and Lady Chatterley's Lover

Elizabeth Taylor: famous American actress and icon who, after her rise to fame as a child star in the 1940s, found success as an adult in such films as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Whoís Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, winning an Academy Award for her roles in the latter

Ferragamo: Italian luxury designer, specializing in shoes, handbags, and other accessories

Kate Spade: American luxury designer that also makes shoes, handbags, and other accessories

Kennebunkport ("Kenny"): seaside town in Maine located 90 miles north of Boston; the town is known for its wealthy, white residents (this is also Kimber's hometown)

Lilly Pulitzer: luxury designer known for her preppy style and use of bright colors and patterns; she also designs accessories and shoes

Prada: expensive Italian designer fashion label known for its elegant dresses and must-have handbags

Pulitzer Prize: prestigious award recognizing the year's best in print journalism, news photography, fiction, general nonfiction, biography, history, poetry, drama, and music; also includes a $10,000 prize (Taylor's father won two of them)

Shirley Temple: perhaps the most famous American child movie star, known for her blond curls and tap dancing; she rose to fame in 1930s, appearing in films such as Bright Eyes and The Little Princess

Xanax: prescription drug used to treat anxiety and panic disorders


Academic Terms

Colonialism: forced control of a nation, territory, or people by a more powerful nation; it subjugates natives to the worldview and customs of the invaders

Cultural Anthropology: the study of human beings, focusing on cultural and social behaviors; topics in this field include religion, language, kinship, and ethnicity, among others (Taylor's father studied these subjects)

Cultural Capital: knowledge of high culture, such as the arts and literature; those who possess it enjoy societyís social and financial benefits

Entomology: the study of insects (Taylor's field of study)

Feminist: broadly, a member of the intellectual and political movement known as Feminism that seeks the equal treatment of women

Galleys: a bound proof of a soon-to-be-published document

Max Weber's Theories of Social Dominance: theories by the German economist and sociologist Max Weber in which he argues that the major forms of conflict within a society — such as racism, sexism, and classism — all derive from a basic human predisposition to favor those people who are most like you

Pan-Africanism: movement championing unity among all African peoples, including those of the African diaspora (Taylor's mother studied the politics and infrastructures of Pan Africanism)

Post-doc: short for post-doctoral, a research-based, non-degree-granting program in a candidate's area of expertise; it admits students who have already completed their doctoral degree, many of whom may be looking for tenure-track teaching opportunities (Taylor is pursuing her post-doc in entomology.)

Socioeconomics: the study of the convergence of social and economic factors on a given population

Utopia: the name for an ideal community or society, taken from the title of a book written in 1516 by Englishman Sir Thomas Moore; it is generally acknowledged that utopias can only exist in the hypothetical and not in reality


Race Relations

bell hooks: black feminist theorist and activist from the late 20th century whose scholarship focuses on the ways that race, class, and gender work together to support the systems of dominance and oppression inherent in society; she claims that her penname lacks capitalization so that people will focus more on her ideas and less on her name

Institutional Racism: racism present in the structures of political and social institutions (in Stick Fly, it pertains to the unequal distribution of funds and resources to inner-city schools)

Jack and Jill: an organization for elite black kids and teenagers; they arrange cotillions, trips abroad, and social gatherings

Octoroon, Quadroon: terms used by European colonizers to designate a person with one black great-grandparent (one-eighth black) and a person with one black grandparent (one-quarter black), respectively; in practice, the terms were linked more to skin color and less to ancestry; today their use is seen as derogatory

WASP: an acronym for White Anglo-Saxon Protestant; today the term is often pejoratively applied to financially privileged white Americans, regardless of ethnicity or religious background

White Privilege: a set of advantages enjoyed by white people over those of other races, which manifests itself in social, political, and economic forums, such as the in workplace

© 2021 The Huntington. All rights reserved | Trouble viewing this site? Please download Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.