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Mar 23, 2022

Woke? Here Are Other Things You Really Ought To Be

Some new useless words for your lexicon (at tremendous savings)

By Ed Goldman

As we all know, “woke” is the grammatically grotesque term used to define whether a person is politically correct, progressive, gender-sensitive, culturally appropriate and phenomenally tedious to spend time with. 

I think I’d prefer sharing a meal with a whole-life insurance sales rep, budding arsonist, cosmetic anesthesiologist or car-wash lifeguard than with someone who declares he/she/they/them-‘uns is/are/is-a-fixin-t’-be “woke.”

Edgy Cartoon

Barack and Ed posin’, 2007

Today I reveal some other, lesser known but equally obnoxious political labels you may want to consider applying to those/them/he/she/it who/that/which fits the category:         

FOLK. Barack Obama knew how to do “folk” better than any elected official. It mandates practitioners to drop the “g” from almost any gerund—such as coming, going, waffling, disappointing—so they sound more like what they presume “regular people” sound like. Many men go all “folk” when they try to explain why they’ve visited a car mechanic or hired a contractor, in the somewhat deluded sense that because the workers are “blue-collar” they must also be functionally illiterate. 

Yet, as I’ve taken pains to point out in this column, I’ve interviewed at least five young-ish college graduates who still uttered a variant of “Him and her sure seem to get along.” I’d like to report that my response was neither “Them do?” nor “They does?” Well, that’s what I’d like to report, anyway.

YOKE and YOLK. In this new lexicon (which we’re making up as we go along), to be “yoke” means to be in a relationship either with another human or, natch, a team of oxen. To be “yolk” in the other hand implies the person is what used to be called a “good egg,” which usually referred to the nerd left to walk home from a rave because the eight-seater SUV already had five people in it, three of whom opted to sprawl across two seats each.

POKE. This word has had so many meanings over the years that it’s tough to assign it a new definition. It’s an alternate word for prison (sometimes with a “y” added to make doing hard time sound like adorable activity), a fist punch and—as Robert Duvall used it to suavely seduce the call prostitute played by Diane Lane in “Lonesome Dove”—as an Old West way of asking a girl to dinner and a movie before movies were invented and dinner consisted of chuckwagon leftovers. 

I’d like to propose a new use for it. If someone calls you “poke” they may actually be saying “Polk” and consider you what was presidential timber, circa 1845, the year Joe Biden was Baptized.

SOAK. The exciting new term for a person who, spongelike, completely sucks the energy from a room by turning the conversation to whole-life insurance, arson, cosmetic anesthesiology or the demands of being a car-wash lifeguard. See paragraph 2.

BLOKE. This is what you are if, upon returning from a vacation in Liverpool, England, you affect what you think is a Cockney/early Beatles accent but act surprised when your friends (an admittedly diminishing group) alternately ask a variant of “What’s the deal with the Scottish brogue?”—or worse, “Are you doing Yosemite Sam? Hey, not bad.” The sad thing is that they know bloody well (!) you’re trying to sound like a Brit because you’ve told each of them, repeatedly, about your bloody vacation (!!).

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TOKE. Not to be confused with the French velvety cap that made men in the 16th century resembled adolescent girls modeling for Seventeen Magazine in the 1970s (I believe the compound adjective “So darling!” described the look). That’s “tocque.” Nor does this allude to a “toque,” the hat that chefs wear at restaurants where the staff is required to call them “Chef” as one might say “Maestro” if you played in a philharmonic orchestra or “Rabbi” if you worked for a law firm that so designated one of its elder attorneys seemingly capable of parting the Red Sea or, more to the point, getting an opposing counsel to answer your emails begging for a continuance.

In this instance, a “toke” is either someone who used to be on the take or someone who constantly sends money orders to people who text that their granddaughters are imprisoned in Fallujah but your  $25,000 will set her free. Don’t be fooled. I sent only $20,000 and didn’t hear any more about the plight of those poor girls, so I guess it did the trick.

Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).

Yes, Virginia

A Weekly Blog by Virginia Varela

President, Golden Pacific Bank, a Division of SoFi Bank, Inc.

photo by Phoebe Verkouw


Last week the Fed increased interest rates by 25 basis points. This was the first increase since 2018 and follows historically and incredibly low rates that have been near zero since March 2020.

Additionally, the Feds are expected to raise interest rates multiple times in the coming months. The Central Bank confirmed that interest rates should raise six more times this year, for a median federal funds rate of 1.9% by yearend. While that’s up from nearly zero rates for the past few months, it’s still low historically.

Why is the Fed doing this?

To fight inflation. Consumer prices rose in February at the fastest pace in 40 years and the cost of living is soaring throughout the USA. There is too much money available, and this shift in rates means that it will be costlier to borrow, tempering the demand side of the market.

What does this mean to the average guy or gal?

It’s going to be more expensive to borrow money for a mortgage on a home, credit card payments, or a car loan. With the uncertainties of the war in Ukraine, and rates expected to rise, it’s a good time to consider paying off or refinancing any debt.

On the other hand, rising rates could be good news for savers. Cash sitting in bank accounts earned almost nothing during COVID and now will earn a bit more. It’s also a good time to save.

Golden Pacific Bank, a division of SoFi Bank, N.A., is here to serve you during these turbulent times.

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