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    #1

    aw-shucks folksiness

    Dear teacher, I'm very confused about a sentence: ....a treatment to the effectiveness of someone’s aw-shucks folksiness

    I'm not sure about the meaning of "aw-shucks folksiness", would you please help?

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: aw-shucks folksiness

    You will need to give us the entire sentence and context in which you saw the phrase.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: aw-shucks folksiness

    When you ask this sort of question, it's always better to include more of the context than you have done here. You have not even given the whole sentence.

    However, "aw-shucks folksiness" is undoubtedly an American expression. The term "aw-shucks" has many meanings, ranging from an expression of shyness [Mary-Lou to Billy-Jo: "I really like you". Billy-Jo: "Aw shucks, Ma'am".] to one of surprise and/or despair [7th Cavalry Scout: "Injuns, General - thousands of them!" General Custer: "Aw, shucks!"] Whatever the circumstances, it always signifies that the speaker is a homely, unsophisticated, salt-of-the-earth individual: a cowboy, a hill-billy, a farmer. In other words, a man of the people - which is what "folksiness" also means, You would have expected to hear it from President Lincoln, but probably not from President Nixon....

    Apologies to any North Americans for my take on your culture...
    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

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    #4

    Re: aw-shucks folksiness

    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
    When you ask this sort of question, it's always better to include more of the context than you have done here. You have not even given the whole sentence.

    However, "aw-shucks folksiness" is undoubtedly an American expression. The term "aw-shucks" has many meanings, ranging from an expression of shyness [Mary-Lou to Billy-Jo: "I really like you". Billy-Jo: "Aw shucks, Ma'am".] to one of surprise and/or despair [7th Cavalry Scout: "Injuns, General - thousands of them!" General Custer: "Aw, shucks!"] Whatever the circumstances, it always signifies that the speaker is a homely, unsophisticated, salt-of-the-earth individual: a cowboy, a hill-billy, a farmer. In other words, a man of the people - which is what "folksiness" also means, You would have expected to hear it from President Lincoln, but probably not from President Nixon....

    Apologies to any North Americans for my take on your culture...
    Thank you very much for your explanation. In fact, I'm reading a book about George Bush. The whole sentence is:

    "Bonk’s plan for this day was itself a treatment to the effectiveness of Bush’s aw-shucks folksiness. Because of that reputation, Bonk had overcome his hesitance about sneaking the briefcase bomb into the house, providing Bush a vivid exhibit of the terrorist threat."

    I think your explanation fits with the context here as Bush has been described in the press, particularly in Europe, as a "cowboy".

    However, may I ask one more question? Is the first sentence "Bonk’s plan for this day was itself a treatment to the effectiveness of Bush’s aw-shucks folksiness" means that Bonk's plan is formulated because Bush is such a homely person? Does this sentence carries the meaning of helping Bush because of his personality?

    Sorry for my stupid question and thanks for your help.

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    #5

    Re: aw-shucks folksiness

    I think your explanation fits with the context here as Bush has been described in the press, particularly in Europe, as a "cowboy".

    Oh, dear. I think I may have led you astray a bit. In this case, the press are using the expression "cowboy" to mean something quite different to the traditional meaning of the word. Whereas the "aw shucks folksiness" ideal of a cowboy is an upright, straight talking individual with high moral values, the press are using the word in its other, pejorative, sense of someone who acts before he thinks, takes unnecessary risks, and generally leaves things half completed.

    Going on to your second question about "Bonk’s plan for this day was itself a treatment to the effectiveness of Bush’s aw-shucks folksiness", I'm not sure what the author means by "a treatment to the effectiveness". I guess that he means that the plan was designed to show that Bush was not a "homely" person, and that his "aw-shucks homeliness" image was a political ruse. So it was not at all about helping Bush; quite the opposite.

    I think the author's being a bit hard on whichever Bush he is talking about, but it's a free country....
    Last edited by Grumpy; 16-Mar-2013 at 18:42.
    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

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    #6

    Re: aw-shucks folksiness

    (Not a Teacher)

    I'd avoid referring to someone as "homely" in the US. Most folks here understand it to mean "ugly, unattractive, or plain".

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    #7

    Re: aw-shucks folksiness

    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
    I think your explanation fits with the context here as Bush has been described in the press, particularly in Europe, as a "cowboy".

    Oh, dear. I think I may have led you astray a bit. In this case, the press are using the expression "cowboy" to mean something quite different to the traditional meaning of the word. Whereas the "aw shucks folksiness" ideal of a cowboy is an upright, straight talking individual with high moral values, the press are using the word in its other, pejorative, sense of someone who acts before he thinks, takes unnecessary risks, and generally leaves things half completed.

    Going on to your second question about "Bonk’s plan for this day was itself a treatment to the effectiveness of Bush’s aw-shucks folksiness", I'm not sure what the author means by "a treatment to the effectiveness". I guess that he means that the plan was designed to show that Bush was not a "homely" person, and that his "aw-shucks homeliness" image was a political ruse. So it was not at all about helping Bush; quite the opposite.

    I think the author's being a bit hard on whichever Bush he is talking about, but it's a free country....

    Dear Grumpy & SlickVic9000

    Many thanks for your detailed explanation.

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    #8

    Re: aw-shucks folksiness

    Quote Originally Posted by SlickVic9000 View Post

    I'd avoid referring to someone as "homely" in the US. Most folks here understand it to mean "ugly, unattractive, or plain".
    It's difficult to think of an exact adjectival equivalent in AmE for the BrE homely. Folksy may be the closest.

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    #9

    Re: aw-shucks folksiness

    In BrE, I wouldn't say that "homely" means "ugly, unattractive or plain". It just means that you might be a little quiet, you like to be at home, and perhaps enjoy cooking/baking. Perhaps you prefer being at home doing domestic things, rather than being outside doing other things.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #10

    Re: aw-shucks folksiness

    (Not a Teacher)

    We call someone like that a "homebody" here in the States. Also, I realize "homely" doesn't have such a negative meaning in BrE, but it does in AmE, which is why I felt the need to point that out.

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