Maybe Yes, Maybe No #socs

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Today, we’re to start with a word that starts with "M," and wouldn’t you know it, I immediately thought of "maybe."

When I was a kid, "maybe" usually meant "no." "Mom, can I go to the beach?" "Maybe." Then I knew that the answer was probably "no." Worse was when I’d ask if I could do something, and she’d say "we’ll see." That told me the answer was definitely "no."

If a diplomat says "yes," he means "maybe"; if he says "maybe," he means "no"; and if he says "no," he’s no diplomat. I don’t know where I heard that, but it’s probably true.

We were big fans of The Firesign Theater when I was in high school. Our favorite skit was "Nick Danger, Third Eye". At one point, the villain (a guy named Rocky Rococo) says "Maybe yes, maybe no," growled out in this sinister nasal voice. We picked up on that one right away, and whenever someone would ask a yes-or-no question, we’d say "maybe yes, maybe no." It was nuts, but so were we.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now a word about Pall Mall (pronounced "pell mell," just like in England) cigarettes. Outstanding! And they are mild…

That woman toward the end of th commercial has crazy eyes…

32 thoughts on “Maybe Yes, Maybe No #socs

  1. We’ll see was always a no and maybe was maybe – sometimes yes and sometimes no. I remember the Pall Mall commercials and it seemed odd that it was pronounced pell mell! Maybe they should have spelled it pell mell. Interesting, because pell-mell is defined as – in mingled confusion or disorder. Maybe pell-mell is a good word for today’s current state of mess. I guess we’ll see.

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    1. From what Wikipedia tells me, it’s a London street that ends at Trafalgar Square that was named after the game pall-mall (a precursor of croquet), that used to be played there. I don’t get the sense that pall-mall was a wild sort of game that had balls flying all over the place, but ya never know…

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  2. Maybe is definitely one of those words that serves a wide variety of purposes. It took a long time to stop saying maybe to all the asks because I felt uncomfortable saying no. In the end it only led to a more uncomfortable no down the road.

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  3. I seem to remember my maybes truly being maybes. But my kids might have different recollections. I do know that I was fond of, “Maybe if you get your homework done and clean up your room.” However, if I said, I don’t know, I have to think about it, that would usually be a no. “We’ll see” was often a no. Then there was, “Maybe when you’re 18.”

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        1. Thanks! You get used to it, sadly, but my friends and their dads were really good about it. I was in Cub Scouts in 6th grade (the Webelos Den, the last step before Boy Scouts) and we were going to do one of those father-son things, and the adult leader made sure that I understood that I was welcome despite not having a father. He said “we’ll all be your dad that day.” It meant a lot.

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  4. I seem to remember my mom and dad saying either a firm “yes” or “no,” and not too many “maybe’s.” Then again, that was long ago and I don’t have the best of memories. From my mom, I heard more “wait til your father gets home” for the bigger decisions and when discipline was a certain outcome.

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