Place item was collected
North Logan, Utah
Joshua Amos McKinney
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Joshua Amos McKinney was born in Louisville, Kentucky. He lives with his wife Jenn and their three children in Rexburg, Idaho. Becca Bowen, mentioned below, is his sister-in-law via his wife, and Ben, mentioned below, is his brother-in-law via his wife. Josh has one younger sister and no brothers.
Whenever Josh sees his brother-in-law Ben, he will often call him this nickname: Farghis (Pronounced FAR-giss, much like Fargo). Josh is the only person in Ben’s family who does this, because Josh found the story of its origin so hilarious. Usually, Josh will use this nickname after a long period of time without seeing Ben, or he will use it when asking Ben to do something. Josh and Ben’s relationship is such that Ben enjoys this nickname coming from Josh, Ben’s family and name is such that no one else chooses to call him by that name, even though they all remember and love the story of how the nickname came to be. Josh recounted this story in his mother-in-law’s kitchen, Ben’s mother, together with his wife Jenn, Ben’s older sister, and Becca, Ben’s younger sister.
Josh: So, the Story goes that Ben was at a band competition and—
Jenn: no he wasn’t he was at a demolition derby
Josh: oh was it? I remembered it as at a stadium —
Ben: yeah, it was a fundraiser —
Josh: Oh you were at a demolition derby as a band to work at the, concessions yes, and you were walking by and there was a inch of booths or whatever and there was one booth, and it was for a music store, the local music store, and they had a drawing for a guitar, and you had to sign up and put your name in, and so, Ben decided he was going to do that, um, but he was like ‘there’s no way I’m gonna win’, so he signed his name, Ben Farghis, but decided to put Dow his real phone number, just in case. And so, Mom called— got a phone call one day, and they asked if Ben Farghis was at home, and Mom didn’t, she was like, ‘there’s no one here by that name’.
At the time of collection, Josh sounded very interview-ish: very stiff, reserved, and he didn’t speak very smoothly, probably due to the presence of a recording device, no matter how unobtrusive or nonchalant. But he easily calls Ben “Farghis” when he sees him. Whenever attention is called to the nickname, Josh will often say something like, “Oh, I love that story,” referring to the origin of the nickname, and will often tell the story to anyone who may not have heard it.
Semester and year
G7: Marriage and Family
Bowen, Ben, "Farghis" (2017). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 120.