Goo, Gool and Glue

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If you were like me when you played "tag" with your friends there was a safe area you could run to where you couldn't be tagged, and that place, usually a building or a tree or something, was called "base." It made sense. That was your base.

However, I have learned something disturbing over the years and that is a massive communications failure in the "tag" system. First of all, my parents call tag "it," which honestly I think is a better name but I don't have it in me to convince everyone to change the name.

Anyway, when we played "it" with my dad, he called "base" "goo." As in "I'm on goo, you can't touch me." That's weird, isn't it? I always wondered if there was originally legitimate goo involved, and if so, what was it.

A few years later though, I was playing tag with my cousins and one of them claimed their swingset as "gool." GOOL? "You know, like base." Now come on, somebody had to hear the word "gool" and know they were mishearing something. There was no way that could be right but then that got passed down.

Most shockingly, I was describing this all to my husband at Christmas dinner and my mom said "Goo? Gool? We called it GLUE." I guess word-wise "glue" makes more sense than "gool" although technically "glue" is a "goo." But why would standing in glue be a good thing? Why would that make you immune? You'd think if anything it would be a handicap.

To me this is like the Alaskans having 80 words for snow thing, only probably way more anthropologically relevant.