Posted by Bob on October 12, 2005
In Reply to: Meaning of 'Urbana' posted by Smokey Stover on October 12, 2005
: : : : : : : : : Recently I received a letter from a cousin who used an expression I am unfamiliar with; it was something like "I too piss off the porch at sunset." I've never heard it before and wondered if it is indeed a colloquialism, or if my cousin just invented it. Could you help me?
: : : : : : : : I don't know what it means. Maybe that he is common folk. Referring to the time before indoor plumbing when it was more convenient to wee off the porch before going to bed rather than go to the outhouse?
: : : : : : : I found a weblog entry discussing the custom of country boy pissing off porches. It might explain the idea behind the practice in general or else hint at the mood of the verbal expression emenating from the action:
: : : : : : : "29 August 2004 - Peeing Off the Back Porch
: : : : : : : I grew up in the country.
: : : : : : : One of the benefits of this, for me and my three brothers, was that we could pee anywhere we wanted. If we got the urge - no matter where we were - we'd just pull down our pants and take a whizz.
: : : : : : : To the best of my knowledge, this is a luxury not enjoyed by city boys.
: : : : : : : Best of all, we could pee off the back porch. Even if the bathroom were free, even if the bathroom were closer, even if there were no reason to pee off the back porch, we'd often choose to do so anyhow".
: : : : : : : This is only an excerpt. To read the entire entry, please follow the link I posted below.
: : : : : : : I hope it helps some.
: : : : : : : ~ Sharon M.
: : : : : : I read the linked item. The author talks about pissing contests, which Dad won. Well, that wouldn't happen in any pissing contest I've ever been in. I'm sure the males in your family can tell you why. As for the back porch, ours was screened in. And my parents would definitely not have appreciated it. We had our pissing contests in the cowshed, by the way. And nobody's dad was invited! SS
: : : : : Well, living out in the country does allow human folk to return 'a favor' to mother nature by obeying its call whenever you feel like it... and off the back porch and or the cowshed nonetheless. However, a 'city mouse' as I am, just think what kind of gratitude Urbana, the mother of all cities, would show if the arch would strike one of its obedient citizens walking innocently down below... it won't be only the soft, warm, golden rays of the sunshine to touch them... the forecast will condition them to some heavy showers... as well..
: : : : : ~Sharon M.
: : : : Urbana, mother of all cities? This is really enigmatic, especially as there is an arch. I once lived in Urbana, Illinois, which then had no arch. And there is the smaller Urbana, Ohio, for which the other Urbana is named. It has an arch, at Urbana University, which is even smaller than the college I went to, if that's possible. I don't think there's an arch in Urbana, Iowa. Clarification, please? SS
: : : Well, my intention was beyond a physical portrayal of a place (and as I've never been a citizen of earthly Urbana, I wouldn't know if it did have arches of not). I was speaking figuratively, invoking a non-existant being named after the urban settings which it is supposed to depict in general, hence Urbana ;).
: : : And the arches, well they are also to be taken as part of the act being done off the porch... otherwise they are not a concrete (but a liquified, if any) image of sorts in what I meant to say...
: : : Hope that clarifies things :)
: : : ~ Sharon M.
: : I also came across some interesting allusions to the meaning of the name Urbana, regardless of the city, which according to the Encyclopedia Britannica online, "was called Urbana, meaning 'refinement,' or 'politeness'"
: : (www.britannica.com/eb/article-907).
: : Urbana is also a first name:
: : Gender: Girl
: : Origin: Latin
: : Meaning: "Of the city."
: : Notes: Feminine form of Urban, which has been used by eight popes . In the U.S., the name is likely to be associated with the town where the University of Illinois is located.
: : Variants: Urbanna
: : Keywords: latin, city, town
: : Other names starting with: Ur-
: : Other names ending with: -na, -ana
: : Popularity: The name Urbana was not ranked among 4275 first names for females of all ages in the 1990 U.S. Census. The name Urbana was not ranked among 88799 surnames for males and females of all ages in the 1990 U.S. Census.
: : (Cited from the Think Baby Names website, see a link below)
: : ~ Sharon M.
: Thanks for clearing that up. Now I know that Urbana, the Celestial City, has Golden Arches. SS
You can take that golden arch right off the back porch. Gravity's Rainbow.