Students Think It's Baracking Cool Some students at a high school in Albany, N.Y., are having a bit of fun with the president's name. They're not using Obama's name as a joke, but as a way to inspire fellow students.
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Students Think It's Baracking Cool

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Students Think It's Baracking Cool

Students Think It's Baracking Cool

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer in for Liane Hansen.

Some students at a high school in Albany, New York are having a bit of fun with the president's name, but in a good way - a way to inspire fellow students. It's called Baracking. And Albany High School student Ocasio Wilson is with us to explain what that is. He joins us from member station WAMC in Albany. Hello, Ocasio.

Mr. OCASIO WILSON: Hi, how's you doin'?

WERTHEIMER: Pretty good, pretty good. First of all, I wonder, I mean, give me an example. How would you use the president's name as a sort of - as slang?

Mr. WILSON: During November, the election month, many people would just say Obama just out of nowhere in the middle of class. I know I personally did, even when circumstances didn't necessarily call for it. It might have been a quiet study moment, and I'll just blurt out Obama. And…

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. WILSON: It would be almost on the verge of annoying, but I really didn't care.

WERTHEIMER: But why? Why'd you do that?

Mr. WILSON: It's pride. I'm taking pride that someone that looks like me is in the position that he is. And I'm certainly not the only one who feels that way.

WERTHEIMER: So, the notion of Baracking sort of started that way with a little kind of a one-name tribute. And then something else started to happen, right?

Mr. WILSON: Yeah, it just, it became a part of just many students' vernacular. Just even if it didn't quite make sense, it was just a way of just celebrating his candidacy and eventually his presidency.

WERTHEIMER: Well, now that he is president, according to the Albany Times Union, you guys in your high school have been talking to each other, using the president's names as words. Now, that's what I want to hear an example of.

Mr. WILSON: Right. It's not as prevalent as it was during the election month, but it still resonates throughout the school. For example, if somebody's acting reckless, maybe loud and obnoxious, then I heard someone say, chill, B, Barack's in the White House now, you can't be acting like that.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. WILSON: Something like that. And in the past they have said things like, what's Baracking, as a way of saying what's going on or how you doing? And they've also said, Barack you, as a way of saying, bless you.

WERTHEIMER: You mean like when somebody sneezes?

Mr. WILSON: Yeah, yeah.

(Soundbite of laughter)

WERTHEIMER: I saw that in the paper. It has a positive connotation, I guess.

Mr. WILSON: Oh, it most definitely has a positive connotation. It's definitely not negative 'cause we're proud to be able to, you know, say his name. He's a celebrity, you know what I'm saying? Students don't talk about political figures, but they talk about Barack Obama. Now, for whatever reason, he has a certain place in young students' hearts and that's worthy to be noted.

WERTHEIMER: Ocasio Wilson, he's a senior at Albany High School in Albany, New York, and he is headed for Vassar College in Poughkeepsie. Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us.

Mr. WILSON: No, thank you. It was a pleasure.

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