General Question

charliecompany34's avatar

Why "jack and judy" instead of "judy and jack"?

Asked by charliecompany34 (7785points) September 30th, 2008

restaurant names, tv shows, law firms. why do two or even three names sound good together based on where they are placed? why does jack and judy sound better than judy and jack?

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33 Answers

Celeste00's avatar

You can read this about it if you have the time:

http://bespin.stwing.upenn.edu/~upsych/Perspectives/1999/sambur.htm

“Currently, there are societal pressures to decrease the use of gender-biased language. However, some aspects of language might encode gender differences less obviously. When two words are conjoined, the ordering of the words does not change the grammar of the phrase. For most cases, either of the two words could occur first in the conjunct because English grammar is neutral concerning the ordering of phrases. “Jack and Jill” and “Jill and Jack” mean exactly the same thing. Yet, certain words are “frozen” in a specific order. Cooper and Ross (1975) found that these freezes occurred with a certain consistency. Some of the semantic constraints include male before female (husband and wife; and Peter, Paul and Mary), adult before child (cat and kittens), positive before negative (good and bad), and animate before inanimate (horse and buggy). This male first bias, although it is only a bias and not a rule, seems to extend beyond frozen phrases to more fluid structures. Thus the above frozen example of husband and wife is representative of conjunctive phrases that generally possess the male first bias.”

LanceVance's avatar

Personally I find Judy and Jack much more melodic.

deaddolly's avatar

it has to do with flow and syllables. Easier to say….

Nimis's avatar

DISCLAIMER: Totally pulling stuff out of my butt on this one. This is just my personal theory…

I think the staccato of alternating consonant and vowel sounds is easier to say than two vowel sounds bumping up against each other. Though I’m guessing it would also depend on the consonants and vowels in question?

In this case:
Jack and = Jackand (rolls off tongue easily)
Judy and = Judyand (not as easily?)

What I meant by staccato, is how it is naturally read:
Jack and Judy = Jackand Judy = 2 2
Judy and Jack = Judy and Jack = 2 1 1
(When a vowel bumps up next to a consonant, it will lend it self more to be read together.)

LanceVance's avatar

Isn’t Judy and Jack more naturally read?

When you say the “y” in Judy, your tongue is already off the palate and it can just flow to an “a” which makes “and”. When you say the “d”, your tongue is at the back of the teeth, making it easier to slip for another “J” which makes the “Jack”.

waterskier2007's avatar

to me, most of the time alphabetically sounds better

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

Gin and Tonic
Margarita and Salt
Ketchup and Mustard
Franks and Beans
Jack and Diane
Punch and Judy
Kukula, Fran and Ollie
Tom and Jerry

I don’t see any rhyme or reason to any of the above and guess that which ever came first just seemed to sound the best and became part of the vernacular.

Edit: I forgot one of grandpa’s faves:

Piss and Vinegar

Nimis's avatar

The d to J transition is the same in either case, no?
And Jack or and Judy.

Judy and Jack may be more melodic because of that ia sound.
But if you say either phrase fast enough, they separate into
that 2 2 sound (for Jack and Judy) and 2 1 1 sound (for Judy and Jack).
And I think the staccato is more rhythmic.

robmandu's avatar

@Sueanne, that looks like fun…

Hither and yon
To and fro
Left and right
Up and down
Back and forth
In and out

Um. Wait.

Ew. I think I strayed into the land of double entendres.

Nimis's avatar

Wat: Sounds better or looks better?

Nimis's avatar

Sue: There’s totally reason (maybe not rhyme) to most of those.
Gin and Tonic
Margarita and Salt
Ketchup and Mustard
Franks and Beans
– These all list the main ingredient/player first.

Tom and Jerry
Jack and Diane
– These were already presented to us in this order by their creators.

Punch and Judy
Kukula, Fran and Ollie
– No idea about these last two though. Haven’t heard of them?

LanceVance's avatar

We reached the point where term sounding better might mean better rhythm or better melody. I stand for melody, since it jazzes up the sentences and since you’re not going to repeatedly say a phrase only to feel the rhythm.

Nimis's avatar

Actually, my bullshit theory could apply to both Tom and Jerry and Jack and Diane.

Tomand Jerry = 2 2
Jerry and Tom = 2 1 1

Jackand Diane = 2 2
Diane and Jack = 2 1 1

EmpressPixie's avatar

@nimis: the Punch and Judy shows were puppet shows back in the day. They beat each other up a lot.”

Nimis's avatar

Punchand Judy = 2 2
Judy and Punch = 2 1 1

Nimis's avatar

Lan: Yeah. I think much of it comes down to personal preference.
But as a marketing strategy, they’re probably playing to what they figure the majority is.

Nimis's avatar

Emp: Thanks for the clarification.

LanceVance's avatar

Nimis, I totally agree with this theory of yours but saying phrases out fast makes it sound more like “Jack’n’Judy”, not “Jack and Judy”. Same goes for other listed.

As for the marketing strategy, I agree.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

@Nimis: Umm, your premise is a little off. There is more tonic than gin. More beans than franks. And ketchup and mustard are tied. How much piss and how much vinagar depends on your attitude. Lastly, you are correct that a good Margarita has more Margarita than salt.

You don’t know Punch and Judy? Kukla, Fran and Ollie? I must be wayyyy old.

Nimis's avatar

Sue: That’s why I amended ingredient with player. Even if there is more tonic, gin is taking center stage. Same goes for frank and beans. I love mustard more than ketchup, but I wouldn’t say they’re equal.

Nimis's avatar

Still not sure what Kukla, Fran and Ollie is.
But I can probably tell you why I missed out on Punch and Judy.
If it involved puppets, I probably didn’t watch it.
Didn’t watch Sesame Street either.
Gasp. I know.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

Nim: I don’t buy it. Gin without tonic is a gin martini. Gotta have the tonic. The tonic makes the drink.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

Nim: I agree about the puppet thingy. Not a big fan.

Nimis's avatar

It comes down to marketing as well.
Do you think you will get more money for gin with tonic or tonic with gin?

LanceVance's avatar

Around here it’s just gin-tonic. Simple as that. ^^

Nimis's avatar

Efficient. I like it.

marinelife's avatar

I agree with Celeste. In the example charliecompany34 gave, it is that way because we live in a patriarchal society.

It may be the tonce that makes the G&T, but I don’t care much what kind it is. I do care about the gin.

fireside's avatar

@ Nimis – Kukla, Fran and Ollie = more puppets

DrasticDreamer's avatar

All I have to say is this: When growing up, we had neighbors (a brother and sister, brother was older, sister younger) that lived on the same street. Whenever all of us kids were talking about their house it was always “Bessie and Joseph’s”, never “Joseph and Bessie’s”. One day we even talked about why we said it that way and the overwhelming answer from all of us was “It just sounds better”.

marinelife's avatar

Edit my above response. Tonic not tonce. (I swear I have not had one!)

stratman37's avatar

because men are superior to women!

augustlan's avatar

Just to stir the pot: Raggedy Ann and Andy.

stratman37's avatar

Dang it! Forgot about that one.

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