"naps in the back"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Maurom, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. Maurom New Member

    Brazil and Portuguese
    What are the possible meanings for this expression (considering USA English context)? I guess it might be related to "hair" as well as to "car," but I am not sure.
  2. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    ______Threads without background and context will be closed!

    Welcome to the forums Maurom.

    To avoid wild guessing, which will not serve you well, we require a full sample sentence. In addition, we need some background and context. Also, please consult a dictionary before starting a thread. Nap and back both have many different meanings.
  3. . 1 Banned

    Ferntree Gully
    Australian Australia
    The back of the neck is the nape.

    A nap in the back is a short sleep in the back seat or the back room.

  4. Maurom New Member

    Brazil and Portuguese
    This is the context in which "naps in the back" appears (It is from a poem by the African American poet Harryette Mullen): (the problem is that it really lacks "context" in its traditional sense because it is not actually connected in a phrase, and this seems to go on purpose): (my guess is that it somehow relates to "hair" but also to backroom, but I am not sure if my interpretation is acceptable - I am not a native speaker of English):

    what you do to me
    got to tell it
    sing it shout out
    all about it

    ketchup with reality
    built for meat wheels
    the diva road kills
    comfort shaking on the bones

    trouble in mind
    naps in the back
    if you can’t stand
    sit in your soul kitsch
  5. . 1 Banned

    Ferntree Gully
    Australian Australia
    Why do you think that it relates to hair?

  6. Orange Blossom Senior Member

    U.S.A. English
    Possibly because of the not-to-politically-correct phrase "nappy hair" which refers to the tightly curled hair of many people of African ancestry.

    I, however, suspect that the meaning of 'nap in the back' in this poem is not referring to hair.
    The author pulls on languages of African-Americans, Spanish from New Mexico and Texas and elsewhere, plus English, plays with the words, alters them etc.

    I paraphrased the above information from this site: http://www.twc.org/forums/poetschat/poetschat_h_mullen.html which contains an interview with this writer about how she composes her writing.

    I suspect it won't be an easy task to determine the meaning of the phrase naps in the back in this poem.

    Orange Blossom
  7. . 1 Banned

    Ferntree Gully
    Australian Australia
    It is blindingly obvious to me but maybe I look at poetry differently. This is a twist of a very old saying with a new slant.

    If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitch(en) and take a nap in the back(room).

  8. Maurom New Member

    Brazil and Portuguese
    Hello guys! Your readings/explanations have been really helpful! Also, I've found out the expression "naps in the back" on the UrbanDic (but again it seems to be just one possibility).....Thanks for Mullen's website!!

    1. Naps 11 up, 5 down

    Having peas in your head; buckshots
    The inability for hair to be penetrated by combs
    Thia has naps in the back of her head.
    By Sheldon Nov 20, 2003
  9. Orange Blossom Senior Member

    U.S.A. English
    I didn't know this saying. Given the information in the interview I posted the link to, I'd say you're spot on.

    Orange Blossom

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