Word Buzz Wednesday: bottom rocker, Quiverfull, wife bonus

San Marcos Alternatives

Welcome to Word Buzz Wednesday, in which we round up our favorite buzzworthy words of the week. The latest: the sartorial lives of motorcycle gangs; a quiverful of scary; and Glam SAHM shenanigans.


“Some Native Hawaiians disapprove of the name of a movie filmed and set in Hawaii, saying that titling it ‘Aloha’ is a disrespectful misappropriation of culture and simplifies a word that’s rich with meaning.”

Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, “Some Native Hawaiians disapprove of ‘Aloha’ movie title,” AP, May 25, 2015

In simplest terms, aloha is a “traditional greeting or farewell” mostly used in Hawaii. However, according to Janet Mock, MSNBC show host and native Hawaiian, the word is more complicated than that.

Aloha comes from two Hawaiian words: alo, “which means the front of a person, the part of our bodies that we share and take in people,” and ha, the breath. “When we are in each other’s presence with the front of our bodies,” Mock says, “we are exchanging the breath of life.”

bottom rocker

“So they decided that they were going to wear the Texas bottom rocker—which is telling the Bandidos that they believe that this is their territory, and they’re willing to die for that claim.”

Leon Neyfahk, “A Former Informant Describes the Violent and Sartorially Complicated World of Biker Gangs,” Slate, May 18, 2015

A bottom rocker is a patch on the bottom back of a motorcycle gang vest that denotes the state to which the gang is claiming territory. The name might come from the shape of some of the patches and their resemblance to the “curved pieces upon which a cradle, rocking chair, or similar device rocks.”


“They call themselves kayaktivists. They’re concerned about global climate change and the risk of an oil spill in the remote and icy Arctic Ocean. “

John Ryan, “Hundreds Of ‘Kayaktivists’ In Seattle Protest Shell’s Arctic Drilling,” NPR, May 18, 2015

Kayaktivists are activists in kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards who have who have gone after “a floating oil rig that Shell is taking to the waters off Alaska’s coast.”

Quiverfull movement

“But the Duggars are different than your standard evangelical Christians—they’re followers of a particularly scary fundamentalist sect known as the Quiverfull movement, which adheres to a deeply patriarchal and highly authoritarian set of beliefs about gender and culture.”

Jennifer C. Martin, “Quiverfull of Shit: A Guide to the Duggars’ Scary Brand of Christianity,” Gawker, May 25, 2015

Quiverfull is an extremely conservative evangelical Christian movement that began in the 1980s. Their name comes from Psalm 127 that states “as arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them.”

wife bonus

“Further probing revealed that the annual wife bonus was not an uncommon practice in this tribe.”

Wednesday Martin, “Poor Little Rich Women,” The New York Times, May 16, 2015

In her observation of Upper East Side Glam SAHMs, writer and social researcher Wednesday Martin found that some received wife bonuses, or financial incentives dependent on “performance,” such was how well they managed the home budget and whether or not their children got into prestigious schools.

[Photo via Flickr: “San Marcos Alternatives,” CC BY 2.0 by Michael Witzel]