The Corner

Culture

An Indelible Phrase

Today on the homepage, I have a “Stockholm Journal.” These are notes historical, social, political, musical, and so on. Something for everyone, I hope.

Here’s something that’s not there: the phrase “Skoal, brother.” It is marked in my brain. I thought of it while I was in Sweden.

“Skål” is how they toast. (This word is pronounced “skole.”) In the bad old days, Earl Campbell, the great running back, did an ad for Skoal chewing tobacco. (The name of this tobacco comes from the Swedish toast.) The ad ended, “Skoal, brother” — which approximated “’s cool, brother.” (“It’s cool, brother.”) (That’s the way we talked.)

I’ve looked up the ad: here. The year was 1981. Interesting how television, with its words and phrases, is imprinted on you, early on. The phrase “Skoal, brother” is as natural to me as “Hello” or “Okay.”

So is “Brutal, Juice,” but that’s another story …