Aggieland Semiotics, a non-prophet organization


In the College Station area, you see the maroon-on-white slogan "Gig 'em Aggies!" everywhere: on the front of convenience stores; written in Christmas tree lights hanging from apartment building balconies; on license plate frames; carved in brick facades in the nicer neighborhoods.

What could this mean?

My brother, a scholarly sort of fellow, finds the roots to this expression in frog gigging, which I gather involves impaling an amphibian on a spear. My less-than-authoritative Oxford American Dictionary tells me that, as entry 4, "gig" is a noun, slang for a military demerit or reprimand.

Naturally this leads me to wonder then if gigging 'em is a primitive hunting maneuver, or a rather more sedate recording of a black mark in one's (in this case 'em's) permanent record.

One day, I'll muster the courage to ask one of those nice young men in the camouflage outfits (the fellows who raise their caps and say, "Howdy, ma'am" to me); for now, my interpretations of Aggie Traditions can only be speculative.


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