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trivias and references in romance novels
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Vellorine



Joined: 12 Oct 2007
Posts: 106

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:44 pm    Post subject: trivias and references in romance novels Reply with quote

In the middle of the research for my thesis, I accidentally found John le Carre's book Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, which immediately drew my mind to Jo Goodman's The Compass Club. Wikipedia tells that it's from a children's rhyme "Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief." It was a pleasant discovery, and I am wondering if others have had a similar experience to share with me. Smile
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veasleyd1



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 2064

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:00 pm    Post subject: Re: trivias and references in romance novels Reply with quote

Vellorine wrote:
In the middle of the research for my thesis, I accidentally found John le Carre's book Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, which immediately drew my mind to Jo Goodman's The Compass Club. Wikipedia tells that it's from a children's rhyme "Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief." It was a pleasant discovery, and I am wondering if others have had a similar experience to share with me. Smile


I learned the rhyme when I was a child as a petal-puller for identifying one's future spouse:

Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief;
Doctor, lawyer, merchant, chief.

A variant of the last was "Doctor, lawyer, Indian chief."

I know it had more lines than that.

We also sometimes used it as a "counting out" rhyme to determine who was "it," along the lines of "Eenie, meenie, miny, mo."

Virginia
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 3:18 am    Post subject: Re: trivias and references in romance novels Reply with quote

Vellorine wrote:
In the middle of the research for my thesis, I accidentally found John le Carre's book Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, which immediately drew my mind to Jo Goodman's The Compass Club. Wikipedia tells that it's from a children's rhyme "Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief." It was a pleasant discovery, and I am wondering if others have had a similar experience to share with me. Smile


+IHS+

I hadn't known about the children's rhyme. I thought that Goodman was making an explicit reference to John LeCarre alone. Hmmmm. Interesting!
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We used to use this rhyme jumping rope...either alone or with two on the rope and one jumping in. It was so much fun...I really didn't do well at kick ball, dodge ball (yuck) or anythng organized, but I was great at jumping rope.
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MMcA



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 681

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
We used to use this rhyme jumping rope...either alone or with two on the rope and one jumping in


Yes, I learnt this as a skipping rhyme - there's more to it though - you did it in parts. The first said when you'd marry - this year, next year, sometime, never - the second was who you'd marry - and there was more as well - definitely a bit about how you got to church (I'm remembering wheelbarrow as an option.).

I had a children's book where the heroine did the rhyme with cherry stones, but it's so long ago, I don't remember what book it was.

Can't think of any other examples from books at the moment, but there was a lighthearted programme about Elizabethan Food on the BBC this week. Said 'Hodge Podge' was a luxury dish that used all sorts of different meats and 'umbles' were innards, used to make pies for the poor - 'Umble Pie'- and because of the similarity to the word 'humble' we eventually got the phrase 'eating humble pie'.
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KarenS



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 871
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just last night I was reading(on the couch) Mr. Impossible where Daphne's brother Miles is having a conversation with an Egyptian telling Miles he will soon have to read(translate) something for the Feransa which is the term used for the French. He ponders it a moment thinking how odd that it's not the Ferangi he will have to translate for. Ferangi?? Wasn't that the term used for the greedy merchants from Star Trek? Anyway, Ferangi was(is) the term Egyptians applied to Europeans in general during the time frame the book is written. So Miles know that it's a Frenchman who may be behind his kidnapping. This helps to clarify for Miles his abductors. So as a Trekkie the term Ferangi stood out for me. Definitely a little bit of trivia happening here.

These are the intangibles one receives from reading. There's more to reading than just learning to put letters and sounds together, recognizing words, sentence structure, paragraph structure, etc. but learning references like this as well.
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veasleyd1



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 2064

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MMcA wrote:
Quote:
We used to use this rhyme jumping rope...either alone or with two on the rope and one jumping in


Yes, I learnt this as a skipping rhyme - there's more to it though - you did it in parts. The first said when you'd marry - this year, next year, sometime, never - the second was who you'd marry - and there was more as well - definitely a bit about how you got to church (I'm remembering wheelbarrow as an option.).


Speaking of counting rhymes for jump rope, has anyone ever seen a book with the following one?

Cinderella,
dressed in yella
went upstairs to
kiss a fella.
By mistake
she kissed a snake.
How many doctors
did it take?

I have only seen one instance of illustrations in which Cinderella's ball gown was yellow. It was mid-18th century style, and gorgeous, in a Little Golden Book from the 1950s or 1960s.

There were a lot of bouncing rhymes for playing jacks, too.


Last edited by veasleyd1 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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KayWebbHarrison



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1248
Location: SE VA. USA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KarenS wrote:
Just last night I was reading(on the couch) Mr. Impossible where Daphne's brother Miles is having a conversation with an Egyptian telling Miles he will soon have to read(translate) something for the Feransa which is the term used for the French. He ponders it a moment thinking how odd that it's not the Ferangi he will have to translate for. Ferangi?? Wasn't that the term used for the greedy merchants from Star Trek? Anyway, Ferangi was(is) the term Egyptians applied to Europeans in general during the time frame the book is written. So Miles know that it's a Frenchman who may be behind his kidnapping. This helps to clarify for Miles his abductors. So as a Trekkie the term Ferangi stood out for me. Definitely a little bit of trivia happening here.

These are the intangibles one receives from reading. There's more to reading than just learning to put letters and sounds together, recognizing words, sentence structure, paragraph structure, etc. but learning references like this as well.


I first came across the term "Ferangi" outside of StarTrek in Mary Jo Putney's second Silk book (Silk and Secrets). It was what the people of Central Asia called all "foreigners."

Kay
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MMcA



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 681

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Speaking of counting rhymes for jump rope, has anyone ever seen a book with the following one?


Not a book, but we'd a version of it - Cinderella, dressed in yellow, went upstairs to kiss her fellow, how many kisses did she get? 1, 2, 3 etc.

I did skipping with my Girls' Brigade section this year as their physical activity, and told them to ask their mums for rhymes. I'm fairly sure they came up with a Cinderella dressed in blue as well.
The others I had half remembered were 'Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear', and 'I had a little motor car' and 'I am a Girl Guide dressed in Blue' - and I'm nearly sure that in my childhood we also had 'I am a Girl Guide dressed in Green.'

Also we used to skip to 'In Fourteen hundred and Ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. The waves went higher, and higher, and over.'
No idea if that's historically accurate, but the date has stayed with me. (Though of course, we also had 'In Fourteen hundred and Ninety-three, Columbus sailed the deep blue sea...' )
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JaneO



Joined: 17 Feb 2008
Posts: 798

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do kids jump rope any more? I haven't seen any in quite a while. We used to jump to :

...(can't remember the beginning)
Here comes [name], the American beauty
She can wiggle, she can waggle
She can do the split
But I bet you any money that she can't do THIS!

But my mother-in-law, back in Donegal in the 1920s, used to jump to:

Up the long ladder
Down the short rope
To hell with King Billy
and God save the pope.

I hope that's passed into oblivion.
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veasleyd1



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 2064

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JaneO wrote:
Do kids jump rope any more? I haven't seen any in quite a while.


Oh, yes. For kids my granddaughters' age, there's actually competitive jump roping. You haven't lived until you have been in a gym in which girls are sitting flat on the floor and jumping ropes in unison.
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Susan/DC



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 1669

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:34 pm    Post subject: Re: trivia and references in romance novels Reply with quote

veasleyd1 wrote:
Vellorine wrote:
In the middle of the research for my thesis, I accidentally found John le Carre's book Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, which immediately drew my mind to Jo Goodman's The Compass Club. Wikipedia tells that it's from a children's rhyme "Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief." It was a pleasant discovery, and I am wondering if others have had a similar experience to share with me. Smile

I learned the rhyme when I was a child as a petal-puller for identifying one's future spouse:
Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief;
Doctor, lawyer, merchant, chief.
A variant of the last was "Doctor, lawyer, Indian chief."
I know it had more lines than that.
Virginia


Yes, when I learned it the line that came after "Doctor, lawyer, Indian chief" was "Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor" or sometimes "Tinker, tailor, cowboy, sailor" (I did grow up in Arizona, after all, so references to marrying an Indian or a cowboy was not totally unrealistic).

A recent reference in a romance novel was Julia Quinn's mention of "truthiness" in The Lost Duke of Wyndham. As far as I know, it's a term invented by Stephen Colbert in the 21st C, not a term used by highwaymen in the early 19th. I thought it was funny, however, and as she wrote the scene it actually sounded like something the hero could have said in the context.
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msaggie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 702

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:02 pm    Post subject: Jumping rhymes and children's songs Reply with quote

JaneO wrote:
..But my mother-in-law, back in Donegal in the 1920s, used to jump to:

Up the long ladder
Down the short rope
To hell with King Billy
and God save the pope.

I hope that's passed into oblivion.
JaneO, that is so funny. I think today, it would be called "politically incorrect"! Of course, Donegal was one of the Ulster counties that opted to go with the Republic of Ireland rather than stay British (with the other 6 counties of Northern Ireland). But I think this may have been just a very common nationalistic jingle they teach even to children - indoctrination, whatnot. (For those who don't know, King Billy is King William (of Orange) who defeated the Catholic Jacobites in 1690 at the Battle of the Boyne - this victory is still celebrated today in Northern Ireland on July 12th). Makes me think of the rhyme Annique in Joanna Bourne's The Spymaster's Lady quotes that children sang during the French Terror "Let the gutters flow with the blood of the aristocrats, let us wash our hands in their entrails, let all who stand aginst the voice of the people perish like rats.." which is more bloodthirsty. I wonder if the author made up that little jingle, or if French children really sang songs like that?
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Elizabeth Rolls



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 1088
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Makes me think of the rhyme Annique in Joanna Bourne's The Spymaster's Lady quotes that children sang during the French Terror "Let the gutters flow with the blood of the aristocrats, let us wash our hands in their entrails, let all who stand aginst the voice of the people perish like rats.." which is more bloodthirsty. I wonder if the author made up that little jingle, or if French children really sang songs like that?


Didn't Annique come from the south of France? Have you ever translated La Marseillaise? They're STILL singing songs like that - as their National Anthem Shocked

Elizabeth
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msaggie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 702

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:47 pm    Post subject: La Marseillaise Reply with quote

Elizabeth Rolls wrote:
Quote:
Makes me think of the rhyme Annique in Joanna Bourne's The Spymaster's Lady quotes that children sang during the French Terror "Let the gutters flow with the blood of the aristocrats, let us wash our hands in their entrails, let all who stand aginst the voice of the people perish like rats.." which is more bloodthirsty. I wonder if the author made up that little jingle, or if French children really sang songs like that?


Didn't Annique come from the south of France? Have you ever translated La Marseillaise? They're STILL singing songs like that - as their National Anthem Shocked

Elizabeth
Elizabeth, thank you for enlightening me - I just looked the translation of La Marseillaise in Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Marseillaise - and the first verse (still commonly sung today) is rather bloodthirsty - gee - I never knew!! Coming to cut the throats of your sons and wives, indeed! Why didn't they change the lyrics to something more peaceable-like?!! The British national anthem is pretty tame next to it. As is the American one...
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