Etiquette Hell

A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. Guests, register for forum membership to see all the boards. => Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange => Topic started by: Thipu1 on March 21, 2012, 10:08:23 AM

Title: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: Thipu1 on March 21, 2012, 10:08:23 AM
On a cruise last autumn that was well-populated by both residents of the UK and North America, one question flummoxed absolutely everyone.  We were given a list of names and asked to identify the group.  The correct answer was the 'Secret Seven' and no one from either side of the Atlantic had heard of that.

I've since learned that this was a popular series of books about a group of young mystery solvers that appeared in the 1940s and early 1950s.  I believe the author was Enid Bagnold. 

Does anyone here remember the books?
Title: Re: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: Bethalize on March 21, 2012, 10:11:28 AM
On a cruise last autumn that was well-populated by both residents of the UK and North America, one question flummoxed absolutely everyone.  We were given a list of names and asked to identify the group.  The correct answer was the 'Secret Seven' and no one from either side of the Atlantic had heard of that.

I've since learned that this was a popular series of books about a group of young mystery solvers that appeared in the 1940s and early 1950s.  I believe the author was Enid Bagnold. 

Does anyone here remember the books?

The Secret Seven books were by Enid Blyton. Blyton also wrote the Famous Five and lots of other similar type series. I read them all.
Title: Re: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: NyaChan on March 21, 2012, 10:11:48 AM
it is by Enid Blyton, I love her!!  Famous Five is also good  :D

ETA:  I'm surprised no one in the UK recognized it - I haven't seen much of her here, but my mom grew up in India so her childhood authors were mostly British and she passed it on to me.
Title: Re: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: Tilt Fairy on March 21, 2012, 10:18:24 AM
Yes I remember reading these! And the famous five! Was that where Timmy the dog was from? It's unusual that the names couldn't be identified by British people on the cruise because they used to be such popular books but to be fair, if you've read them a long time ago, you probably can't recognise the names. I barely remember the names!. The famous five and the secret seven were popular a years before me and I think a lot of the adult generation read them as kids too maybe. Equally as exciting for me, I grew up in the midst of the 'goosebumps books craze'.
Title: Re: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: Thipu1 on March 21, 2012, 10:26:26 AM
Thank you all for your responses.  Also,  thank you for identifying the author. 

It's good to k ow that these things are remembered.  Now, I need to go looking for the books.
Title: Re: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: NyaChan on March 21, 2012, 10:27:31 AM
you can find them online for sure, if you are deciding between new books or used books keep in mind that the new books have been made more PC to reflect changing times.
Title: Re: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: Thipu1 on March 21, 2012, 10:53:02 AM
Thank you, NyaChan.

I have checked out Bookfinder.com and have found many possibilities at reasonable prices. 
Title: Re: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: princessdolly on March 21, 2012, 11:10:23 AM
I know of them but they are a wee bit before my time (dodges cushion thrown by mother). My mum insists that the Famous Five are better. Apparently there was a huge divide in her group of schoolfriends over this.  ::)
Title: Re: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: NyaChan on March 21, 2012, 11:11:39 AM
I also loved her Mallory Towers series
Title: Re: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: Anniissa on March 21, 2012, 11:13:47 AM
I used to love Enid Blyton - I think I read all the Famous Five, Secret Seven and Five Find-outers series (as well as all the Faraway Tree and St Clares/Mallory Towers ones). Great children's reading - although probably somewhat outdated now no doubt as they were pretty old fashioned in places when I was reading them (some of the children's names were unintentionally amusing  :) ). Still I loved them and read them (numerous times).

Having said that, I can still recall the names of the Famous Five (Julian, D!ck, Anne, George and Timmy the Dog) but off the top of my head I really struggle with the Secret Seven (I think one was Pam but otherwise I'm drawing a blank). If they were written down altogether then I may have been able to put it together but maybe not.
Title: Re: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: ClaireC79 on March 21, 2012, 03:18:23 PM
Peter, Janet, Pam, Barbara, Colin, George & Jack and their dog was Scamper (and Jack's annoying sister Susie who wanted to be part of them)

I prefered FF myself but my daughter (now 11) preferred SS - they were slightly younger aimed IMHO
Title: Re: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: pwy a wyr on March 21, 2012, 03:57:06 PM
I enjoyed those books when i was a child. I remember Janet because I used to find ehr annoying. I couldn't tell you why anymore! I liked Famous Five first, before graduating onto the boarding school books. I remember asking my mum if I could go to boarding school when I was seven, so it was a far while ago now. Her answer was a very diplomatic, "maybe when you're older. I'd miss you too much if you went now."  :D
Title: Re: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: Anniissa on March 22, 2012, 07:26:40 AM
Peter, Janet, Pam, Barbara, Colin, George & Jack [...]

Hmm well if I just saw this list of names and was asked to guess what group they belonged to, I'm pretty sure the Secret Seven wouldn't have been the first thing I thought of but I might have got round to it eventually. I guess a lot of people would not recognise the names out of context.
Title: Re: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: Greyalien on March 22, 2012, 08:23:34 AM
I used to love these books as a kid. Although now I have the theme song from the TV series the Famous Five running around in my head:
We are the Famous Five,
Julian, wingadingdingy and Anne, George and Timmy the dog,
We are the Famous Five,
We're coming back to you,
When ever there's time,
Time after time.

 
Title: Re: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: WestAussieGirl on March 22, 2012, 08:46:49 AM
Enid Blyton was my favourite author as a kid (in the late 70s early 80s).  My favourites were The Enchanted Wood series and The Wishing Chair.  I liked the Famous Five but never really got in to the Secet Seven.

I've just finished reading my daughter The Magic Faraway Tree.  She loved it just as much as I did.  Some of the phrasing is old-fashioned but it gives us talking points. She'll probably find the kids names funny when she's older but doesn't know the other meanings yet.
Title: Re: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: Anniissa on March 22, 2012, 09:44:19 AM
I've just finished reading my daughter The Magic Faraway Tree.  She loved it just as much as I did.  Some of the phrasing is old-fashioned but it gives us talking points. She'll probably find the kids names funny when she's older but doesn't know the other meanings yet.

I had no idea of any alternative meanings for the names when I was first reading them - which lead to the embarassing situation at primary school of being the first one to answer the teachers question - "Can you name a girls name beginning with F?". I had no idea why others were laughing at me (I just thought it was a rather old fashioned name that noone seemed to have anymore  :-[ ) and was so mortified when I found out that this particular name was also an extremely crude word. I seem to recall I blamed my mother for not educating me that this name also had an alternate meaning  - but it was just never a word that my mother would have used or thought I would run across at that age. Oh well, I got over the embarassment (although my cheeks are burning a little still at the thought...)
Title: Re: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: NyaChan on March 22, 2012, 09:47:03 AM
Are you talking about Fanny?  I didn't realize that was a crude word, I thought it just meant a person's posterior?
Title: Re: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: Tilt Fairy on March 22, 2012, 09:51:34 AM
Are you talking about Fanny?  I didn't realize that was a crude word, I thought it just meant a person's posterior?

Oh it means something very different in England!......
Title: Re: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: Moray on March 22, 2012, 10:00:45 AM
Are you talking about Fanny?  I didn't realize that was a crude word, I thought it just meant a person's posterior?

Oh it means something very different in England!......

NyaChan, "fanny" is also a very crude slang term for a woman's genitals.
Title: Re: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: NyaChan on March 22, 2012, 10:21:00 AM
Are you talking about Fanny?  I didn't realize that was a crude word, I thought it just meant a person's posterior?

Oh it means something very different in England!......

NyaChan, "fanny" is also a very crude slang term for a woman's genitals.

Wow  :o  Learn something new everyday haha  Does anyone know if that term is used in this way in the US as well?
Title: Re: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: NyaChan on March 22, 2012, 10:23:48 AM
Ah okay,  Wikipedia tells me that it is used that way in Britain, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland, but used as buttocks in North America.
Title: Re: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: Thipu1 on March 22, 2012, 11:33:53 AM
This has been discussed on another thread but in the USA 'Fanny' is a very mild term for what Danny Thomas once called, 'the back of the lap'. 

It can used when a small child is acting up a bit.  'Get your fanny over here, right now!' was often heard when one child was throwing sand at a younger child on the beach.  There may or may not be a spanking in the offing but every kid knew what that meant. 

There was also a time when 'Fanny' was an affectionate nickname for 'Francis'. 

Title: Re: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: Anniissa on March 22, 2012, 12:18:07 PM
Yep thats the one. Definitely not a word to be using in the UK really as its meaning is rather different to the the US one. Years ago I remember one of my colleagues telling us about the first time she went on a business trip to the US. At a very formal dinner she said the woman who sat down next to her at the table said as she sat something like "oh my fanny is so sore today". My colleague was  :o with a "deer in the headlights" look on her face wondering what on earth had prompted such a declaration...
Title: Re: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: Barney girl on March 22, 2012, 12:23:34 PM
Are you talking about Fanny?  I didn't realize that was a crude word, I thought it just meant a person's posterior?

Oh it means something very different in England!......

I have to say that as someone who was born, brought up and lives in England I have never come across it being used like that except in descriptions of different meanings on either side of the Atlantic. It used to be a very common nick name for women called Frances. Fanny Craddock was a well known television cook and I can't think that either she or the BBC would have used that name if that was the commonly understood meaning.
I studied Mansfield Park for A'level - the heroine is called Fanny, but there were no knowing smirks or giggles in the class as none of us was aware of any other meaning.
 Is it something that has spread from one region to others?
Title: Re: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: Tilt Fairy on March 22, 2012, 12:44:29 PM
Are you talking about Fanny?  I didn't realize that was a crude word, I thought it just meant a person's posterior?

Oh it means something very different in England!......

I have to say that as someone who was born, brought up and lives in England I have never come across it being used like that except in descriptions of different meanings on either side of the Atlantic. It used to be a very common nick name for women called Frances. Fanny Craddock was a well known television cook and I can't think that either she or the BBC would have used that name if that was the commonly understood meaning.
I studied Mansfield Park for A'level - the heroine is called Fanny, but there were no knowing smirks or giggles in the class as none of us was aware of any other meaning.
 Is it something that has spread from one region to others?

Oh its a very recent thing. It would only cause giggles in classes of schoolchildren in probably the only last 20 years or so. For example, growing up the name Frances or Fanny weren't popular names (i grew up in the 90s) - it was years before us though. In my parents time they were more popular names so they don't understand why it would cause amusement either. If anyone was called Frances these days, they'd most likely shorten it to 'Fran' or 'Franny'.

And the name Fanny though also slang for what it is in England is still a valid and used name and only causes giggles amongst children for a couple of seconds. The BBC would no less not put someone on TV than put someone who had the name wingadingdingy Van Dyke on TV. Both first names are slangs for things (I can actually think of half a dozen other first names that are as well) but just because they are I'm not sure why a TV company would ban someone on TV from having a name!
Title: Re: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: Anniissa on March 22, 2012, 01:05:08 PM
Are you talking about Fanny?  I didn't realize that was a crude word, I thought it just meant a person's posterior?

Oh it means something very different in England!......

I have to say that as someone who was born, brought up and lives in England I have never come across it being used like that except in descriptions of different meanings on either side of the Atlantic. It used to be a very common nick name for women called Frances. Fanny Craddock was a well known television cook and I can't think that either she or the BBC would have used that name if that was the commonly understood meaning.
I studied Mansfield Park for A'level - the heroine is called Fanny, but there were no knowing smirks or giggles in the class as none of us was aware of any other meaning.
 Is it something that has spread from one region to others?

I think it has been used as a vulgar slang term for a long time (some thoughts are that the connection may date back to the book "Memoirs of a woman of pleasure", commonly known as "Fanny Hill", which was written in the mid eighteenth century although that may not be accurate). It certainly wasn't, and still generally isn't, ever a widely used alternate meaning because it was seen as very vulgar usage so most people would be as unlikely to use it in common parlance as they would the 'C' word.

Fanny as a nickname for Frances was fairly common up to at least the 1950s and probably died out more because Frances became a less popular name rather than specifically because of other associations of the word but the link between the two meanings is fairly widely known from various conversations over the years about "fanny packs". There's always the, probably apocryphal, story re Fanny Cradock where on a show she was demonstrating cooking doughnuts and afterwards the announcer says "..and I hope all your doughnuts turn out like Fanny's".
Title: Re: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: Ereine on March 22, 2012, 01:26:20 PM
I wouldn't have recognized the names , even though I read probably some of all Enid Blyton series, at least the ones translated into Finnish (though to tell the truth I don't remember much about the books, including the names). There was a habit to translate or change names as well, so for example the Famous Five are Leo, wingadingdingy, Anne and Pauli (officially Paula), I guess that Julian and George were too difficult for Finns (they are, at least I can't say them correctly). That happened with Nancy Drew too, she became Paula, though this time George was kept as a name.
 
My favourite was the Adventure series, they had much better adventures and went to much better places than the Famous Five who were a bit boring. Philip was too confusing to Finnish children so he became Filip and Lucy-Anne was shortened to Anne. 
Title: Re: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: Bethalize on March 22, 2012, 01:32:07 PM
Oh its a very recent thing. It would only cause giggles in classes of schoolchildren in probably the only last 20 years or so.

*Embarrassed cough* I'd make that  at least 30 years. It was something I learned at school, much to my surprise when I read the Faraway tree books at six.

OED says 1939 the use was in Joyce's Finnegan's Wake but the first recorded use was 1879. 
Title: Re: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: Snooks on March 24, 2012, 02:57:07 PM
I love Enid Blyton and I've read all of the Secret Seven books but never would have got it if you gave me a list of their names.  I just re-read all the Enchanted Wood/Magic Faraway Tree books and enjoyed them just as much at 27 as I did at 7   :D
Title: Re: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: merryns on March 24, 2012, 09:32:38 PM
I got a set of Famous Five and Secret Seven books for my birthday (10th?). I loved FF and thought SS were a lot less interesting. The children's 'adventures' were a lot less exciting than FF, who seemed to go off by themselves without adult supervision much more, whereas the SS were usually all home by bedtime.
FF also had a TV series to popularise them to later generation kids, as well as a hilarious pair of spoof videos around the late 80s or so.
Title: Re: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: BabylonSister on April 03, 2012, 05:37:11 PM
Enid Blyton is also the author of the Noddy series, for early readers. I think those were the first chapter books I read --except they were in French and were called Oui-Oui. :-D


Her Famous Five and Secret Seven books were popular in France, too. I read quite a few of them.
Title: Re: A Children's Literature Question
Post by: scotcat60 on May 19, 2012, 12:02:44 PM
Now I would not have known the names of the Secret Seven myself, as I never read any of Enid Blyton's books about them. I would have know the answer was the Famous Five if asked who were Julian, D*ck, George, Anne and Timmy the dog. (I put in the *  because the full word might not get through on this system)
Enid Bagnold wrote "National Velvet" a favourite book of mine even today.