Author Topic: A Children's Literature Question  (Read 4340 times)

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Anniissa

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Re: A Children's Literature Question
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2012, 10:44:19 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...)

NyaChan

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Re: A Children's Literature Question
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2012, 10:47:03 AM »
Are you talking about Fanny?  I didn't realize that was a crude word, I thought it just meant a person's posterior?

Tilt Fairy

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Re: A Children's Literature Question
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2012, 10:51:34 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!......

Moray

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Re: A Children's Literature Question
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2012, 11:00:45 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.
Utah

NyaChan

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Re: A Children's Literature Question
« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2012, 11:21:00 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?

NyaChan

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Re: A Children's Literature Question
« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2012, 11:23:48 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.

Thipu1

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Re: A Children's Literature Question
« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2012, 12:33:53 PM »
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'. 


Anniissa

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Re: A Children's Literature Question
« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2012, 01:18:07 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...

Barney girl

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Re: A Children's Literature Question
« Reply #23 on: March 22, 2012, 01:23:34 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?

Tilt Fairy

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Re: A Children's Literature Question
« Reply #24 on: March 22, 2012, 01:44:29 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!

Anniissa

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Re: A Children's Literature Question
« Reply #25 on: March 22, 2012, 02:05:08 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".

Ereine

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Re: A Children's Literature Question
« Reply #26 on: March 22, 2012, 02:26:20 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. 

Bethalize

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Re: A Children's Literature Question
« Reply #27 on: March 22, 2012, 02:32:07 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. 

Snooks

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Re: A Children's Literature Question
« Reply #28 on: March 24, 2012, 03:57:07 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

merryns

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Re: A Children's Literature Question
« Reply #29 on: March 24, 2012, 10:32:38 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.