Tuesday, April 08, 2014

A Surrealist Alphabet

My dad used to recite this.

It's Clapham and Dwyer's A Surrealist Alphabet from 1934. It's a bit obscure in places (but probably wasn't when it was written, although I do have to wonder about Jaffa Oranges before the war - were they really that well known in England?).

Luckily Wikipedia has transcribed it for us:

A for 'orses (hay for horses)
B for mutton (beef or mutton)
C for 'th highlanders (Seaforth Highlanders)
D for 'ential (deferential)
E for Adam (Eve or Adam)
F for 'vescence (effervescence)
G for police (Chief of police)
H for respect (age for respect)
I for Novello (Ivor Novello)
J for oranges (Jaffa oranges)
K for 'ancis, (Kay Francis), or K for undressing
L for leather (Hell for leather)
M for 'sis (emphasis)
N for 'adig (in for a dig, or infradig)
O for the garden wall (over the garden wall)
P for a penny (pee for a penny)
Q for a song (cue for a song), or Q for billiards (cue for billiards)
R for mo' (half a mo')
S for you (it's for you)
T for two (tea for two)
U for films (UFA films)
V for La France (Vive La France)
W for a bob (double you for a bob)
X for breakfast (eggs for breakfast)
Y for Gawd's sake (why, for God's sake)
Z for breezes (zephyr breezes: see West wind)

Don't know why the YouTube uploader EMGColonel is so sniffy about it though; I thought it was funny. Mind you, I was about five when I first heard it. Took me years to find out what some of the words actually meant.

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