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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: March ::
Re: Frogs; Hey Nonny Nonny
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0258.  Tuesday, 22 March 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Hope A. Greenberg <
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        Date:   Monday, 21 Mar 1994 09:09:26 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0248 Qs: Hey Nonny Nonny; "A Frog . . ."
 
(2)     From:   Luc Borot <
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        Date:   Monday, 21 Mar 1994 20:38:29 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0255 "A Frog ..." as seen by one
 
(3)     From:   James Schaefer <SCHAEFEJ@GUVAX.BITNET>
        Date:   Monday, 21 Mar 1994 15:11:04 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0255  Re: Hey Nonny Nonny; "A Frog . . ."
 
(4)     From:   Luc Borot <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 22 Mar 1994 10:04:40 -0500
        Subj:   Frogs again
 
(5)     From:   Harry Hill <HILHAR@CONU2.BITNET>
        Date:   Monday, 21 Mar 1994 15:54:05 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0255  Re: Hey Nonny Nonny; "A Frog . . ."
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hope A. Greenberg <
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Date:           Monday, 21 Mar 1994 09:09:26 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0248 Qs: Hey Nonny Nonny; "A Frog . . ."
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0248 Qs: Hey Nonny Nonny; "A Frog . . ."
 
>Some time ago I was told that the English nickname for the French--"frog"--had
>its origin in a French suitor to Elizabeth, and that the English nursery ...
> III's brother, Francis, duc d'Alencon, and I wondered if he is the suitor in
 
The "frog" nickname was indeed associated with Francis, duc d'Alencon, but did
it originate with him or was it applied to him as a Frenchman (in other words,
were the French already being called frogs by the Brits.
 
In any case, another contemporary use of the name can be found in John
Dowland's piece "Now Oh Now I Needs Must Part" also known as the "Frog
Galliard." Here are some of the words--the others are kicking about in the back
of my head somewhere and can be dredged up if needed:
 
Now, oh now, I needs must part,
Parting though I absent mourn.
Absence doth no joy impart.
Love once lost cannot return
 
Sad despair doth drive me hence
This despair unkindness sends.
If that parting be offense
It is she that doth offend.
 
Hope Greenberg

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(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Luc Borot <
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Date:           Monday, 21 Mar 1994 20:38:29 +0100
Subject: 5.0255 "A Frog ..." as seen by one
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0255 "A Frog ..." as seen by one
 
Dear all, here is a frog on frogs!
 
Jerry Bangham suggests, as I'd always been told since childhood:
 
>I'd always assumed it was because the French ate frogs.
>
>I believe that it was the Christmas before last that the British Museum had an
>exhibit of cartoons showing racial stereotypes.  The British insulting the
>French, the French the Germans, etc.
 
He goes on telling that the Dutch were the most frog-like characters in those
caricatures, and I would suggest reading the excellent Dutch Ton Hoonselaars's
book on Foreigners in Shakespeare, whose references I have at the office, so
I'll send you a note tomorrow. Ton spoke on the subject in Paris (Froggyland) a
year ago at the Froggish Shakespeare Society conference on Shakes, insularity
and cosmopolitism. The proceedings should be coming out soon.
 
Now about our eating frogs, the only time I did was in England, and I hated it.
If you want to know about snails, for which also we are traditionally blamed,
it's tasteless, but we DO like the garlic sauce we eat it with (or eat it
for?...). You start feeling you were wrong to eat that when you get home to
your partner, who shrinks from kissing hello. I can do without snails and
garlic for ages, really. So can she...
 
When I did a bit of the first chapter of Graham Swift's *Waterland* with my 2nd
year translation class a few weeks ago, when coming to "the frogs were croaking
in the ditches" I had to remind the students that it shouldn't be understood as
"French citizens were dying in the ditches". Some of them didn't know about
'croaking', so the joke proved pedagogical, which is the worst possible effect
for such an atrocious bi-lingual joke, but you never can tell; c'est la vie, as
they say in the States!
 
Portez-vous bien et buvez frais,
Luc
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           James Schaefer <SCHAEFEJ@GUVAX.BITNET>
Date:           Monday, 21 Mar 1994 15:11:04 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0255  Re: Hey Nonny Nonny; "A Frog . . ."
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0255  Re: Hey Nonny Nonny; "A Frog . . ."
 
St. Paul, Minnesota (which has some French heritage -- there are old jokes
based on confusing 'voyageurs' and 'voyeurs' -- which I suppose might be an
ethnic slur itself....) has an old ethnic neighborhood called "Frogtown."  The
claim I heard was that it had been the site of a swamp, but given that the
neighborhood is atop a limestone cliff and that the foundation of the >100 yr
old house I lived in was completely solid and the basement always dry, the
claim of innocence does not hold water.
 
Does this also suggest a French connection to the fancy embroidered closures on
some clothes that are called "frogs"?
 
About "Hey nonny nonny":  I'm certain that Walt Kelly had a Pogo strip devoted
to deconstructing "Rolly-polly gammon and spinach," etc., but I could not find
it in my "Ten Ever-Lovin' Blue-Eyed Years of Pogo" this weekend.
 
Jim Schaefer

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(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Luc Borot <
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Date:           Tuesday, 22 Mar 1994 10:04:40 -0500
Subject:        Frogs again
 
The book by AJ (Ton) Henselaars I mentioned in my previous post is: *Images of
Englishmen and Foreigners in the Drama of Shakespeare and his Contemporaries. A
Study of Stage Characters and National Identity in English Renaissance Drama,
1558-1642* (Cranbury, NJ, London, Mississauga, Ont.: Associated University
Presses, 1992).
 
There aint nothin' 'bout frogs (as animals) in the index.
 
Luc Borot <
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          <
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Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Elisabethaines
Universite Paul Valery -- Montpellier (France)
 
(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harry Hill <HILHAR@CONU2.BITNET>
Date:           Monday, 21 Mar 1994 15:54:05 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0255  Re: Hey Nonny Nonny; "A Frog . . ."
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0255  Re: Hey Nonny Nonny; "A Frog . . ."
 
I presume, given the period's liking for sophomoric punning, that what goes for
Hamlet's rude remarks to Ophelia in the play scene about lying in her lap and
"country matters", that "country" indeed is the forfended place. If you want to
think that way. Of course, you needn't. Probably on the level of homogenized
milk's being taken as queer. Silly.But there if you wish it to be.
 

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