Okay, let's start.
Anyone else think the Jolly Sailor looks oddly familiar? Like a certain Cunning
p11 Tiffany Aching
As mentioned on the group, Pterry chose the name Tiffany because it's exactly
the sort of name a witch shouldn't have, even if it does mean Epiphany.
I can't help wondering if Aching is meant to mean anything. Looking at the
varied spellings on p17, the only one that's not there seems to be Aiken. And
TWFM is a *bit* like a Joan Aiken YA supernatural fiction. That seems a bit
p15 The Chalk
At first, I thought the Chalk would seem to be the DW equivilent of the
chalklands of Midland-to-Not-Quite-Northern England which (unlike the South
Downs) are indeed called wolds. However, most of the folkloric stuff seems to
come from Wiltshire and Sussex, so I'm not sure. Granny Aching's accent sounds
Yorkshire to me, although doubtless a Sassanach will be along in a minute to
tell me I'm wrong.
Looking at the Discworld Mappe, I'd guess that the Chalk is between the Ramtops
and the Sto Plains.
p24 "I can't *do*, but I *can* teach"
Refers to the saying "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach".
p29 Jenny Green-Teeth
A creature or spirit which is supposed to live in still water and eat children.
Presumably, parents thought this was a more convincing warning than "Stay away
from the pond, or you'll fall in and drown".
Incidentally, when I was a member of the Eden Court Young Amateur Dramatics
Society, I appeared in a play called "Don't Open The Fridge", about all the
taboos and restrictions on children. One of my three lines was "Don't go near
the water, or Jinny Greenteeth will get you. But I digress...
p41 Yan Tan Tethera
This is indeed the ancient counting language of shepherds in Northern England.
It was also used by the Nac Mac Feegle themselves in CJ.
p42 hats that can "withstand falling farmhouses"
"Wizard of Oz". Miss Tick may have heard about Nanny Ogg's encounter with a
farmhouse, and how she was saved by her hat (WA). It's the willow
p51 Arken Hill
"Arken" *is* one of the spellings on p17, reinforcing the idea that the land
knows who it *really* belongs to.
The legends concerning Arken Hill are similar to those of Dragon Hill,
Oxfordshire (apparently where St George fought the dragon, and not Syria at
all) and Silbury Hill, Wiltshire (alleged burial site of a knight in gold
armour, or possibly King Sil, whoever he might be). Both hills are flat topped,
like Arken Hill, and believed to be artificial.
p63 The picture
As revealed in the Afterword, this is "The Fairy Feller's Master Stroke" by
Richard Dadd. You can see it here:
It's worth referring to when reading chapter 10.
p67 "It's a' gang aglay"
"It's all gone wahoonie-shaped". One of the best known bits of Scots, due to it
being what the best laid plans o' mice and men do in "To a mouse" by Robbie
p73 The headless horseman
From "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving.
p75 Big Yan
Glaswegian comedian Billy Connolly is known as "The Big Yin".
p107 Odd carvings in the chalk
Obviously, chalk figures like the Rude Man of Cerne or the horses that you find
all over the chalk areas of Britain.
p113 "Onna black horse"
The Elf Queen rides a black steed in the ballad of "Tam Lin".
The varied Hellhound/Devil Dog legends of Britain. Specifically, the "grim"
part of the name and the reference to them haunting graveyards suggests the
Kirk Grim, which is supposed to guard churchyards. There are many Devil Dog
legends in Sussex, most of them on, yes, the Downs. Most of these creatures are
described much as the grimhounds (the orange eyebrows are a DW addition, in
accordance with the Law of Running Gags), and to see them is a portent of
p123 "You live in one of the mounds? I thought they were, you know, the graves
of ancient chieftains."
In folklore, Bronze Age Burial Mounds are supposed to be the homes of fairy
folk. On the Disc, of course, they're both.
Is it just me, or does anyone else visualise her as Katy Murphy?
p135 "When a well trained gonnagle starts to recite the enemy's ears explode."
A reference to William Topaz McGonagall, Scotland's Worst Poet, and also a
*slight* exaggeration of the abilities acredited to bards in Celtic tradition.
Note that the gonnagle turns out to be called William.
Actually, this means "Land over word that does not exist". "Land Under Wave"
would be "Tìr-fa-Tonn". Pterry has presumably made the same decision I
initially did concerning my surname, namely that the accurate version didn't
*look* Gaelic enough.
p149 "He's got a bo-ut for chasin' the great white whale fish on the salt sea.
He's always chasing it, all round the world. It's called Mopey."
"Moby Dick or, The Whale" by Herman Mellville.
p152 He [William the gonagle] spoke differently
While the other Nac Mac Feegle sound like people doing Rab C Nesbitt
impressions (although they're more coherent than they were in CJ), William has
the sort of exaggerated Ayrshire burr you might hear folk put on when reciting
p153 "We'll dance the FiveHundredAndTwelvesome Reel to the tune o' 'The Devil
Among The Lawyers'"
There are Foursome, Eightsome and Twelvesome Reels, which involve exchanges of
partners between two, four or six couples. 512 is eight cubed, so presumably
it's more complicated, but basically the same. "The Devil Among The Lawyers" is
probably a reference to Burns' "The Deil's Awa' Wi' The Exciseman".
The arrangement of stones suggests Stonehenge and the Avebury circle (which
isn't far from Silbury Hill). Although they seem to have been erected for much
the same reason as the Dancers in Lancre, there is no mention of them being
magnetic, certainly the frying pan gets through no trouble.
p168 The battlecries
"They can tak' oour lives, but they cannae tak' oour troousers!" This is "They
can take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom", from Braveheart,
possibly mixed with "Donald, Where's Yer Troosers" by Andy Stewart.
"Bang went saxpence!" That's one of those punchlines everyone's forgotten the
joke to, reflecting the alleged meanness of the Scots (as we all know it's
really just the Aberdonians [KIDDING!]). It comes from a Punch cartoon in which
a Scotsman complains about the expense of London. "Mun, a had na’ been
the-erre abune Twa Hoours when- Bang went Saxpence!!!”
"Ye'll tak' the high road, and I'll tak' yer wallet!" is based on the refrain
of "The Bonny, Bonny Banks of Loch Lomond": "Ye tak' the high road, and I'll
tak' the low road".
"There can only be one t'ousand!" is still based on "There can be only one"
from Highlander, just as in was in CJ.
"Ach, stick it up yer trakkans!" Er, that really speaks for itself.
p180 "The King Underrrrrr Waterrrrrrr"
Possibly a reference to the Jacobite toast "The King Over the Water".
A combination of "dream" and "drone", perhaps?
p192 "If ye eats anythin' in the dream, ye'll never wanta' leave it"
Varied legends (including Childe Rowland and Burd Helen, see below) mention
that eating fairy food is a sure way to get trapped in Elfhame. (Or Fairyland,
for the Sassanachs).
p199 "..oooooiiiiiit *is* with grreat lamentation and much worrying dismay,"
*Exactly* the sort of thing McGonagall wrote. Although the "ooooooo" bit seems
to have crept in from Spike Milligan's "William McGonagall: The Truth At Last".
p204 Tiffany looked up at a white horse...And there was a boy on it....
In the ballad of "Tam Lin", Fair Janet is told she can recognise Tam when she
goes to rescue him, as he is the only rider on a white horse
p204 "This is *my* forest! I command you to do what I say!"
Still Tam Lin:
"And why come you to Carterhaugh
without command from me?"
"I'll come and go" young Janet said
"And ask no leave of thee".
...or words to that effect, there're lots of different versions.
Roland's name, however, suggests the ballad "Childe Rowland and Burd Helen",
about a young boy who has to rescue his sister (and the brothers who had
previously failed) from the King of Elfland. Of course, the DW version is worse
p207 Farm food was mostly shades of white or brown.
Um, except for the teddy bear sweeties, which I thought seemed a bit out of
place at the time...
Actually spelt "Cheilidh" , this is the Gaelic word for a party. These days
used almost exclusively to signify Scottish Folk Music Festivals.
p212 She cut Roland's head off.
Exactly what Rowland has to do to break the spell on Burd Helen. Although in
that case, it was *because* she spoke to him.
p215 "Crivvens!" (She was sure it was a swear word)
Like Truckle the Uncivil, it's possible that, in the mouth of a Mac Feegle,
*anything*'s a swear word, but in fact "crivvens!" translates into Sassanach
roughly as "good grief!", although I've been unable to find an etymology for
it. It's now a bit of a joke, used only by Sunday Post cartoon characters "Oor
Wullie" and "The Broons", and "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue"'s Hamish and Dougal.
Help ma boab!
pp225-256 "There was this fine lady on a horse with bells all over its harness
and she galloped past me when I was out hunting and she was laughing..."
Tam Lin was captured while hunting, although the circumstances were different.
When Thomas the Rhymer met the Queen "At ilka tett of her horse's mane/Hung
fifty siller bells and nine".
p287 "Once I was a lawyer"
As has been strongly foreshadowed throughout the book. In addition, once you
*know*, a glance at the cover shows the swords of the Feegle immediately
surrounding him are glowing.
p287 "Potest-ne mater tua suere, amice"
"Vis-ne faciem capite repleta" ("Would you like a face that is full of head?")
is translated on p289. Similarly, this means "Does your mother have the ability
to sew, friend?"
p289 the legal battlecries
"Twelve hundred angry men!" comes from the film title "Twelve Angry Men".
That's the easy one
"Nae more courtroom drama!" If there's a source for this phrase, I can't find
it, but "courtroom drama" means either a film, play or TV show about a trial,
or a real trial that has aspects of the dramatic.
"We ha' the law on oour side!" *This* phrase, OTOH, has been used so often that
if there was ever an original source (which there probably wasn't), it's long
gone. Chalk it up as a cliche.
"The law's made to tak' care o' raskills!" comes from "A Vanishing Gleam" by
George Elliot, who spelt "rascals" like that all the time. Note that in *that*
book "take care of" means "deal with". The Feegles seem to be using it to mean
p292 The Queen...changed shape madly in Tiffany's arms.
Another commonplace of folk tales, where the hero(ine) has to keep a tight grip
on the villain(ess) whatever (s)he becomes. In paticular, Tam Lin again, and
the battle between the Queen of Elfland and Fair Janet although in that case it
was Tam himself Janet had to keep hold of.
Well, that's all I spotted. Anyone else?
Now Official Absentee of EU Skiffeysoc for FOUR years
"The real reason for the whole thing is that it was just too much effort *not*
to have a war."
-Cpt Edmund Blackadder, Blackadder Goes Forth
Anyone got a spare Life to offer this poor soul?
I haven't read them yet, and I won't till I've read the book.
I just wanted to say,
YOU B*****! :)
My copy was posted while I'm here at uni, so I'll have to wait unitl
tonight to read it. Grrr.
Wishing his life away. Well, 6 hours of it, anyway.
From about the same point, I can't believe you missed the yellow, sick,
Andy Brown (only read the first couple of chapters so far)
God does not play dice with the Universe. -- Albert Einstein.
Don't worry, there is always an afterlife after death!
come to the fresh start club!
>'Some say it actually happened, that a one hundred and
>twenty-eightsome reel was danced on the parade ground that night,
Interesting. Thanks for that. Sounds worth reading.
>I would have my doubts about 512; Fraser tells that the 64 took one
>hour and thirteen minutes.
I wondered about that, however it's possible that the gnome/pictsie ability to
move (relative to their height) approximately ten times as fast as a human
> There are Foursome, Eightsome and Twelvesome Reels ...
I've read of bored soldiers from Scottish regiments (eg in North Africa
in WW2) doing 32- and 64-some reels.
Jeremy C B Nicoll - my opinions are my own.
> As revealed in the Afterword, this is "The Fairy Feller's Master Stroke" by
> Richard Dadd. You can see it here:
> http://www.emory.edu/ENGLISH/classes/Shakespeare_Illustrated/Dadd.Feller.jpg .
> It's worth referring to when reading chapter 10.
Which also inspired a song from the album Queen II.
> p125 Fion
> Is it just me, or does anyone else visualise her as Katy Murphy?
Well, since she's small, blue and given her general attitude, I had a
mental image of Princess Ruto of the Zoras. That said, I had a vision
of Tiffany as Miyazaki's witch Kiki. Maybe I should lay off the
Japanese stuff for a while.
> p292 The Queen...changed shape madly in Tiffany's arms.
> Another commonplace of folk tales, where the hero(ine) has to keep a tight grip
> on the villain(ess) whatever (s)he becomes. In paticular, Tam Lin again, and
> the battle between the Queen of Elfland and Fair Janet although in that case it
> was Tam himself Janet had to keep hold of.
A more recent example, the Corinthian throttling Loki in Sandman. One
of the shapes Loki assumed in that fight was that of the very child
the Corintian was trying to rescue.
I second that recommendation; I believe they are now available in a combined
volume, too. For my money, the inter-regimental quiz is in one of the
funniest short stories ever written.
" ... and then the same full-back caes his pins frae under him again."
"That full-back wants sortin' oot, he's jist an animal ..."
Remove 'notme' to reply
afpfiance to Ssirienna, chocolate baths a speciality
afpfilkslave to CCA, talented authoress
Hmm, you appear to have missed one I thought was obvious. Ok, I'm
probably wrong, but I'll never know if'n I don't say.
The main Nac Mac Feegle, Rob Anybody. As opposed to just Roy?
Ah, but it's the editorialising that's the joy.
'Scotsmen, of course, if they feel national pride is in any way at
stake, tend to go out of their minds; tell them there was to be a
knitting bee against England and they'd be on the touch-line shouting
"Purl, Wullie! See's the chain-stitch, but!"'
Oh, well done, Mr Irish. I think you may have something there.
Well, they say that authors don't know the real meaning of their books, and
it takes a true critic to find it out...
Knig fo teh tyops
The Archers. They even live at home farm.
I get the Archers reference... is Aching= *Aitken* as both Aitken and Archer
are disgraced ex-Tory MPs who've spent time in jail, or is that too
Stealth Munchkin - The World's Greatest Band
Oceania has always been at war with Syria
IMO, that's just a coincidence. This is mostly a children's book, and
children don't spend too much time watching politics as a general rule.
:) Also, would Terry really have named the hero after two disgraced
MPs? Of course, this is just my uneducated opinion...
True... but how many children listen to The Archers either? And *that*
reference is definitely there. I was thinking the thought process might have
Probably not though...
>p11 Tiffany Aching
>As mentioned on the group, Pterry chose the name Tiffany because it's exactly
>the sort of name a witch shouldn't have, even if it does mean Epiphany.
>I can't help wondering if Aching is meant to mean anything. Looking at the
>varied spellings on p17, the only one that's not there seems to be Aiken. And
>TWFM is a *bit* like a Joan Aiken YA supernatural fiction. That seems a bit
I'm thinking along the lines of multiple resonances: such as Aiken Drum -
the folklore one, not the character in the SF series - and "akin" though
I'm not sure what she's akin to, with a side order of "a-king" which of
course has nothing to do with someone opposing a queen and being rescued
by a male opposite number.
>p51 Arken Hill
>"Arken" *is* one of the spellings on p17, reinforcing the idea that the
>land knows who it *really* belongs to.
Side-order of "ark", boat carrying what will be rescued from the wreck...
>p73 The headless horseman
>From "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving.
Shirley there were others before then?
>p123 "You live in one of the mounds? I thought they were, you know, the
>graves of ancient chieftains."
>In folklore, Bronze Age Burial Mounds are supposed to be the homes of
>fairy folk. On the Disc, of course, they're both.
And in L&L a bit more.
>Actually, this means "Land over word that does not exist".
>"Land Under Wave" would be "Tìr-fa-Tonn". Pterry has presumably
>made the same decision I initially did concerning my surname,
>namely that the accurate version didn't *look* Gaelic enough.
And no connection with "farthing" or "farting" intended, and
no sinking/rising island (Jingo) either.
>p75 Big Yan
>Glaswegian comedian Billy Connolly is known as "The Big Yin".
As is anyone in Glasgow who's not obviously a "Wee Yin".
A common greeting when two fellows meet would be "Haw, big yin!".
p81 "Nae problemo"
Not really an annotation, just a comment. This is obviously Feegle for "no
problem", same as it is in Glasgow. The thing is, "no problem" in Esperanto
is "nej" (pronounced "nae") "problemo".
>Is it just me, or does anyone else visualise her as Katy Murphy?
I saw her as the illustration on the cover, who looked like Shirley Manson
(of Garbage) to me.
Jazz-Loving Soul Mate and poet to CCA
La Rustimuna ^Stalkato
.... or the 'original tune' for an eightsome :The De'il Amang the Taylors
Well, there was that nice young gentleman in MAA... although he wasn't
really disgraced per se...
> p41 Yan Tan Tethera
> This is indeed the ancient counting language of shepherds in Northern England.
> It was also used by the Nac Mac Feegle themselves in CJ.
Jake Thackray, who died in January this year at the age of 63, used to sing a
song called Molly Metcalfe, about a Swaledale shepherdess. Rather a sad song.
The chorus was as follows
Yan, Chan, Tether, Mether, Pip
Azar, Sazar, Akka, Cotter, Dick
Yanadick, Channadick, Thetheradick, Metheradick, Bumfit
Yanabum, Chanabum, Thetherabum, Metherabum, Jiggit
Steve (Steeljam) *BF DAcFD (UU) *
Resident Opsimath in Redivivus Studies
And is the title of the Book itself an annotation?
Wee Free Men, is that a link to the Scottish Free Presbyterien<sp?> Kirk, also
known as the Wee Free's?
-- Amish driveby shooting
Leaping in here for some more that no-one's spotted yet (I think) although
they probably will have before I finish this post;
p.8 - is it just me that thinks Paul Kidby's illustration of Tiffany
captures her character perfectly, and also puts me in mind of his depiction
of Mss. Weatherwax?
p.11 - not everyone may know that tickling trout is a well-known way of
poaching, that is, stealing, them (although when tickling trout in this
manner care must be taken not to actually touch them until the final grab).
p.12 - 'offski' - it may be part of general Glaswegian dialect, but I always
associate this with Rab C Nesbitt.
p.15 - 'The Chalk' - the only other place I have seen downland referred to
in this manner is in the Rudyard Kipling story /The Knife and the Naked
Chalk/, from /Rewards and Fairies/. Also a story about protecting your home
from predators, but a much darker one.
p.66 - eiggs - which may represent 'eggs' in a Feegle accent, but Eigg is
also the name of a Hebridean island. It's near Rhum and Muck; the Feegles
would fit right in.
p.75 - bogle - Scots for ghost or apparition
p.83 - scunner - Scots for dirt, filth
p.83 - schemie - pejorative Scots term for someone who lives in a Housing
Scheme, i.e. a nasty concrete housing estate 'built' as replacement for
slums, but rapidly becoming slums themselves.
p.90 - Drinkin'! - note that the Wee Frees, aka the Free Presbyterian Church
of Scotland, are /death/ on drinking. (And sex, for that might lead to -
p.92 - can anyone supply an etymology for 'kelda'?
p.173 - hoggets - I'm not sure if any of the other strange words in
/Diseases of the Sheep/ actually mean anything, but I do know 'hogget' is
Lowland Scots/ Northern English for a ewe.
p.285 - callyack - this is probably meant to represent the Gaelic
/cailleach/, old woman, which is actually pronounced 'kyle-yak' (with a good
hard cough on the k).
p.301 - "You beat the Queen at the end. But you had help, I think." There
has been some debate as to how a mere child could do what it took all Granny
Weatherwax' power to do; it has been suggested it was a different queen.
FWIW I think it was the same queen (the remarks about the King point to
that, IMO). She may not have been as powerful this time for some reason; or
perhaps we should consider that the Chalk and Granny Aching, together, are
fairly powerful themselves.
p.317 - jobbies - modern Scots for, eh, solid excrement. I believe it
derives from the use of the phrase "I'm just off to do a wee job" as a
euphemism for "I'm just going for a
> p.173 - hoggets - I'm not sure if any of the other strange words in
> /Diseases of the Sheep/ actually mean anything, but I do know 'hogget' is
> Lowland Scots/ Northern English for a ewe.
Hogget is the term used to describe an adult female sheep before she has
had any offspring. In some parts of the country it is shortened to hogg,
which can then cause some confusion if the farm also keeps pigs...
> p.173 - hoggets - I'm not sure if any of the other strange words in
> /Diseases of the Sheep/ actually mean anything, but I do know 'hogget' is
> Lowland Scots/ Northern English for a ewe.
In Worcestershire, where my father kept sheep for a few years, a hogget was
a sheep in its second year. A sheep is only a lamb in the year it is born,
and the butchers only recognise lamb and mutton, so that sheep not intended
for wool or breeding are slaughtered before they become hoggetts. But,
acccording to the locals and the evidence as I tasted, hoggets yield more
meat of equivalent quality to lamb.
(Apologies to the vegiies around here).
Actually, I am reasonable certain that "hog" was a generic term in certain
areas for sheep. The name Howard comes from Hog-ward, which was a shepard,
not a pig ward (pigs don't get warded because they don't wander over the
John has the sense of it.
"Scunner is possibly one of the most expressive and useful words in Scots. It
conjures up something disgusting or distasteful, annoying or perverse,
unappetising or irritating. To have "a richt scunner" is to be really "off"
something. Somebody or something can be scunnerous, scunnerin, scunnerful or
scunnersome. We all take a scunner to something, or somebody, sometime!"
this comes from a really useful (but not comprehensive) guide to Scots
- it doesn't include "jobbie" . . .
I think he said in an interview that it was no more than liking the rhythm of
the words, but that didn't stop it being the basis of Invernessian badgering
that for a Wee Free book he really had to do a highland signing ;-)
p258 Jolly Sailor
I have a problem with the bit where they are in the boat and
observe the label.
'On it, but spelled backwards in letters larger than the moon..."
The words are backwards but the actual letters are correctly
orientated. This is not a possible natural orientation.
If the wording was seen from the back of the label then the
letters would be mirrored.
Does anyone have any thoughts about this?
>p.92 - can anyone supply an etymology for 'kelda'?
Apparently it is norse for a Spring or Well.
As with the cleaning up of the Nac Mac Feegle language, I suspect this is
because the book is aimed toward younger readers. Having said that, I
wonder how many of the said younger readers will spot the "William the
gonnagle" bit and some of the legends that don't normally find their way
into children's stories.
Evil Heretic Infiltrator