Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed May 30 05:00:46 UTC 2001

At 9:20 AM -0400 5/25/01, Douglas G. Wilson wrote:
>>I'm interested in knowing more about the adjective "four-balls." I assume
>>"four-balls voice" means a deep, masculine voice, so I'm guessing that
>>"four-balls" implies that it sounds as though the announcer is
>>doubly-endowed in the testicular area. True?
>I think so.
>A few random thoughts ...
>(1) When I was a child, I heard (to the tune of the "Col. Bogey March")
>(apparently an Allied song from WWII):
>Has only got one ball;
>Has two but very small;
>Is somewhat sim'lar;
>But poor old Goebbels
>Has got none at all.
>There are several variants on the Web.

Indeed.  I checked once but can't remember if any preserve the
version from my own childhood, which (the march, not the childhood)
was colored by two relevant factors:

(1) Since I was born in 1945, the song was cast in past tense.
(2) Since I was in an American English environment, the past tense of
possession could only be "had", not "had got".  ("Hitler had only got
one ball" is impossible.)

So for us it was:

Had only one, left, ball
Had two but they were small
Had something sim'lar
And Goebbals
Had no balls
At all.

I wondered at the time why it was considered a noteworthy situation
for the Fuehrer to have had only one left testicle, since the same
configuration applied to me and as far as I knew to other males.  So
I figured it must denote (in the language of our thread)
'semi-endowed in the testicular area', and must specifically mean
something like "had only one ball, i.e. the left one".  Whence the
non-restrictive commas in the representation above.  Does anyone else
recall having to work this puzzle through?


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