UBC graffiti (1969)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Fri Oct 14 23:05:44 UTC 2005

On Fri, 14 Oct 2005 18:20:49 -0400, Wilson Gray wrote:

>On 10/14/05, Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at rci.rutgers.edu> wrote:
>> Book titles are also very big among the john set.
>> Revenge of the Lion by Claude Balls.
>> Treasure in the Toilet by I. P. Nicols.
>> Disaster at the Cliff by Eileen Dover.
>> Crabs, You Say by Ivan Offelitch.
>> Russian Revolution by Ubin Jakinoff.
>> Moscow to Leningrad in Three Minutes by U. Bitchur Kokoff.
>"From Under The Stands," by Seymour Harriass.
>"Line in The Sand," by Won Hung Lo.
>"Yellow River," by I. P. Dailey
>Hm. These somehow don't seem as side-splittingly funny as they did
>when I first heard them in elementary school.

Nonetheless, you and your schoolmates were taking part in a folkloristic
tradition going back at least to the 17th century. See:

Charles Clay Doyle, "Title-Author Jokes, Now and Long Ago"
Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 86 (Jan. 1973), pp. 52-54

This follows up on the work of Dundes and George, who also catalogued
Confucianisms, wanton daughter puns, etc.:

Alan Dundes and Robert A. Georges, "Some Minor Genres of Obscene Folklore"
Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 75 (Jul. 1962), pp. 221-226

--Ben Zimmer

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