Churchill?

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jan 20 17:04:50 UTC 2012


Thanks for raising this interesting question, David. Excellent cite,
Stephen. Here is a version of the less elaborate joke in 1917.

Cite: 1917 September 13, Kansas City Star, Diving for French Verbs:
Henry J. Allen Finds Language as Exciting as War, Page 4, Column 2,
Kansas City, Missouri. (GenealogyBank)

[Begin excerpt]
When we reached the outside our trouble began. There were some thirty
or forty women from the train and as we watched the scramble for the
very small number of taxicabs and 1-horse vehicles we were reminded of
the reason a New York traveler once gave for traveling on a French
liner: He said, "there is no foolishness about women and children
first."
[End excerpt]

Google News archive has a Noel Coward attributed version in Miami News
of December 9, 1948. Google Books has matches with GB dates in the
1920s, 1930s, 1940s, and more for the simple variant of the joke.
Bartlett's Book of Anecdotes (2000) has a Somerset Maugham version.

Churchill by Himself: The Definitive Collection of Quotations (2008)
does not appear to have a match; Not even in the apocrypha sections.

Here is some extracted text from a book with an unverified Google
Books date of 1993 that presents the more elaborate anecdote attached
to Churchill.

Title: More podium humor: using wit and humor in every speech you make
Author: James C. Humes
Year: 1993
Length: 244 pages

[Begin extracted text]
A journalist from a Rome newspaper cornered the former prime minister
to ask him why he chose to travel on an Italian line when the stately
Queen's line under the British flag was available.

Churchill gave the question his consideration and then gravely replied,
"There are three THINGS I LIKE ABOUT ITALIAN SHIPS. FIRST, THEIR
CUISINE, WHICH IS UNSURPASSED. SECOND, THEIR SERVICE, WHICH IS quite
superb." And then Sir Winston added, "And then, in TIME OF EMERGENCY,
THERE IS NONE OF THIS NONSENSE ABOUT WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST." (But
seriously, the needs of the family must come first.
[End extracted text]

I will try to add to this quick incomplete search later when I have some time.
Garson

On Fri, Jan 20, 2012 at 7:19 AM, Stephen Goranson <goranson at duke.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Stephen Goranson <goranson at DUKE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Churchill?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Related, though not Churchill:
>
> Noel Coward, of course, had his expected joke about ocean travel....A friend heard he was sailing, not flying, supposed he would sail on the Queen; not at all, Sir Noel bantered, and named a foreign line he was about to take; why, asked his friend, and Sir Noel, in famed Cowardly fashion, explained "None of that nonsense about women and children first."
>
> I Luxury Liner You Ye Going! .
> Ă½Sarasota Journal - Aug 5, 1971
>
> http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=YvgeAAAAIBAJ&sjid=DI0EAAAAIBAJ&pg=5069,773928&dq=nonsense-about-women-and-children-first&hl=en
> ________________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of David A. Daniel [dad at POKERWIZ.COM]
> Sent: Friday, January 20, 2012 6:57 AM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: [ADS-L] Churchill?
>
> This has been circulating ever since the accident. Any chance it was really
> Churchill? If not, anyone know who it really was?
>
> "A friend reminded me of a comment made by Winston Churchill.
> After his retirement he was cruising the Mediterranean on an Italian cruise
> liner and some Italian journalists asked why an ex British Prime Minister
> would choose an Italian ship.
> 'There are three things I like about being on an Italian cruise ship,' said
> Churchill.
> 'First, their cuisine is unsurpassed.
> Second, their service is superb.
> And then, in case of an emergency, there is none of this nonsense about
> women and children first.'"
>
> DAD
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
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> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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