[Ads-l] Query: Slang "insect promenade"

Robin Hamilton robin.hamilton3 at VIRGINMEDIA.COM
Fri Jan 20 09:48:48 EST 2017


The reference would seem to be to the speaker's face:  anglice, "I closed my
eyes in my face".  But how you get from "insect promenade" to "face" beats me.

A further problem is that while the poem mostly plays on rhyming slang, one or
two items are Cant, or simply slang -- booze, do a bunk, give the office,
flimsy, mug -- so whether "insect promenade" is playing off against rhyming
slang or some other register is an issue.

I'm tempted by "Lambeth Walk", but that's anachronistic.

Malapropism, allusion, pun, or rhyming slang?  You pays your money ...  Farmer
obviously couldn't fathom it, otherwise he'd have glossed it himself.  He
glosses many more-transparent items in the lyric.

Farmer's source in Musa Pedestris is cited as: "The Rhyme of the Rusher // 1892
// By Doss Chiderdoss in Sporting Times, 29 Oct. In Appropriate Rhyming
Slanguage," but it's possible that this is reprinted from Guy Fawkes, Esq.,
performed at the Gaiety Theatre in 1890, with Lyrics by Doss Childerdoss:

J. P. Wearing, The London Stage 1890-1899: A Calendar of Productions,
Performers, and Personnel, p. 32
                   https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=nF8pAgAAQBAJ

But appearance of "Doss Childerdoss" in Guy Fawkes may itself be a reference to
the Sporting Times.  This snippet from google books:

"The hey-day of rhyming slang was probably just before the turn of the century.
Then the Sporting Times--the world famous Pink 'Un used to regularly feature
examples of verse in rhyming slang by 'Doss Childerdoss' ..."

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=WulJAAAAIAAJ&q=%22sporting+times%22+Childerdoss&dq=%22sporting+times%22+Childerdoss&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjJi52C-dDRAhWBDMAKHcFLB4EQ6AEIJDAA

Robin Hamilton

> 
>     On 20 January 2017 at 02:13 ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> wrote:
> 
> 
>     Gerald: You have probably seen this, but it might be interesting to
>     other readers. John Stephen Farmer carefully annotated the poem, but,
>     oddly, he did not provide an annotation for "insect promenade".
> 
>     Year: 1896
>     Title: Musa Pedestris: Three Centuries of Canting Songs and Slang
>     Rhymes (1536-1896)
>     Author: John Stephen Farmer
> 
>     https://books.google.com/books?id=_zM1AQAAIAAJ&q=promenade#v=snippet&
> 
>     Below is a rhyming slang interpretation for "insects" but it does not
>     work well for the singular "insect", and it may be irrelevant.
> 
>     Year: 2015
>     Title: Little Book of Cockney Rhyming Slang
>     Author: Sid Finch
> 
>     [Begin excerpt]
>     Insects and Ants – Underpants.
>     [End excerpt]
> 
>     Garson
> 
> 
>     On Thu, Jan 19, 2017 at 7:36 PM, Cohen, Gerald Leonard <gcohen at mst.edu>
> wrote:
>     > A poem titled "The Rhyme of the Rusher" (1892) is marked by rhyming
>     > slang
>     >
>     > and cant. One particular item is unclear to me: "insect promenade." What
>     > in
>     >
>     > the world does that mean?
>     >
>     >
>     > The relevant lines are (and btw, mince pies = eyes]:
>     >
>     > And I smiled as I closed my two mince pies
>     >
>     > In my insect promenade.
>     >
>     >
>     > Any help would be much appreciated.
>     >
>     >
>     > Gerald Cohen
>     >
>     > ------------------------------------------------------------
>     > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> 
>     ------------------------------------------------------------
>     The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>

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