[Ads-l] [Non-DoD Source] "Niger" or "Niger"?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Oct 22 11:48:32 EDT 2017


> On Oct 22, 2017, at 10:54 AM, James A. Landau <JJJRLandau at NETSCAPE.COM> wrote:
> 
> I learned the limerick as
>    There was a young girl from the Niger
>    Who smiled as she rode on a tiger
>        They came back from the ride
>        With the girl inside
>    And the smile on the face of the tiger
> 
> "the" in the first line is needed for the meter.

Not if it’s “lady” rather than “girl”, as in the other versions nominated upthread.  Plus “lady” is more metrically correct than “girl” in the penultimate line: “With the lady inside".  “With the girl stuck inside”?  Naaah.


>  It implies the girl came, not from a specific country, but from somewhere along the Niger River.
> 
> There is an old choosing rhyme "Eenie Meenie Miney Mo".  I have heard that the original of the second line was "Catch a n* by the toe" but it has been bowdlerized to "tiger" since at least as long as I've been around.

And mine (b. 1945).  I didn’t hear about the authentic version (and then only as mention, not use) until I was in my teens, and had an aha moment.    I think we’ve discussed the Eeny Meeny rhyme here a while ago; no doubt Ben can instantly locate the locus.

>  Interesting.  "N*" --> “tiger"

Well, it does make one wonder about Pooh’s buddy Tigger…

LH

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