Rock-paper-scissors redux

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Sun May 20 18:36:05 UTC 2007

Douglas G. Wilson wrote:
>> I'm saying that indeed "rochambeau" is *English* not French like the NYT
>> article claims. I don't think it's Japanese, either.
>> One possibility that occurred to me after writing last night was that
>> "rochambeau" could come as a rhyme derivation from "jan-ken-po".
>> Rochambeau was a famous character in the War for Independence, so I
>> could see American children changing the name from "jan-ken-po".
> My best guess following my earlier investigation: French
> "Roche-Papier-Ciseaux" (apparently used in Canada) (starts with "rosh",
> ends with "o") or some similar form was altered to match the name
> Rochambeau: ideally one would like exactly three syllables, I suppose. The
> name Rochambeau of course appears/appeared in US history lessons; I suppose
> it appears/appeared in French-Canadian history lessons too; whether that's
> enough to explain the final form, I don't know.
Having so many syllables in the Canadian version seems better as it
gives an impetus for children to change it. Also, the rhyme derivation
is no longer needed. BB

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