[Ads-l] Where was Moses?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Jul 16 01:09:01 UTC 2017

> On Jul 15, 2017, at 9:01 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> When the lights go out in the London Underground in _Five Million Years to
> Earth_ (1967), the doomed sucker asks rhetorically, "Where was Moses when
> the lights went out?"  He answers himself, "In the dark."
> When my grandmother asked the same question, her answer was the more
> precise but still consistent, "In the cellar eating sauerkraut."
> Go figure.
> JL
>Partridge has it in his _Dictionary of Catch Phrases_ (p. 527):

“Dr. Edward Hodnett tells me, 1975, that in his childhood, if lights went out, children would chant

   Where was Moses when the light went out?
   —Down in the cellar eating sauerkraut."

I don’t recall either the question or the answer from my own obviously sheltered childhood.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list