[Ads-l] one hen two ducks (UNCLASSIFIED)
MULLINS, WILLIAM D (Bill) CIV USARMY FUTURES COMMAND (USA)
0000099bab68be9a-dmarc-request at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Thu Feb 28 17:17:44 UTC 2019
"One hen two ducks" is purportedly a radio announcer's sample script used to test the speaking skills of a prospective announcer. The full script is here:
Jerry Lewis would recite it as part of his act:
_Vanity Fair_ Nov 8 1861, p 217.
'AUGUSTUS is a milk white young man, patented by an evening journal, snatched from the Personals of the Herald, and first brought before the public by ourselves. He was born at the age of fourteen, and was immediately orphaned. During his youth he was, it is said, frequently asked the question “How came you so?" but his answers are not reported. His first essay as a humorist was a work in four volumes, previously published in the paper to which he is more attached than it is to him, and entitled the
“IDIOT'S DELIGHT; BY HIMSELF.”
In this he displayed considerable fluent flatulency, as for instance where he apostrophized the “Eight Cages of Heliogabalus Sparrow Kites and Five Hundred Limerick Oysters.” As the founder of several staunch patriotic gags, he is also to be mentioned."
Aunt Carrie [Caroline L. Smith] _Popular Pastimes for Field and Fireside_ Springfield MA: Milton Bradley, 1867. pp. 219 - 221
"Games of Memory . . . .
A GOOD FAT HEN.
1. A good fat hen.
2. Two ducks and one good fat hen.
3. Three squalling wild geese, two ducks, and one good
[etc., etc., etc.]
11. Eleven flat bottomed fly boats floating from Madagascar to Mount Prunello, ten helioscopic, peroscopic, pharmaceutical tubes, nine sympathetic, epithetic, didactic propositions, eight cages of Heliogabulus sparrowkites, seven hundred Macedonian horsemen drawn up in line of battle, six pairs of Don Alphonso's tweezers, five hundred Limerick oysters, four plump partridges, three squalling wild geese, two ducks, and one good fat hen.
12. Twelve European dancing masters sent to Egypt to teach the Egyptian mummies to dance and sing, eleven flat bottomed fly boats floating from Madagascar to Mount Prunello, ten helioscopie, peroscopic, pharmaceutical tubes, nine sympathetic, epithetic, didactic propositions, eight cages of Heliogabulus sparrowkites, seven hundred Macedonian horse men drawn up in line of battle, six pairs of Don Alphonso's tweezers, five hundred Limerick oysters, four plump partridges, three squalling wild geese, two ducks, and one good fat hen."
_New Dominion Monthly_ Feb 1870 p. 49
"At the twelfth circuit (should the patience and memory of the party endure so long) the formula has grown to this length :--"Twelve Californian catamounts, cautiously careering over Corinthian columns, closely contiguous to a Catholic cemetery; eleven belted and booted, bewhiskered bravadoes, biting a bit of bitter butternut before a better breakfast; ten aspiring allopathic Abyssinian acrobats, ambling after anacondas on Arabian antelopes; nine pragmatical, double-and-twisted left-handed physicians; eight ships sailing from Orinoco to Madagascar on Prince Gilgal's wedding-day; seven bones of a Macedonian horse; six Limerick oysters ; five pairs of Don Alfonso's pincers; four screaming wild geese; three plump partridges; two ducks; a good fat hen and about she goes."
_Oliver Optic's Magazine. Our Boys and Girls_ Sept 1872 p. 623
"One game caused a vast deal of merriment, and we give it, so that our readers may use it on similar occasions.
A lady gave out "a good fat hen," which all the circle were required to repeat; then " two ducks and a good fat hen;" then "three squawking wild geese, two ducks, and a good fat hen," the entire company repeating the whole each time, with all practicable rapidity. Each tune a new number was added, which increased the strain on the memory. The whole legend, from the highest to the lowest, is inserted: " Twelve thousand dozen bottles Herr Somebody's Schiedam Schnapps, recommended for the use of all hospitals and similar institutions throughout the United States, Great Britain, and Germany; eleven thousand Ethiopian dancing-masters, sent to teach the Egyptian mummies to sing and dance at Hercules' wedding; ten flat-bottomed ply-boats, sent to ply between Fort Pachilla and Madagascar; nine sympathetic, apathetic, categorical propositions; eight cages heliogabalous sparrow-kites; seven hundred Macedonian horsemen, drawn up in battle array; six pairs Don Alfonzo's tweezers ; five hundred Limerick oysters ; four plump partridges; three squawking wild geese; two ducks, and a good fat hen."
_Indianapolis News_ 19 Mar 1904 p 24
"After a stand-up game, a rather funny game -- where all the company sit -- is to have one person chose to call and the rest to repeat: One good fat hen. Two ducks. Three plump partridges. Four squawking wild geese. Five felicitous oysters. Six pairs of Roman-striped hose. Seven thousand Spanish soldiers. Eight cages of Heliogabalus paroquets. Nine sympathetic, apathetic didactic propositions. Eleven superstitious astronomers viewing Venus in Venice. Twelve European dancing masters teaching Egyptian mummies to dance at Hercules' wedding."
[part of a syndicated column, rerun for the next several years and always leaving out the entry for "ten"]
Henry Pattengill, _Hints from Squints_ Lansing, MI 1905. p. 106
"ATTENTION AND MEMORY TEST.
1. One fat hen.
2. Two squawking wild geese.
3. Three plump partridges.
4. Four ducks.
5. Five hundred Limerick oysters.
6. Six hundred Macedonian horsemen, drawn up in battle array.
7. Seven pairs of Don Alphonso's tweezers.
8. Eight cages of hileo-gavenon-spare-gites.
9. Nine sympathetic, apathetic, categorical propositions.
10. Ten old-fashioned, flat-bottomed ply boats, sent to ply between Matamoras and Madagascar.
11. Eleven Ethiopian singing and dancing masters, sent to teach the Egyptian mummies how to sing and dance on
Hercules's wedding day.
12. Twelve dozen bottles of Adolphus Pholphus Schiedam schnapps, used and approved in all hospitals and similar
_Philadelphia Inquirer_ 29 May 1949 "Gold Seal Novel" section, p. 3
"Without further ado he began. 'One good hen. Two ducks. Three cackling geese. Four pompous partridges. Five Don Alfonso tweezers. Six limerick oysters. Seven brass monkeys stolen from a sacred secret subterranean sepulcher in ancient Egypt. Eight hundred Macedonian horsemen in full battle array. Nine asthmatic diabetic apathetic old gentlemen on crutches. Ten lyrical spherical heliotropes from an eleemosynary institution.' "
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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