[Ads-l] "the man that married Hannah"

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Thu Aug 20 07:48:14 EDT 2020

Thanks. Another, 1868, Australia, as song title:
BLACKWOOD. - The Bacchus Marsh Express (Vic. : 1866 - 1945) - 13 Jun 1868<https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/88374842?searchTerm=%22chap+that+married+hannah%22>
A POPULAR entertainment was given at the Oddfellows Hall, Golden Point, on Monday, 8th June, in aid of the Mechanics' Institute funds. E. Baber, Esq., J.P., in the chair. The ...

From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Thursday, August 20, 2020 7:06 AM
Subject: Re: "the man that married Hannah"

Interesting topic, Stephen. The 1871 citation below suggests that the
phrase may have been derived from a comical song. The song is
described as one of the "ditties of the old school". I do not know the
lyrics of the song. Alternatively, the song was constructed based on a
pre-existing phrase.

Date: November 26, 1871
Newspaper: The Era
Newspaper Location: London, England
Article: Sheffield
Quote Page 7, Column 1
Database: Newspapers.com


[Begin excerpt - double check for OCR errors]
ALHAMBRA MUSIC HALL.--(Proprietor, Mr E. J. Gascoigne.)--Miss Kate
Clifton (the female Irishman) made her first appearance at this Hall
on Monday, and has met with success. Mr Edwin Forrest (comic), in the
song of "The Chap that married Hannah" and other ditties of the old
school, had a most enthusiastic reception, which was also accorded to
Miss Agnes Howard (serio-comic) and the Sisters Bonehill (male
impersonators and serio-comiques).
[End excerpt]

Here are some variant phrases visible in newspapers.com:

The chap that married Hannah
The chap wots married Hannah
The chap as married Hannah

Here is an entry from Apperson's 1929 reference. The two definitions
offered are divergent.

[ref] 1929, English Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases: A Historical
Dictionary by G. L. Apperson (George Latimer Apperson), Quote Page 91,
J. M. Dent and Sons Limited, London. Facsimile republished in 1969 by
Gale Research Company, Detroit, Michigan. (Verified with hardcopy of
1969 edition) [/ref]

[Begin excerpt]
Chap as married Hannah, The. 1900: N. & Q., 9th ser., vi. 346, "The
chap as married Hannah" . . . is a very common phrase in South Notts.
"That's the chap as married Hannah" means that is the person or thing
I am seeking or that I need. 1900: Ibid., 434, This common here
[Worksop], and in many other localities. It is a women's saying,
though men occasionally use it. When something has been successfully
done, comes out, "There ! That's the chap as married Hannah."
[End excerpt]


On Thu, Aug 20, 2020 at 5:01 AM Stephen Goranson <goranson at duke.edu> wrote:
> At his blog* Anatoly Liberman mentioned "That's the chap as married Hanna" and said it was unexplained.
> Hotten’s 1864 Slang Dictionary (p. 151) says “the man as married Hannah” is “a Salopian [Shropshire] phrase to express a matter begun.”
> The British Newspaper Archive gives an unchecked ORC snippet from an 1869 Staffordshire newspaper. Charley Knight tells that he is “the man that married Hannah,” but his hearer is puzzled: “but to what good lady the said knight alluded remains to me a mystery….”
> Rather than referring to a forgotten individual named Hannah, I suggest it may be that someone knew Hebrew (or 1 Samuel 1) and that it meant that marriage to Hannah brought grace, favour, because that is what her name means.
> Stephen Goranson
> http://people.duke.edu/~goranson/
> Stephen Goranson's Home Page<http://people.duke.edu/~goranson/>
> Stephen Goranson. goranson "at" duke "dot" edu. Jannaeus.pdf. My paper on the history of Alexander Jannaeus as the Qumran- and Essene-view "Wicked Priest" and Judah the Essene as the "Teacher of Righteousness" (3 August 2005 [revised 12 January 2006]; 34 pages), "Jannaeus, His Brother Absalom, and Judah the Essene ". Dura-Europos.pdf "7 vs. 8: The Battle Over the Holy Day at Dura-Europos"
> people.duke.edu
> *"....Here is a good phrase: “That’s the chap as married Hannah.” It means “That’s what I need” (Nottingham, 1900). No one could explain it, but there must have been a story about some modern-day Darby and Joan<https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780199567454.001.0001/acref-9780199567454-e-526__;!!OToaGQ!6SCMNU16gwGqV_9pN32m0_u68RQczqc2Cgr10Kt349u1sTHL4n-m3whD8IXs4Q3f$ > behind it...."
> https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://blog.oup.com/2020/08/english-idioms-about-family-life-and-conjugal-felicity/__;!!OToaGQ!6SCMNU16gwGqV_9pN32m0_u68RQczqc2Cgr10Kt349u1sTHL4n-m3whD8AK-2vEw$
> [https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://42796r1ctbz645bo223zkcdl-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/12979126173_17272811c9_b.jpg__;!!OToaGQ!6SCMNU16gwGqV_9pN32m0_u68RQczqc2Cgr10Kt349u1sTHL4n-m3whD8BpKUJvS$ ]<https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://blog.oup.com/2020/08/english-idioms-about-family-life-and-conjugal-felicity/__;!!OToaGQ!6SCMNU16gwGqV_9pN32m0_u68RQczqc2Cgr10Kt349u1sTHL4n-m3whD8AK-2vEw$ >
> English idioms about family life and conjugal felicity | OUPblog<https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://blog.oup.com/2020/08/english-idioms-about-family-life-and-conjugal-felicity/__;!!OToaGQ!6SCMNU16gwGqV_9pN32m0_u68RQczqc2Cgr10Kt349u1sTHL4n-m3whD8AK-2vEw$ >
> A few husbands did not fare much better. In Scotland, a henpecked husband is called John Thomson’s man. John is an absurd alteration of Joan.I know the phrase from an 1849 letter to The Gentleman’s Magazine (a wonderful periodical), but the OED has an early sixteenth-century citation! Some such phrases show enviable longevity.
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