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#1
Old 09-24-2010, 07:56 AM
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Winnie 'ther' Pooh?

Does anybody know what 'ther' is supposed to mean? Is it a device used by the author to avoid having to explain things clearly or is there a known answer to this? My Google-fu is failing me on this one.

Quote:
When I first heard his name, I said, just as you are going to say, "But I thought he was a boy?"

"So did I," said Christopher Robin.

"Then you can't call him Winnie?"

"I don't."

"But you said---"

"He's Winnie-ther-Pooh. Don't you know what 'ther' means?"

"Ah, yes, now I do," I said quickly; and I hope you do too, because it is all the explanation you are going to get.
#2
Old 09-24-2010, 08:59 AM
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It's how a child explains things. "Ther" is just a nonce word, but it's the type of conversation a child would have if an adult brought up something logical in his fantasy world.

From context, if you really need an explanation , it's a word that indicates a female name is really the name of a male.
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#3
Old 09-24-2010, 09:26 AM
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To the OP, I'm still waiting to find out what "14 k of g in a f p d" means.

http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/...d.php?t=398132
#4
Old 09-24-2010, 09:36 AM
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This wonderfully weird article claims that the "ther" is evidence that the original language of Winnie the Pooh is not English, and it was translated from Gallo-Romance or Old French, although the stories themselves are much, much older :

http://specgram.com/CXLVIII.4/04.buendia.pooh.html



Although I suspect that this comment is for real:

Quote:
Readers unfamiliar with British English may need to be informed that ther is intended to be a representation of a stressed form of the English definite article. Orthographic word-final r is silent in British English but frequently indicates lengthening and stress on the preceding vowel.
#5
Old 09-24-2010, 09:43 AM
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I always just figured it was the masculine equivalent of adding "ette" to the end of a name. Like Bernardette or Charlette. Made up, of course, by Chrstopher Robin in order to spackle the gap between Winnie's name and gender.
#6
Old 09-24-2010, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TruCelt View Post
I always just figured it was the masculine equivalent of adding "ette" to the end of a name. Like Bernardette or Charlette. Made up, of course, by Chrstopher Robin in order to spackle the gap between Winnie's name and gender.
When speaking of differences in gender, "spackle the gap" may not be the best choice of terminology...
#7
Old 09-24-2010, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
"Ther" is just a nonce word...
Since we're talking about a British English context, you should be aware that "nonce" means "pedophile" over here...

CalMeacham's final quote has it: to me as a British reader, the spelling emphasizes that Christopher Robin is over-enunciating the word "the", as children do.
#8
Old 09-24-2010, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Crotalus View Post
To the OP, I'm still waiting to find out what "14 k of g in a f p d" means.

http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/...d.php?t=398132
Not sure what that has to do with this thread, although I'm sure the answer ends in "gry".
#9
Old 09-24-2010, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crotalus View Post
To the OP, I'm still waiting to find out what "14 k of g in a f p d" means.

http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/...d.php?t=398132
Not sure what that has to do with this thread, although I'm sure the answer ends in "gry".
mittu started that infamous thread, and then disappeared for a while. I was surprised to learn a few days ago that he has become a regular poster again.
#10
Old 09-24-2010, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crotalus View Post
To the OP, I'm still waiting to find out what "14 k of g in a f p d" means.

http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/...d.php?t=398132
Since it seems like the OP's question has been answered factually by some real life British folks I would also like to know if the OP ever got an answer to 14 k of g in a f p d from his friend.
#11
Old 09-24-2010, 12:03 PM
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Fuck, didn't notice it was mittu posting.

Dude, you have some answers a lot of people are wanting to find out.

Well, one in particular...
#12
Old 09-24-2010, 12:08 PM
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I thought it was just an emphasized form of the, with that British way of adding Rs that aren't really Rs anyway. Like, in one of the E. Nesbit books, she has a girl named Anthea whose nickname is Panther, which she explains makes sense if you say it out loud. Well, it makes sense if you're British and do that R thing--to an American kid it's total nonsense.
#13
Old 09-24-2010, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dangermom View Post
I thought it was just an emphasized form of the, with that British way of adding Rs that aren't really Rs anyway. Like, in one of the E. Nesbit books, she has a girl named Anthea whose nickname is Panther, which she explains makes sense if you say it out loud. Well, it makes sense if you're British and do that R thing--to an American kid it's total nonsense.
"We called him Tortoise because he taught us," said the Mock Turtle angrily: "really you are very dull!"
#14
Old 09-24-2010, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjimm View Post
Fuck, didn't notice it was mittu posting.

Dude, you have some answers a lot of people are wanting to find out.

Well, one in particular...
I'm going on record to suggest that the last we hear of mittu in this thread was the OP.
#15
Old 09-24-2010, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjimm View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
"Ther" is just a nonce word...
Since we're talking about a British English context, you should be aware that "nonce" means "pedophile" over here...
That implies that British English does not also use nonce to mean "a word apparently used only ‘for the nonce’, i.e. on one specific occasion or in one specific text or writer's works", which of course it does. (Definition from OED and in fact the term nonce-word was coined by James Murray, the first editor, although the word nonce itself, meaning for the particular occasion, for that one time, is much older)

Nonce meaning sexual deviant, specifically a pedophile, is peculiar to British English. The origin is unknown, the earliest cite in OED being 1971 in a manual of prison slang.
#16
Old 09-24-2010, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aldiboronti View Post
That implies that British English does not also use nonce to mean "a word apparently used only ‘for the nonce’, i.e. on one specific occasion or in one specific text or writer's works", which of course it does.
While I admire your precision on the extent of its use, I would strongly recommend that you don't actually use it in conversation with anyone in England.
#17
Old 09-24-2010, 01:47 PM
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Surely most English people are as familiar (possibly more familiar) with the "nonsense" meaning than the other meaning. What's more, one's an adjective and the other's a noun. Should be pretty clear from context which meaning is intended.
#18
Old 09-24-2010, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Ximenean View Post
Surely most English people are as familiar (possibly more familiar) with the "nonsense" meaning than the other meaning. What's more, one's an adjective and the other's a noun. Should be pretty clear from context which meaning is intended.
As far as I know, nonce doesn't have any relation to nonsense. It means a word coined for a single purpose, based on the definition of nonce meaning "now" or "at present".
#19
Old 09-24-2010, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dangermom View Post
I thought it was just an emphasized form of the, with that British way of adding Rs that aren't really Rs anyway. Like, in one of the E. Nesbit books, she has a girl named Anthea whose nickname is Panther, which she explains makes sense if you say it out loud. Well, it makes sense if you're British and do that R thing--to an American kid it's total nonsense.
Depends what part of America. Here's how it works for some people.
#20
Old 09-24-2010, 04:36 PM
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Maybe Tigger introduced them first. I can see him saying "Winnie ther Pooh."
#21
Old 09-24-2010, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeldar View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjimm View Post
Fuck, didn't notice it was mittu posting.

Dude, you have some answers a lot of people are wanting to find out.

Well, one in particular...
I'm going on record to suggest that the last we hear of mittu in this thread was the OP.
Well you are wrong

However, no I still don't know what the answer is/was/ever could be. The person who passed the question on to me is no longer in the same job and I now live several thousand miles away from him. Whoever it is that knows the answer is going to take it to their grave I think.
#22
Old 09-24-2010, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mittu View Post
Whoever it is that knows the answer is going to take it to their grave I think.
Serve him right, too.
#23
Old 09-24-2010, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dangermom View Post
I thought it was just an emphasized form of the, with that British way of adding Rs that aren't really Rs anyway. Like, in one of the E. Nesbit books, she has a girl named Anthea whose nickname is Panther, which she explains makes sense if you say it out loud. Well, it makes sense if you're British and do that R thing--to an American kid it's total nonsense.
Other way round. Panther (by itself) would be pronounced the same as "pantha". Unless it preceeds a word with a vowel (in which case Anthea also gains an "r")
#24
Old 09-24-2010, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ximenean View Post
Surely most English people are as familiar (possibly more familiar) with the "nonsense" meaning than the other meaning. What's more, one's an adjective and the other's a noun. Should be pretty clear from context which meaning is intended.
Fans of Chris Morris will also be familiar with the phrase "talking Nonce Sense".
#25
Old 09-24-2010, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ximenean View Post
Surely most English people are as familiar (possibly more familiar) with the "nonsense" meaning than the other meaning. What's more, one's an adjective and the other's a noun. Should be pretty clear from context which meaning is intended.
That's nonce-sense.

Edit: Beaten like red-headed step-child

Last edited by Baron Greenback; 09-24-2010 at 08:28 PM.
#26
Old 09-24-2010, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mittu View Post
Whoever it is that knows the answer is going to take it to their grave I think.
Dig up their body, burn it, and salt the earth they are buried in. Then, sell their possessions, buy some precious metals, and take 14 kernels of gold in a fairly poor district of Detroit and spread their wealth to those who need it.

Hey, I think I just solved it!

#27
Old 11-27-2013, 01:54 PM
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Winnie-Sir-Pooh

I believe that Christopher Robin was trying to say Winnie-Sir-Pooh, but due to his lisp, it sounded like Winnie-Ther-Pooh. "Don't you know what ther (sir) means". They had spent some time in London & 'sir' would be common nomenclature for a little boy to describe a man. The stories should have probably always referred to Pooh as Winnie-Sir-Pooh, but the mistaken adult interpretation has resulted in him always being referred to as Winnie the Pooh.
#28
Old 11-27-2013, 02:32 PM
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Another Zombie Thread? Oh, Bother!
#29
Old 11-27-2013, 02:35 PM
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Oh, look! Zombified just in time to link to this!
#30
Old 11-27-2013, 02:53 PM
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I've read P.G. Wodehouse stories where 'r' was used to indicate a dialectical pronunciation of open vowels, I think to show that the character pronounces them a little more forward in the mouth, e.g. "arf-parse" instead of "half-past". In Code Of The Wooster's, Constable Oates refers to the dog Bartholomew as a "vicious dorg not under proper control".
#31
Old 11-27-2013, 02:59 PM
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Since this is about a literary character, it is probably more suited to Cafe Society.

Please note the thread was started in 2010.

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#32
Old 11-27-2013, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mittu View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeldar View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjimm View Post
Fuck, didn't notice it was mittu posting.

Dude, you have some answers a lot of people are wanting to find out.

Well, one in particular...
I'm going on record to suggest that the last we hear of mittu in this thread was the OP.

Well you are wrong

However, no I still don't know what the answer is/was/ever could be. The person who passed the question on to me is no longer in the same job and I now live several thousand miles away from him. Whoever it is that knows the answer is going to take it to their grave I think.
Well, maybe not this thread as such but
Quote:
Last Activity: 02-27-2012 04:49 AM
Did I miss it where somebody got the answer to that confounded riddle/acronym/whatever it is?
#33
Old 11-27-2013, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Alexsirpooh View Post
I believe that Christopher Robin was trying to say Winnie-Sir-Pooh, but due to his lisp, it sounded like Winnie-Ther-Pooh.
A very selective lisp, he had, only coming out on the word 'sir', as it does.

Strange, too, that his father apparently didn't know what 'sir' meant.
#34
Old 11-27-2013, 03:14 PM
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I'm flabbergasted that no one has offered the explanation that C.R. is simply thinking on his feet. And A.A. is simply going along with it to avoid having story time replaced with a temper tantrum.

Also, it's my understanding that the actual toy was named after human-interest-story bear in Canada, who went by the name "Winnipeg."
#35
Old 11-27-2013, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeldar View Post
Well, maybe not this thread as such but

Did I miss it where somebody got the answer to that confounded riddle/acronym/whatever it is?
No. Someone had a co-worker who said they knew, but then they changed jobs and couldn't ask.
#36
Old 11-27-2013, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 View Post
I'm flabbergasted that no one has offered the explanation that C.R. is simply thinking on his feet. And A.A. is simply going along with it to avoid having story time replaced with a temper tantrum.
I think that's implied in the explanation that CR is just over-emphasizing 'the'.

Quote:
Also, it's my understanding that the actual toy was named after human-interest-story bear in Canada, who went by the name "Winnipeg."
Winnipeg was actually in the UK, when the Milnes saw her - London Zoo, specifically. Though she was originally captured in Canada, then bought and brought to the UK by some Canadian soldiers. Winnie's Wiki.
#37
Old 11-27-2013, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jayjay View Post
Oh, look! Zombified just in time to link to this!
So wonderfully well worth it! Thank you!
#38
Old 11-27-2013, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexsirpooh View Post
I believe that Christopher Robin was trying to say Winnie-Sir-Pooh, but due to his lisp, it sounded like Winnie-Ther-Pooh. "Don't you know what ther (sir) means". They had spent some time in London & 'sir' would be common nomenclature for a little boy to describe a man.
This doesn't really make any more sense than "ther" because sir isn't used that way. He'd be Sir Winnie in that case, not Winnie Sir Pooh.
#39
Old 11-27-2013, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aspidistra View Post
Other way round. Panther (by itself) would be pronounced the same as "pantha". Unless it preceeds a word with a vowel (in which case Anthea also gains an "r")
What's the other way around? dangermom is saying that "Panther" to an American has a hard R at the end, but a Brit who is non-rhotic is going to make it rhyme with "An-the-uh".
#40
Old 11-27-2013, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mittu View Post
Does anybody know what 'ther' is supposed to mean? Is it a device used by the author to avoid having to explain things clearly or is there a known answer to this? My Google-fu is failing me on this one.
It's the word the, emphasized, with an R added by a non-rhotic speaker who has no intention of pronouncing it.

It's like the name Eeyore, which is onomatopoeia for the sound a donkey makes - that R isn't supposed to be pronounced, either.
#41
Old 11-28-2013, 02:06 AM
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Yes. Kipling sometimes uses "ther" when he is indicating an over-stressed definite article, typically by a rustic speaker. And it most certainly wouldn't be "Winnie, Sir Pooh" as suggested by the new poster; Marley23 is dead right about that. ("Winnie, Lord Pooh" would be another matter...)
#42
Old 11-28-2013, 06:34 AM
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I still think Christopher Robin, when confronted with the uncomfortable fact that he had given a girl name to his boy bear, was twisting the narrative to put his father in the wrong, on account of he overlooked the significance of the word "ther" as it pertains to gender-to-name agreement.
#43
Old 11-28-2013, 07:44 AM
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Though not very many years later, Winston Churchill was affectionately called "Winnie" by his compatriots. Influenced, just possibly, by the male ursine character and his name?
#44
Old 11-28-2013, 08:21 AM
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I would also point out that at no point in the book is the former Edward Bear referred to as Winnie-Sir-Pooh by AA, but rather as Winnie-the-Pooh.

Even if the quoted conversation wasn't fictional, and actually one he had with the real Christopher Robin, I'm sure he'd know his own son's speech impediment well enough to either figure out the real meaning or ask for clarification.
#45
Old 11-28-2013, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishman View Post
What's the other way around? dangermom is saying that "Panther" to an American has a hard R at the end, but a Brit who is non-rhotic is going to make it rhyme with "An-the-uh".
I mean it's not a case of the British accent adding an R sound to Anthea, but taking it away from panther.
#46
Old 11-28-2013, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Crotalus View Post
To the OP, I'm still waiting to find out what "14 k of g in a f p d" means.

http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/...d.php?t=398132
To lay this puzzle to rest, it's 14 karats of gold in a Florentine pietra dura (an art piece made of highly polished and inlaid colored stones).
#47
Old 11-28-2013, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by cochrane View Post
To lay this puzzle to rest, it's 14 karats of gold in a Florentine pietra dura (an art piece made of highly polished and inlaid colored stones).
Well the letters surely fit. Makes me feel justified for believing there had to be a solution.

Excellent work, cochrane! I hereby nominate you for SDMB Sainthood!
#48
Old 11-28-2013, 03:34 PM
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In fact, it was our own Chessic Sense who came up with the answer.

http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/...0&postcount=37

He should get the kudos.

Last edited by cochrane; 11-28-2013 at 03:35 PM.
#49
Old 11-28-2013, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by cochrane View Post
In fact, it was our own Chessic Sense who came up with the answer.

http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/...0&postcount=37

He should get the kudos.
Maybe SkipMagic should reopen that monster thread long enough to post the answer. No point in having the answer just floating around in Limbo like it is.
#50
Old 11-29-2013, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 View Post
I still think Christopher Robin, when confronted with the uncomfortable fact that he had given a girl name to his boy bear, was twisting the narrative to put his father in the wrong, on account of he overlooked the significance of the word "ther" as it pertains to gender-to-name agreement.
Agreed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aspidistra View Post
I mean it's not a case of the British accent adding an R sound to Anthea, but taking it away from panther.
Right, it's a case of the British person adding an R letter that they have no intention of pronouncing.
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