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The limerick about the Pelican..

 
 
Reply Fri 8 Oct, 2010 10:54 am
Hello! I found a wonderful poem about a pelican, but I failed to understand the last verse!Sad Can anyone explain me, please, what these words mean??

A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican,
He can take in his beak
Enough food for a week
BUT I'M DAMNED IF I SEE HOW THE HELICAN!"

and also the word "belican", please..) May be it stands for "his belly can?"...)
Thank you in advance!!

Daria
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Type: Question • Score: 2 • Views: 25,871 • Replies: 17
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Oct, 2010 10:56 am
@Two Sheds,
use these substitutions


belican => belly can

helican => hell he can


a wonderful bird is the pelican
his bill will hold more than his belly can

etc
Two Sheds
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Oct, 2010 11:09 am
@ehBeth,
Oh, thanks a million!)
And the phrase "But I'm damned If I see.." - do you use it in the meaning "I wish I knew..." or "I have no idea" or what?..
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Oct, 2010 11:10 am
@Two Sheds,
That's a quite well-known poem by Ogden Nash.

EhBeth is quite right. The point here is thatNash is playing on the pronunciation of certain words when they are spelled phonetically in order to create a prallel rhyme. It wouldn't be as funny if he'd written

A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belly can . . .[etc.]
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Fri 8 Oct, 2010 11:10 am
@Two Sheds,
It means, roughly, I have no idea . . .
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Oct, 2010 11:11 am
@Two Sheds,
Two Sheds wrote:

Oh, thanks a million!)
And the phrase "But I'm damned If I see.." - do you use it in the meaning "I wish I knew..." or "I have no idea" or what?..


Yes.
0 Replies
 
Two Sheds
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Oct, 2010 11:18 am
Thank you all for such quick help!!)
it's a perfect place to ask questions))
0 Replies
 
Two Sheds
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Oct, 2010 11:25 am
@Merry Andrew,
I didn't know the author, thanks a lot!
0 Replies
 
ddeene
 
  2  
Reply Fri 10 Dec, 2010 12:02 am
@Merry Andrew,
Actually, the poem though, often attributed to Ogden Nash, was written by Dixon Lanier Merritt (American Poet, 1879-1972) in 1910.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Dec, 2010 12:31 am
@ddeene,
Well, fan me with a blowtorch, ddeene! I had to check out your statement, and got many confirmations. Welcome to a2k.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dixon_Lanier_Merritt
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Dec, 2010 02:21 am
Do sheds appear in any other country bar Australia?
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Dec, 2010 03:03 am
@dadpad,
Sure, unless you have some special kind of shed in mind. Tool sheds, milk sheds, all kinds of little sheds. Kind of like shacks, except we don't usually live in sheds.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Dec, 2010 03:04 am
Yes, of course . . . in the United States, at least, the term shed is used quit frequently, although it does not have the cultural import that it does in Australia.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Dec, 2010 03:07 am
@Setanta,
Surely, they don't call their outbacks 'sheds'.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Dec, 2010 03:21 am
@roger,
Some people do . . . it was what my grandfather called it, and it was common in some places in the States in the 1950s . . .
0 Replies
 
Two Sheds
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Dec, 2010 06:16 am
@dadpad,
Yes, of course, for example, in Russia - we call it "saraj"
If this question is connected with my nick-name, then it's from a Monty Python's scetch (famous British comics), so it means that there are sheds in England too:) am I right?)
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Dec, 2010 06:19 am
@Two Sheds,
Shed is a common enough word everywhere in the English-speaking world, but Dadpad is referring to the use of shed in Australia, where it is a haven for men, a place they can go to escape the wife and family. It has a far more significant meaning in Austalia than it does elsewhere in the English-speaking world. I believe i am correct when i descibe it as an institution in Australia.
Two Sheds
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Dec, 2010 06:23 am
@Setanta,
Oh, how interesting, thank you!
0 Replies
 
 

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