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Well, spank me rosy.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Bosanac, Apr 5, 2008.

  1. Bosanac New Member

    Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina
    Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian
    This is the best I could find on the Internet:

    It gives the background/context and a bad translation, but nothing about what the real meaning is.

    I think that "Let's book.", that O'Neill adds after, is also a part of this expression.
     
  2. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London
    English - England
    Spank me rosy means smack my bottom repeatedly (with the hand or perhaps a cane) until it takes on the pink colour of roses. This kind of action may be a punishment, or may be done to provide sexual pleasure.
    I suppose it is idiomatic because some people do make rhetorical invitations of this kind to express surprise etc. (A much commoner one is 'Well blow me!" which is a double entendre rather than a single entendre like spank me rosy.)
    The expression is idiosyncratic because not many people say exactly this.

    Incidentally, I suspect bailed is a typo for balled (=shouted loudly).

    P.S. Is this what you were asking about? On closer examination, there doesn't seem to be any question in your post, so something quite different may be puzzling you!
     
  3. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Jerusalem
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    The text you site contains the answer, Bosanac. The phrase is both idiomatic and idiosyncratic. It is idiomatic because it follows the pattern of folksy expressions of surprise in AE such as "Slap me down and call me Shirley". But it is also idiomatic; i.e original to that character. Since it is idiosyncratic, it doesn't have a standard meaning; it is not a "canonical" idiom. I think the translator took the wrong angle, though. I would have used an expression of surprise.

    Hope this helps a bit.
    :)
     
  4. Cathy Rose Senior Member

    Northeast USA
    United States English
    In AE, "bailed" would mean that the translator -- perhaps embarrassed by the phrase -- "chickened out" and did not translate it. You'll notice that "let's book" can be translated as "Let's get out of here," which is the next sentence that appears on the subtitle.
     
  5. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Jerusalem
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    I think it is the short form of an AE idiom for choosing an easy way out of a difficult situation "bailing out".
     
  6. bibliolept

    bibliolept Senior Member

    Northern California
    AE, Español
    Absolutely. "Bailed" is correctly used here to mean that the translator gave up or sought to escape. In any event, it's not "balled" that means "to cry/shout," but "bawled."

    And the whole "spank" thing is just a colorful idiom; it's literal meaning really has nothing to do with the meaning intended by the speaker. A prime example of this is hilarious "Well feed me nails and call me Rusty," which is usually a "simple" expression of surprise.
     
  7. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Jerusalem
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Yup. "Well spank me rosy" follows the same pattern as
    Well feed me nails and call me Rusty.
    and
    Well slap me down and call me Shirley,

    which is why the text says it is idiomatic.
    :)
     
  8. Bosanac New Member

    Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina
    Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian
    I am sorry I did not properly formulate the question.

    My problem with this expression was that I did not understand why he was saying that in this particular occasion. Because O'Neill often makes allusions to "The Simpsons" and "The Wizard of Oz", I thought this is an allusion to a movie or a book or something else well known in English speaking world. I did not know what the "meaning intended by the speaker" was.

    From your answers I see it is an expressions of surprise. But I was not aware that you could express your surprise saying:

    "Well, spank me rosy" or
    "Well feed me nails and call me Rusty" or
    "Well slap me down and call me Shirley"

    without alluding/hinting at something else.

    I was also unaware that "Let's book" can be translated as "Let's get out of here," so this whole "Well, spank me rosy. Let's book," was a total mystery to me.

    As I understand now, this would be the meaning: "Well, I did not expect us to survive all this. Let's get out of here." Is this right?
     
  9. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Jerusalem
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Not quite. Looking at the quote in your first post, I understand that the character expressed surprise but that the translator rendered his expression as "Let's get out of here."
     
  10. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London
    English - England
    Well, of course these expression allude to something else, but it is often to something entirely irrelevant, and merely for comic effect.
     
  11. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London
    English - England
    Oops, yes, the spelling is bawled.

    I still can't see, though, how bailed can refer to anything but a speech act, because it is followed by a colon and words in speech marks. :confused:
     
  12. bibliolept

    bibliolept Senior Member

    Northern California
    AE, Español
    To "bail" may be an AE idiom, then, for abandoning, escaping, giving up, fleeing. ("Run away, run away!"). The etymology of this is probably from the use of bail in sentences like "he bailed out of the plane." The writer is showing that the translator gave up by presenting us with the nondescript line of dialog that the translator provided instead of giving an approximate translation of the original "colorful" line.
     
  13. gremlin Junior Member

    English only - Canada
    It is in fact referring to the speech act. "Let's get out of here!" is an act of "bailing".
     
  14. Franzi Senior Member

    Astoria, NY
    (San Francisco) English
    It's short for this:

    The writer bailed by writing: "Let's get out of here!"


    The original sentence is just rather colloquial.
     
  15. Franzi Senior Member

    Astoria, NY
    (San Francisco) English
    He also called Daniel "space monkey" at some point, so don't expect him to make sense all the time. His dialogue is written to make him sound funny, a bit rude, and very American. "Spank me rosy!" just means "Wow, I can't believe it!"
     
  16. Macunaíma

    Macunaíma Senior Member

    Um ninho de mafagalfinhos
    português, Brasil

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