All keen welcomers...when he drops in for a cup of tea

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Senior Member
It cantains a fantasy about Hitler's visit? in the news reel about Soothing British people.

'The left right, left right folks have got both feet off the ground at the same time. They are part of Britain's mighty mobile mountain. All keen welcomers of Adolf when he drops in for a cup of tea and a cream bun.'Watching the motorbikes swoop down into a ditch and judder upwards over some heathland, the cinema audiences are rib-nudgingly told: 'Up and down they go but unlike the Hun they are always on the level.'(A.N. Wilson After the Victorians)
Just now the reply is very helpful, Thanks so much. Just now forget a doubt. "All keen welcomers of Adolf when he drops in for a cup of tea and a cream bun" is a fantasy about Hitler's visit? I am confused.

  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It’s a quote from a wartime BBC newsreel, using language intended to summon up the fighting spirit of the people. It becomes clearer if you take into account the previous line:

    “The one-time footsloggers have turned kickstart pushers,” says the commentary to one of them, as the black and white screen shows a lot of men on motorbikes more festooned with foliage camouflage than Malcolm’s soldiers marching through Dunsinane at the end of Macbeth.
    The whole gung-ho style seems laughable now, but it was well-meant at the time. Everything was made light of, with the very real threat of a German military invasion and occupation being nonchalantly laughed off as Adolf “dropping in for a cup of tea and a cream bun”.

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Please, please explain the context in every single thread you post. I have just had to look up your previous thread, where, fortunately, GWB explains what is going on. I assume that this is a description of a British newsreel shown to the British public sometime near the beginning of the Second World War, but really you should tell us this.

    The "left right, left right folks" are British soldiers on motorbikes, which explains both their having both feet off the ground and their being part of Britain's "mighty mobile mountain". They are soldiers whose job it is to repel German troops should they invade, and that is what is meant by being "welcomers of Adolf when he drops in for a cup of tea and a cream bun". This is British jokey understatement, a tone which appears to have been particularly prevalent in the first year or two of the Second World War. "Adolf" refers primarily to German troops. Their dropping in for a cup of tea and a cream bun means their invasion of Britain, and the warm welcome that will be given are bullets (and probably bayonets as well).
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