Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun

hannah sue

Senior Member
Italian - Pisa,Italy
Hello,

I need to translate the title of Noel Cowards' song "Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun", and I was wondering if "mad dogs" means "mad people" or something else?

Thank you for any help!
 
  • ConusMagus

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Your right Hannah, I didn't notice the plural :).

    I think I found an answer in a yahoo forum and that phrase could be related to a common place:

    "Because in England, our midday sun is really not that hot to be honest, also we get so little sun anyway that we soak as much of it up as possible."

    So the translation could really be cani pazzi e inglesi...

    Bye.

    P.S. googling you can find plenty of citations for this song.
     

    hannah sue

    Senior Member
    Italian - Pisa,Italy
    Thank you,

    and I yes, I did google it and all, and I know what the song refers to, but I can't find evidence of "mad dogs" meaning literally "cani pazzi" or just "mad people" or "mad anything".
     

    anglomania1

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Your right Hannah, I didn't notice the plural :).

    I think I found an answer in a yahoo forum and that phrase could be related to a common place:

    "Because in England, our midday sun is really not that hot to be honest, also we get so little sun anyway that we soak as much of it up as possible."

    So the translation could really be cani pazzi e inglesi...

    Bye.

    P.S. googling you can find plenty of citations for this song.

    I agree, there are plenty of Brits out in the midday sun in Italy!!! Also, I think that the fact "mad" is used with "dogs" and not "Englishmen" probably means that the English are all mad normally!!!
    Anglo
     

    hannah sue

    Senior Member
    Italian - Pisa,Italy
    I agree, there are plenty of Brits out in the midday sun in Italy!!! Also, I think that the fact "mad" is used with "dogs" and not "Englishmen" probably means that the English are all mad normally!!!
    Anglo
    Ok, thanks Anglomania!
    So you think I could translate it as:
    "Solo i matti e gli inglesi escono sotto il sole di mezzogiorno" ?
     
    The origin of that expresstion is from Rudyard Kipling who once described the delirium produced by the sun in India, observing that only "mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun". Coward used Kipling's line in the tune.
     

    hannah sue

    Senior Member
    Italian - Pisa,Italy
    The origin of that expresstion is from Rudyard Kipling who once described the delirium produced by the sun in India, observing that only "mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun". Coward used Kipling's line in the tune.
    Yes, I also read somewhere that the expression was taken from Kipling, but what I was really wondering about was whether these "mad dogs" were to be taken literally (i.e. as "dogs that are mad") or not.
    But thank you! :)
     

    shamblesuk

    Senior Member
    England, English
    Yes, I also read somewhere that the expression was taken from Kipling, but what I was really wondering about was whether these "mad dogs" were to be taken literally (i.e. as "dogs that are mad") or not.
    But thank you! :)
    Gia', sono i cani che sono proprio pazzi!

    Lee
     

    Polemic

    New Member
    English
    In colonial times in India, the native people thought it was insanity when the British worked, made war, and played cricket and polo in the heat of midday. They knew that, at midday, even dogs had sense enough to stay out of the sun, and that only mad dogs, i.e., rabid dogs, crazed by the rabies virus in their brains, ventured out of the shade. Rabies produced spasm of the throat muscles, so that saliva dripped from their mouths, producing "foaming at the mouth." Despite thirst, they couldn't drink; hence the term "hydrophobia". Before their death, they had a staggering, unsteady gait. The terrifying appearance made them appear crazed, or “mad.”
    So, I’m no expert in Italian, but the proper term seems to me to be “cani rabbiati.”
     

    Catnap

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Cani rabbiosi, sarebbe la forma più corretta. Ma potrebbe essere che Mad Dogs possa anche solo identificare 'chi ha perso la ragione'?
    In un testo ho trovato l'espressione:Mad dogs have thrown in the towel long ago ( a commento di una avventura faticosissima, improba), che a me parrebbe poter essere tradotta (in questo caso) persino i folli (chi si getta in imprese dissennate) avrebbe gettato la spugna. Mi sbaglio?
    Grazie
    C.
     

    Einstein

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    Cani rabbiosi, sarebbe la forma più corretta. Ma potrebbe essere che Mad Dogs possa anche solo identificare 'chi ha perso la ragione'?
    Nella citazione di Kipling/Coward il significato è assolutamente letterale. Per uscire sotto il solo di mezzogiorno bisogna essere o un cane rabbioso o un inglese che non conosce il clima indiano (o che pur conoscendolo non ha il buonsenso di stare all'ombra).
    In un testo ho trovato l'espressione:Mad dogs have thrown in the towel long ago ( a commento di una avventura faticosissima, improba), che a me parrebbe poter essere tradotta (in questo caso) persino i folli (chi si getta in imprese dissennate) avrebbe gettato la spugna. Mi sbaglio?
    Grazie
    C.
    Per questa parte dovresti darci più contesto.
     

    Catnap

    Senior Member
    Italian
    The sentence it's a quote at the beginning of the chapter:
    " A small bunch of Englishman out walkingmiles a day in the midday sun and taking turn at wearing a large rhino costume [they are zoologists making a documentary on rhinos]. Mad dogs have thrown in the towel long ago".
    Kipling's quote is not so famous in Italy. That is the reason of my attempt: Nemmeno dei pazzi avrebbero resistito tanto.
    Am I wrong? Any better suggestion?
    Thaks for help.
    C.
     
    Last edited:

    Einstein

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    Mah... Direi che l'autore, parlando di inglesi sotto il sole di mezzogiorno, ha pensato alla citazione di Kipling e poi gli è venuto di fare una propria battuta (qui nemmeno i cani rabbiosi, solo gli inglesi). Secondo me non ha senso tentare di tradurre la battuta; basta un commento tipo "eccentrici come solo gli inglesi sanno essere" (lo dico da inglese:D)
     

    paxton

    New Member
    english
    Mad dogs and Englishmen. An expression from India, at the time an English colony. The Indians themselves would find shade and rest at midday, the hottest time of the day. The English of course because of tradition would go walking. Hence the expression from the Indians, Only, " mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun ". Hope this helps.
     
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