OE’m Pop-OE the Sailor-r-r-r Ma-a-an


Senior Member
Hi, I cannot understand the meaning of the red part of the following sentence from "Why I Live At The P.O." by "Eudora Welty". Would you please explain it to me? Thanks a lot.

And in a minute the loudest Yankee voice I ever heard in my life yells out, “OE’m Pop-OE the Sailor-r-r-r Ma-a-an!” and then somebody jumps up and down in the upstairs hall.
  • OED Loves Me Not

    Senior Member
    Japanese - Osaka
    “OE’m Pop-OE the Sailor-r-r-r Ma-a-an!”
    I believe it's the quintessential catchphrase of Popeye the Sailorman.
    He's from an American cartoon entitled "Popeye," which dates back
    to more than 50 years ago or so. It was quite popular even in my
    country Japan. And I guess his heavy accent is represented in the
    transcript that you quoted. What he meant is:
    I'm Popeye the Sailorman.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    English English
    The person is almost certainly singing a song called 'I'm Popeye the Sailor Man'. Popeye is a very famous US cartoon comic character – you'll see lots of picture if you Google him. I don't know why the strange spelling is used (if that's correct). I assume it is to express a strong Yankee accent.


    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    'Oe' seems to have been used to represent the pronunciation of the vowel of price // towards a nearly the vowel of choice /ɔɪ/, associated with the accent in New York (as well as Cockney and Australia).
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