Toodle pip!

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aiuny

Senior Member
Italian- Italy
Hi everybody!

I am reading David Wood's theatrical adaptation of "The BFG" by Roald Dahl. The expression "Toodle pip, Majesty" is said by the character "Head of the Air Force" to the "Queen of England" when they meet, but I found the meaning of goodbye not of Hello: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/toodle_pipIs it the correct meaning or what could be the aim of the author?

The register of "Head of the Air Force" is similar to his colleague "Head of the Army", who greets the Queen in this way: "What ho, Majesty", which is also a strange expression.

I think the author makes fun of the strictness of military life by letting this two characters speak a kind of "slang". Am I right?

Thanks in advance for your help!
 
  • This kind of jocular greeting (or saying goodbye) is associated with representations of upper-class speech. Think the characters in P.G. Woodhouse. The humour is largely from the jocular familiarity with which these two characters address the Queen.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    And I doubt that a real officer of the British military, even at the top level, would address the Queen with anything like that expression, even a more up-to-date version. It just isn't done.
     

    Einstein

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    And I doubt that a real officer of the British military, even at the top level, would address the Queen with anything like that expression, even a more up-to-date version. It just isn't done.
    Well, I think this is the point! they're showing a flippancy that wouldn't be conceivable in real life.

    By the way, we haven't answered aiuny's question about the meaning: Toodle-pip would normally mean goodbye, not hello.
     
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