I had practically this very conversation with a girl I knew years ago, except that she did most of the talking. Apparently there’s this thing called “blank verse” where a poem doesn’t have to rhyme! I mean, how is that even a poem?
Roses are red, violets are blue, but if they don’t have to rhyme, what the fuck?
What you’re missing here, Irk, is that the olde english, really didn’t have any teeth by the time they hit their mid teens. When you marble mouth it without any teeth, “fum” and “englishman” rhyme just fine.
@shahnm@stinks Or maybe, like Irk suggests, it was politically subversive. So they were rhyming with the English Mum, or queen.
And since most people didn’t have teeth, they just assumed it was Englishman.
@mehcuda67@stinks That raises some interesting thoughts about medieval England’s social views.
As we know, the giant in the story uttered those words when a boy climbed the vine to his aerial domain. This breakthrough observation of Irk’s, subtly stated but earth-shaking in it’s implications, makes clear that that boy was the first “alternative-lifestyle” character in mainstream children’s’ literature, and that the first to openly note this was a giant among men (literally and metaphorically)…
Well done, Irk! You’ve cracked this one wide open…
Irk needs to learn to google. I put in “Jack and the Beanstalk rhyme,” and got this wikipedia entry:
Charles Mackay proposes in The Gaelic Etymology of the Languages of Western Europe that the seemingly meaningless string of syllables “Fa fe fi fo fum” is actually a coherent phrase of ancient Gaelic, and that the complete quatrain covertly expresses the Celts’ cultural detestation of the invading Angles and Saxons:
Fa from faich (fa!) “behold!” or “see!”
Fe from Fiadh (fee-a) “food”;
Fi from fiú “good to eat”
Fo from fogh (fó) “sufficient” and
Fum from feum “hunger”.
Thus “Fa fe fi fo fum!” becomes “Behold food, good to eat, sufficient for my hunger!”