Submitted by goossun on February 26, 2004

More than a pain in the English!

I’ve read this “old gag” in an Interview with Hitchcock and did not have a damn clue what it could be. Can anybody help? Hitch says: “A for ism, B for brooks, C for Ilander, D for dumb, F for vessence, H for pension, I for Novello, J for orange, K f’rancis, L for leather, M fa size, I’ve forgotten what N’s for. O for the wings of dove. P for relief. Q for food. R fuh mo! S for you. T for two. U fa films. V va la France. W. I can’t remember W. X for breakfast. Y for God’s sake. And Z f’r winds.” I actually get the M, P, T and Y. But what are the rest referring to?


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lessee.... the ones that spring right out at me are aphorism, beaver brooks, effervescence, age for pension, hell-for-leather, "O for the wings of a dove" is a Bible quote (think "I wish I had the wings of a dove"), queue (line up) for food, as for you, vive la France, eggs for breakfast, "why, for God's sake?", zephyr winds. Have half a clue for C. Can't make out D, I, J, K, R, or U. If "P for relief" is bathroom humor, then I get it too, else not.

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Then there's this I just found:

A few of my off-the-cuff solutions were wrong. (who is Beaverbrooks?)

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I: Ivor Novello was a British actor, I think.
K: Kaye Francis, an actress

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Tanx f' da link! How the hell did you find it? I've still got difficulties to make sense of many of them.

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D: deaf or dumb (mute)

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Lord Beaverbrook? The Beaverbrook family
H(ostel) for Pension?
hell for leather
'O for the wings of a dove' is the first line of a song that people love to hear boy sopranos warble

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Deaf [pronounced "deef"] or dumb
Jaffa orange
UFA Films [a great preWar German studio]
'arf a mo' [half a moment; Cockney]

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Z f'r winds is zephyr, atype of wind.

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F is effavesence or however its spelt

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Beaverbrooks (Family owning the Daily Express in England, published 1913)
Seaforth Highlander
Deaf or Dumb

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Only a couple I can't do.

A for 'orses (Hay for horses)
A for ism (afforism)
A for Gardner (Eva Gardner)
B for mutton (Beef or mutton)
C for yourself (see for yourself)
C for th'highlanders (Seaforth Highlanders)
D for rent (different)
E for brick (heave a brick)
E for Peron (Eva Peron)
F for vest (effervesced)
F for been had (Ever been had?)
G for sis (G Forces)
G for staff (Chief of Staff)
G for police (Chief of Police)
H for retirement (age for retirement)
I for lutin' (high faluting)
I for Novello (Ivor Novello)
I for hangover (I've a hangover)
I for get (I forget)
J for oranges (Jaffa oranges. Jaffa is a town near Tel Aviv in Israel (now swallowed by Tel Aviv's sprawl), famous for oranges. It's often spelled Yafo nowdays. Jaffa is also a choclate-orange flavour, an a lolly with a choc centre covered in an orange candy crust.)
K for teria (cafeteria)
K for ancis (Kay Francis)
K for restaurant (cafe or restaurant. Brits pronounce 'cafe' as 'kaf' not 'kafay')
K for a drink ('care for a drink?': Use an upper class English accent)
L for leather (hell for leather)
L for fairy (elf or fairy)
M for size (emphasize)
M for services (???)
N for a penny (in for a penny... in for a pound)
N for lope (envelope)
N for mation please (information please)
O for the rainbow (over the rainbow: the Wizard of Oz song)
O for goodness' sake (oh for goodness' sake!)
P for brook (Beaverbrook)
P for i, timpani, cembali! (???)
P for a whistle (pea for a whistle: the old football/train conductor whistles with peas inside to increase their volume)
Q for billiards (cue for billards, ie a pool cue)
Q for the bus (queue for the bus)
Q for a song (cue for a song: "a one, and a two, and a one, two three...")
R for mo ('arf a mo: half a moment, ie 'hold on')
R for Godfrey {or askey] (Arthur Godfrey/Askey)
S for me, give me liberty or give me death (As for me, give me...)
S for Williams (Esther Williams)
T for two (tea for two: old song)
T for mation (T-formation: in US football)
U for mystic (euphemistic)
U for cough (you've a cough)
U for nerve (you've a nerve!)
U for knee (???)
U for age (youth or age)
U for instance (you, for instance)
V for Zapata (Viva Zapata!)
V for l'amour (vive l'armour)
V for France (Vive la France)
V for la difference (Vive la difference)
V for voce (Via Voce)
W for a nickel [or bob, or quid, or quits] (trouble you for a nickel/bob/quid/quits? Bob=shilling, quid = pound in UK currency)
X for breakfast (eggs for breakfast)
Y for mistress [or husband] (Wife or mistress/ wife or husband)
Y for crying out loud (why for crying out loud)
Z for breezes (zephyr breezes)

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Yeah, I saw that website too, Z.

AFTER I tried my best to guess.

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... with ellipses (just kidding!)

U for knee = euphony


W for quits (Double you or quits) - groan!

M for services should probably read: M4 motorway services


C for miles
F for lump (Heffalump)
G for me, thanks!
D for Estation
P for England (what a relief!)

I know it's an old thread but the alternative (or nonsense - not the Lear version) alphabet always amuses me. Enjoy!

PS my favourite has to be X for breakfast, superb!

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"...I've forgotten what N's for...W. I can't remember W..."

Goosun, did you forget, or is that supposed to be part of the original puzzle? Also, no one seems to have noticed, but you skipped "E".

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