The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #90855   Message #1725445
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
23-Apr-06 - 02:22 PM
Thread Name: BS: origin of 'Polly Want a Cracker?'
Subject: RE: BS: origin of 'Polly Want a Cracker?'
Little Poll Parrot
Sat in his garret
Eating toast and tea.
A little brown mouse
Jumped into his house
And stole it all away.

"Polly want a cracker' is a line of dialogue in Stevenson's "Treasure Island."

Ben Johnson is credited with first naming a parrot 'pol' (=Paul). The play "Volpone," 1611.

and probably other possibilities on the web.

'Poll parrot' also is a polite term for a snitch.

Another version of Art Thieme's story- In New Orleans I heard that the hooker was named Perrot. She made a fortune servicing Crackers.