The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #90855   Message #1727420
Posted By: Joybell
25-Apr-06 - 07:15 PM
Thread Name: BS: origin of 'Polly Want a Cracker?'
Subject: RE: BS: origin of 'Polly Want a Cracker?'
I love this thread. Who would have thought the phrase could be so elusive.
The Oxford dictionary says:
Poll 1660 (altered f. Moll a familiar equivalent of Mary) Used as the conventional proper name of any parrot: hence = parrot.

It goes on about poll-parrot.

It seems that regardless of the parrots name, in Treasure Island, it could still be called Poll/Polly. Haven't had the time to actually read through and check.

Cracker, as a hard biscuit, dates back to 1739 according to the same dictionary. Chiefly in the US. it also says.

So there we go. Narrowed down a bit but not much.
Cheers, Joy