The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #49293   Message #744297
Posted By: CapriUni
08-Jul-02 - 07:40 AM
Thread Name: BS: German 'Catters? Help with translation
Subject: RE: BS: German 'Catters? Help with translation
Thanks for all this info, folks!

Interesting about the etomology of "guinea-Indes-Sea-pig" According to my American Heritage Dictionary, "Guinea" is often used as a prefix for anything from a far away, exotic location. Is "meers-" used the same way in German?

Also, there is a note that perhaps 'Guinea' is an alteration of 'Guiana' (a region in South America) -- could the same be said of "Indes"? Was it originally "Andes" (whether pig or bunny)? Since the Spaniards were the first Europeans to really colonize South America and come upon the beasties... they would have a clearer idea that they were more closely related to rabbits than pigs. The only pig-like thing about them that I can think of is that when they're happy, they sometimes make a little grunting sound...

And you're right, Jeanie, I didn't check the picture, yesterday. But I have, now. It looks a bit as if a monk from that time read a description of a sea-slug as "being a small sea creature with rabbit-like 'ears' on its head" and tried to make sense of it.

It is rather phallic, isn't it? ... are you sure you'd like to snuggle with it anywhere on your person, or in one particularly cozy place?

Makes me think that Wilfried is right when he imagines the real place the fox would suggest for the prince's hiding place. After all, they were taking stories from the folk tradition and changing them quite a bit to appeal to an upper-middle-class readership, so I can imagine how the original advice might have been to "nestle in her hair", and the brothers just conveniently changed which bit of hair the fox was referrring to.

Now, if the hair being hidden in was of the curlier sort, it would certainly explain why the princess was suddenly happy to get married -- "He can hide in places I've never imagined, and he's so talented!" ;-)

(and I was wrong yesterday, when I first looked up "sea-hare" it was in my Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia).