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Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings

GUEST,Kate 31 Aug 07 - 07:27 PM
Azizi 31 Aug 07 - 08:09 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 01 Sep 07 - 02:59 AM
Joe Offer 01 Sep 07 - 04:24 AM
Azizi 01 Sep 07 - 10:20 AM
Azizi 01 Sep 07 - 10:36 AM
jeffp 01 Sep 07 - 10:38 AM
Azizi 01 Sep 07 - 10:40 AM
Azizi 01 Sep 07 - 10:43 AM
jeffp 01 Sep 07 - 10:43 AM
Azizi 01 Sep 07 - 10:50 AM
Azizi 01 Sep 07 - 10:55 AM
Azizi 01 Sep 07 - 11:03 AM
Azizi 01 Sep 07 - 11:14 AM
Azizi 01 Sep 07 - 11:22 AM
Jeri 01 Sep 07 - 11:25 AM
Azizi 01 Sep 07 - 11:36 AM
jeffp 01 Sep 07 - 11:46 AM
van lingle 01 Sep 07 - 01:32 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 01 Sep 07 - 03:26 PM
Joe_F 01 Sep 07 - 09:25 PM
GUEST,leeneia 01 Sep 07 - 11:10 PM
Azizi 02 Sep 07 - 08:17 AM
Azizi 12 Sep 07 - 10:43 PM
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Bryn Pugh 13 Sep 07 - 10:43 AM
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GUEST,.gargoyle 14 Sep 07 - 10:29 PM
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Subject: RE: Folklore: Depression era childrens' songs
From: GUEST,Kate
Date: 31 Aug 07 - 07:27 PM

Looking for the origin of the following:
    If someone would ask you:
    "What is your name?"
    The reply would be
    "Pundin Taim. Ask me again and I'll tell you the same."

I am sure the spelling of the "name" is wrong, but it is best I remember hearing. Can anyone help with this one?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Depression era childrens' songs
From: Azizi
Date: 31 Aug 07 - 08:09 PM

Imo, this rhyme is an in-your-face {confontational} dialogue rhyme.


Person #1- "What's your name?"
Person #2 -"Puddin Tane. Ask me again, {and} I'll tell you the same.

-snip-

In this verse, "Puddin" is used as a first name and the rhyming word "Tane" is used as a last name {though this word is seldom found as a last name}.

Imo, person #2 is giving a snappy come-back to the question that person #1 is asking. In other words person #2 is saying "{{It's} None of your business {what my name is}.

However, I think the confrontational spirit of this "Puddin Tane" rhyme has largely faded. Instead, it's become more "irritating" than otherwise, especially if person #1 decides to follow the suggestion of the second person and ask the question "What's your name" again, and again, and again. Then it becomes a repeated loop almost like one of those "knock knock/whose there" jokes or one of those "You remind me of a man/what man/the man with the power/what power/the power of hoodoo/who do?/ you do/ do what/remind me of a man" etc etc etc.

**

"Puddin Tane" is largely considered a children's rhyme now. But I don't think that it originated as a children's rhyme, but was said by adults to adults, teens to teens-and then children to children {copying off of their elders}.

**

Btw,in my opinion, "Puddin" is a uni-sex nickname for a {African American, and probably other race/ethnicity} female or a male. Imo, these nicknames reflect the high value that 19th century and earlier African Americans placed on sugar, candy, and other sweets that were not a common part of their diet. Other sugar nicknames that are still found among African Americans are "Peaches" {female}, "Candy" {female}, "Shug" {from "Sugar", usually male} and "Cookie" {female}.

**

Other rhyming dialogue or "call & response" rhymes of {I think} African American origin are:

Greeting rhyme:

Person #1-"What's the word?"
Person #2- "Mockingbird"

**

Parting/Leaving rhyme

Person #1- "See ya lata, alligata"
Person #1- "After while, crocodile"

-snip-

I don't think that either of those two examples were meant to be confrontational or a put down like I believe "Puddin Tane" was.

I believe there are other such two voice rhyming sayings, but I can't think of any more right now.

Does anyone remember any others?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Depression era childrens' songs
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 01 Sep 07 - 02:59 AM

What's your name?

John Brown, ask me again and I'll knock you down.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Depression era childrens' songs
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Sep 07 - 04:24 AM

Boy, that's so familiar. Good question, Kate. I wish I could remember where I used to hear that:
    What's your name? Puddin 'n' Tane! Ask me again and I'll tell you the same.
There's quite a discussion of it at wordwizard.com.
I wish I had access to JSTOR. There's an article on the subject in Western Folklore, Vol. 13, No. 2/3 (1954), pp. 190-198 - "Children's Taunts, Teases, and Disrespectful Sayings from Southern California," by Ray B. Browne. This link (click) places it also in New England (and has all sorts of other good stuff).

-Joe-


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Subject: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Sep 07 - 10:20 AM

This thread serves as a place to post examples of & information about two person question & response rhyming sayings such as "What's your name? /Puddin Tane" {"Pudd'n Tame"} and "See ya later, alligator" / "after while, crocodile".

Examples of these types of folk sayings/rhymes have been posted on other Mudcat threads, especially thread.cfm?threadid=81350#1487360 Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes and thread.cfm?threadid=76185&messages=8
"RE: Folklore: Depression era childrens' songs".

However, imo, it will be far easier to find information & examples about those types of rhymes in a thread which {by intent, anyway} is devoted to those two person question/response rhymes.

Please share examples that you know of & information about these types of rhyming sayings.

Thanks in advance!

Azizi


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Sep 07 - 10:36 AM

I posted a longish response here that said among other things that this rhyme was a put-down response to the question "What's your name?" and that Puddin" was a female or male nickname given to African Americans {and others I presume and that "Tane" was a rhyming last name.

However, after doing some online searching, I need to ammend my comment to say that the name "Puddin Tane" may have originally come from the sexually explicit phrase poontang.

See this excerpt from:
http://www.peterme.com/poontang/ What I Know About Poontang

"It began as my dad drove me home. He played a tape given to him by a friend, a scratchy recording of a woman crooning, "Oh, Mister Mitchell, I'm crazy 'bout your sweet poontang."

Though supposedly referring to a dessert Mister Mitchell has baked, Dad and I knew there was a double entendre at play. But one that confused us. We'd known "poontang" to be a slang vulgarism for "vagina." But here was a woman singing about a man's poontang. What could that mean? Which lead me to wonder, What's the etymology of "poontang"? For some reason I had suspected African origin, as with the word "goober.

That night, I started trawling the Web. Unfortunately, a search for "poontang" turns up less-than-academic resources. Publishing the etymological question on my site, I received some great responses. This list of definitions and etymologies is the most helpful.

But. None of them were definitive. The leading contender (and OED-certified), that the word is "probably" derived from the French putain, meaning "prostitute", doesn't ring true--"poontang" always refers to a vagina (even when used synecdochically), and, as the song lyrics to the left show, in the late 1920s it was used as a double entendre for a kind of dessert--nothing to do with whores.

Which leads us down another path. Is there a dessert called "poontang"? My dad is tracking down a lead with a chef in a Southern restaurant, about a dessert called "pudding tang." The idea being it could have been contracted as "pu'n tang."

A search on the Web for "pudding tang" doesn't turn up a dessert, but it does point us to this page on the etymology of sexual slang * which features the children's rhyme, "What's my name?/Pudding Tang/Ask me again and I'll tell you the same." (Other versions use the name Puddin' Tang or Puddin' Tane.)...

So, there's a fair amount to suggest poontang is related to this thing called "pudding tang," though it's not certain which came first. And, if "pudding tang" were some kind of traditional Southern dessert, I find it odd you can't find any recipes for it online.

So, where does that leave us? Well, in an unfortunate state of inconclusivity. I'm pretty confident it's not derived from the French putain, but the jury is still out on any American South derivation."

-snip-


Here's the song that the author of the article referred to {an Mp3 of this song is available on that page}:

"Here are the lyrics to "Oh! Mister Mitchell", as transcribed by BJ Merholz. Song recorded between 1927 and 1929. Found on Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 5 (1927-1929).

Oh, oh, Mr. Mitchell, I'm crazy about your sweet poontang.
Oh, oh, Mr. Mitchell, I'll tell the world that it's a wang.

I like your (gooey parfait - ?) and your apple pie,
But when I get your poontang you will hear me cry:

Oh, oh, Mr. Mitchell, I'm crazy about your sweet poontang

Mr. Mitchell owned a sweet confectionery stand
Way down south in Loosiana.
Mr. Mitchell always had his pies and cake on hand
Served in a pleasing manner.

Miss Lindy Lou she tasted his brand new confection
Mr Mitchell called his sweet poontang.

And when Miss Lindy Lou with it made good connection This is what she yelled before the gang.

Oh, oh, Mr. Mitchell, I'm crazy about your sweet poontang.
Oh, oh, Mr. Mitchell, it's got me going with a bang

Your cherry pie is juicy, so is your jelly roll
But when you give me poontang I just lose control

Oh, oh, Mr. Mitchell, I'm crazy about your sweet poontang
Give me lots of poontang

Please don't make me plead
Can't you see you've really got just what I need?

Oh, oh, Mr. Michell, I'm wild about your sweet poontang! "

-snip-

* See my next post for information from that article


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: jeffp
Date: 01 Sep 07 - 10:38 AM

You remind me of a man.
What man?
The man with the power.
What power?
The power of hoodoo.
Hoodoo?
You do.
Do what?
Remind me of a man.
What man?
etc.

Taught to me by my sister in the late 50's/early 60's in suburban Maryland.

Another is:

That's Life.
What's Life?
A magazine.
How much does it cost?
Twenty-five cents.
I've only got a dime.
(shrug) That's Life.
What's Life?
etc.

They don't rhyme, but they were fun. Good for drivin onlookers crazy.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Sep 07 - 10:40 AM

See this excerpt from http://www.takeourword.com/pt.html that was referenced in the previous online article:

Poontang is an interesting word. It is so far removed linguistically from what it means in English that Melanie's grandmother taught Melanie and her siblings and cousins a rhyme when they were young that goes like this:

What's my name? Pudding Tang.*
Ask me again and I'll tell you the same.

Grandma was (and is!) a God-fearing, proper woman, and she would never teach her grandchildren something lewd or bawdy. She probably learned the verse as a senseless rhyme when she was a child. This smacks strongly of a folk etymology formed by people who did not understand the term poontang. If that's what it is, the couplet indicates that the term poontang has been around for some time -- Grandma was born in 1909! Interestingly, the first example of the word in writing is from 1929. That's not surprising, as a writer would have had to be mighty brave to record that word before it had become common and lost some of its edge.

What exactly does poontang mean? It has several meanings: a woman as a sex object, sexual intercourse, and probably the ultimate meaning, female pudenda. So where did such a bizarre-sounding word come from? There are several theories. Probably the most popular is that it derives from Louisiana (and standard) French putain "whore". This is possible as most people we know who are familiar with the word are from Louisiana or some state nearby, or they first heard the word from a citizen of that area. However, the connection to putain is based mostly on conjecture, because of the similarity of the French word to the English one. Some etymologists specializing in slang think that the word more likely derives from a Chinese language, as there are variant forms like poon tai and poon kai. One school has it coming from some Filipino language, while Eric Partridge guesses it is of American Indian origin.

Oh, we found it amusing to learn that the following statement is widely attributed to John F. Kennedy immediately after he was elected president in 1960: "I guess this means my poon days are over."

*Some readers have written to say that the name in the couplet is actually Pudding Tain or Puddin' Tain and so it can't be related to poon tang. Frankly, it doesn't matter. It's not clear if the couplet is related to poon tang, but tain suggests even more strongly that it is related, especially if poon tang derives from putain. If someone has evidence of another explanation of the origin of the very odd couplet, please let us know, but to date we've heard nothing. And Grandma is still alive and agrees that, for her, the name was always Pudding Tang (though, of course, she says it as "puddin'". She is Texan, after all!)."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Sep 07 - 10:43 AM

Hey, jeffp!

Thanks for your post. Those are the kinds of sayings that I was talkin about.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: jeffp
Date: 01 Sep 07 - 10:43 AM

Your dissertation on poontang reminded me of a bit that Foster Brooks did on the Bill Cosby show one time in the late 60's or early 70's. Foster Brooks played a character who was always drunk as a skunk. I guess nowadays this would be politically incorrect, but no matter. He was talking about the flavors of Tang. "There's orange Tang and there's grape Tang, but I like to make my own. I make it out of prunes. (hic) I like a little prune Tang once in a while."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Sep 07 - 10:50 AM

Dissertation?

Who me?

Naw...

**

But somebody probably has written a dissertation on this subject. if so, I'd love to read it.

Here's some follow-up comments that the editors of "Take Our Word For It" received about their previous poontang article:

"From Mike James:
I am a long-time reader, first-time correspondent but how could I pass up such an interesting topic? In the article, "The Etymology of Slang Sexual Terms" you discuss the possible origins of the word poont*ng. That brought to mind an older song that I had recently come across for the first time, Poon Tang by The Treiners. While I have not been able to determine an exact date for the song's release, it seems to most likely have been recorded in the 1940s or 50s.

In the song (you really should listen to it if you can find a copy, if you would like a copy and can't find one just let me know) it is stated that, "Poon is a hug / Tang is a kiss" and that the words come from an "isle in the South Pacific". Considering that The Treiners were/are pretty much a lounge act it is quite conceivable that the song is simply a catchy (and somewhat plausible) way to circumvent the taboo against using such a word in semi-polite society. That explanation might be supported by the fact that the song begins with a repeated shout, "Poon Tang!", which would have had quite a shock value on an audience in the 1940s or 50s who were aware of the common meaning of the word/phrase. Then again, who knows? The 1940s and 50s would have had a number of men coming back from military service in the South Pacific and if the phrase were indeed from that area it is conceivable that it was introduced/revived by these men. Since you mention earlier examples in your article (1929) illustrating its already vulgar connotations and use, my money is on the first explanation of the song.

Just thought you all might find this an interesting tidbit. Keep up the excellent work.

Very interesting. Thanks for that input, Mike. We'd love a copy of the song and will e-mail you (unless you beat us to the e-mail) to see if we can arrange receiving it.

*We are using an asterisk in place of one of the letters of the word in question in an attempt to prevent being labeled an "X rated site" by the bots that check such things.

From John Burgess:
I, too, learned that rhyme at my mother's knee, but with the variation in the name: Puddin' Tane. I'm not at all convinced that there's a relationship between the rhyme and poont*ng, other than the obvious similarity in sound. Just my two cents' worth....

We feel the word and the name in the rhyme are simply too similar to have developed separately. What on earth is puddin' tang/tane if not a corruption of poont*ng? The moment Melanie heard poont*ng for the first time, she immediately thought of her grandmother's rhyme."

http://www.takeourword.com/Issue093.html


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Sep 07 - 10:55 AM

Here's a repost of some examples of these two person sayings/rhymes that I shared in another Mudcat thread:

Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 24 May 05 - 09:09 PM

...When I was growing up in New Jersey in the 1950s I remember hearing and saying: "What's your number? Cucumber".

[and]

Where you live?
In a sieve.

-snip-

This pattern of short rhyming sentences is very much a part African American [and others] oral tradition.

Here's some additional examples of jive talk used by children, youth,and adults:

See ya later, alligator.
After while, crocodile?

****

What's the word, mocking bird?
What I said, cabbage head.

****

If I'm lyin I'm flyin.
[and] grits aint groceries
and Mona Lisa is a man.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Sep 07 - 11:03 AM

As I mentioned in my initial post to this thread, other examples of these types of two person rhyming sayings that are found in the I'm Rubber Your Glue thread whose link is provided in that first post.

Particularly, see these posts:
Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: Snuffy - PM
Date: 24 May 05 - 07:16 PM

**

Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
Jerry Rasmussen - PM
Date: 24 May 05 - 10:50 PM

**

Subject: RE: I'm Rubber . You're Glue: Children's Rhymes
From: GUEST,WYS - PM
Date: 24 May 05 - 10:36 PM

-snip-

Also, see this post from the Depression Era Children's song thread:
GUEST,.gargoyle - PM
Date: 01 Sep 07 - 02:59 AM

**

Incidently, in that Depression Era Children's Song thread, Joe Offer posted links to two online pages that include examples of "Puddin Tame". I'll share information from those resources in my next post to this thread.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Sep 07 - 11:14 AM

The following examples are from this resource: Western Folklore, Vol. 13, No. 2/3 (1954), pp. 190-198 - "Children's Taunts, Teases, and Disrespectful Sayings from Southern California," by Ray B. Browne.

{h/t to Joe Offer for pointing out this article in his post on Mudcat's "Depression Era Children's song" thread}

[Note: the numbers ascribed to these examples by the article's author]

27a.
What's your name?
Pudd'n Tame.
Ask me again
And I'll tell you the same.

27b.
What's your name?
Pudd'n Tame.
Where do you live?
Down the lane.
Ask me again
And I'll tell you the same.

[footnotes: from California, also from Alabama, ca. 1935; cf. Musick, 432; for one version same, and one: "What's your name / John Brown / ask me again / and I'll knock you down."]

27c
What's your name?
President Monroe
Ask me again
And you still won't know.


-snip-

Also, though it is part of another "family" of rhymes, I thought this example from that article was "cute":

28c
What time is it?
Ten to
Ten to what?
Ren' to your own business.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Sep 07 - 11:22 AM

Also, Joe Offer referred folks to this other online source "What They Say In New England: A Book Of Signs, Sayings, and Supersitions"
by Clifton Johnson.

http://books.google.com/books?id=DYQmAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA174&lpg=PA174&dq=%22what's+your+name%22+%22tell+you+the+same%22&source=web&ot


That book includes this example on page 176: Rhymes and Jingles}

Question: What's your name?
Answer: Pudden Tane
Question: What's your other?
Answer: Bread and Butter.
Question: Where do you live?
Answer: In a sieve.
Question: What's your number
Answer: Cucumber


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Jeri
Date: 01 Sep 07 - 11:25 AM

I think some slightly similar sounding terms got mixed together, and I don't think they're related. I can't prove it, and I may very well be wrong. I heard the 'Puddin' Tane' rhyme when I was a kid, too. Poontang isn't a word that fits in a kids' rhyme.

Poontang was a word I heard from the Vietnam vets I worked with when I first started in the Air Force. I had to get past the, "Oh, no - I can't tell you. It's too rude" stage before they'd talk.

It's pretty funny how far a vulgar term can travel when it's so unfamiliar people don't know it's vulgar. People get fooled into thinking it's a 'nice' word and it squeaks right by censors.

From the Urban Dictionary: Poontang
(just the first entry):

Function: noun
Inflected Forms: plural - poontang; abbreviated - poon
Alternate Spellings: puntang
Etymology: Filipino (Ilokano dialect) putang (whore, fuck)
1: female genitalia
2: sexual intercourse

1: Her poontang was the warmest and silkiest I had ever fucked.
2: I need to get some poontang while I'm down there in Cancun.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Azizi
Date: 01 Sep 07 - 11:36 AM

By searching online, I found out that the phrase "See You Later Alligator" was the title and refrain in this Bill Haley & The Comets song:

SEE YOU LATER ALLIGATOR
Well, I saw my baby walkin' with another guy today
Well, I saw my baby walkin' with another guy today
When I asked her what's the matter
This is what I heard her say

See you later alligator, after 'while crocodile
See you later alligator, after 'while crocodile
Can't you see you're in my way now
Don't you know you cramp my style

When I though of what she told me, nearly made me lose my head
When I though of what she told me, nearly made me lose my head
But the next time that I saw her
Reminded her of what she said

See you later alligator, after 'while crocodile
See you later alligator, after 'while crocodile
Can't you see you're in my way now
Don't you know you cramp my style

She said I'm sorry pretty baby, you know my love is just for you
She said I'm sorry pretty baby, you know my love is just for you
Won't you say that you'll forgive me
And say your love for me is true

See you later alligator, after 'while crocodile
See you later alligator, after 'while crocodile
Can't you see you're in my way now
Don't you know you cramp my style

I said wait a minute 'gator, I know you meant it just for play
I said wait a minute 'gator, I know you meant it just for play
Don't you know you really hurt me
And this is what I have to say

See you later alligator, after 'while crocodile
See you later alligator, after 'while crocodile
Can't you see you're in my way now
Don't you know you cramp my style

-snip-

I very much doubt that Bill Haley coined this phrase. It's far more probably that it had existed long before this song and Haley used it in his song.

Does anyone have the recording date for this song?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: jeffp
Date: 01 Sep 07 - 11:46 AM

When I was younger, my dad used to send us to bed with, "Good Night, sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: van lingle
Date: 01 Sep 07 - 01:32 PM

Interesting thread, Azizi. A few decades ago I first heard the term Putin' tane (that's what it always sounded like to me) used by my African American friends to denote pudendum and always assumed it was a corruption of that word.

"...Grits ain't Groceries,
And Mona Lisa was a man." Was used by Little Milton in his song "Grits ain't Groceries".


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 01 Sep 07 - 03:26 PM

"The crocodile" in folklore goes way back to the "half horse, half alligator" brag talk of the 18th century---and earlier. I did see a written discourse on the lineage;---I might even have it. These days I have no room to keep stuff I don't figure I'll read again---so it may be a part of an earlier pot-latch moment of mine.
Such is life.

Art


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Joe_F
Date: 01 Sep 07 - 09:25 PM

Spring is coming.
He is?
Not "he is", "it is".
It is what?
It is coming.
What is coming?
Spring is coming.
He is?...

Good night.
Sleep tight.
Wake up bright
By morning light
To do what's right
With all your might.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 01 Sep 07 - 11:10 PM

1. I heard the Pudding Tane rhyme in Chicagoland as a kid. To us, it was just something that rhymed. We had never heard of poontang, and the verse had no connection with black people.

2. My husband and I have our own rhyme:

Hi, cutie!
Hi, beauty!

He's cutie; I'm beauty. Which just goes to show that truly love is blind.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Azizi
Date: 02 Sep 07 - 08:17 AM

leeneia,

I did not indicate nor did I mean to imply that Puddin Tane and those other questions/responses sayings/rhymes orignated among African Americans. This may be true, but I'm not certain that anyone could prove it if it were true.

What I did say was that "Puddin" is used among African Americans as a nickname. I then cited other African American "sugar" nicknames. I didn't say this, I will do so now, I'm certain that African Americans aren't the only people to use these nicknames.

**

However, I will say that this question/response type rhyme is very similar {or maybe they are a variant form of?} call & response patterns. And a great deal of research has shown that call & response is a signature of music from Africa and the African Diaspora. That said, there are music forms which aren't from Africa and the Africa Diaspora that use call & response patterns.

**

I also want to say that I'm not certain if there is any connection whatsoever between the word "poontang" and the name "Puddin Tane". If there is, I doubt that very many people {children especially} who have recited or who presently recite that rhyme knew or know about the meaning of "poontang" or that it may be connected in anyway with "Puddin Tang". I know that I didn't know that word "poontang" before reading about as a result of online searches about this subject. I also know that there are a number of words and phrases that sound alike or sound very similar and are spelled alike or very similar that have completely different etymologies. "Puddin Tane" and "poontang" may be examples of this.


**

Also, I wasn't aware before opening this thread this morning that the comments from the Depression era thread about Puddin Tane were combined with this thread. Prior to starting this thread, after I found more information about Puddin Tane, and expanded my inquiry to other question/response rhymes and sayings, I used the Mudcat search engine to look for any pre-existing threads or posts about Puddin Tane, and "See ya later alligator". As I indicated in my initial post {and as I reiterated in my 01 Sep 07 - 11:03 AM post to this thread, I found posts from 2005 that other people and I had shared on the topic of Puddin Tane, and other queston/response folk sayings/rhymes. {As you will note I provided hyperlinks to all of those entries that I had found}.

Though I considered doing so, I did not post the information & examples that I had subsequently found in either the I'm Rubber, You're Glue thread or the Depression Era Children's Songs thread for the reasons I stated in my initial posts. Another reason why I did not post the additional information about Puddin Tane that I had found in that Depression Era Children's Song thread was that I didn't want anyone to think that I was trying to hijack that thread.

I am grateful that Mudcat exists to provide a forum for its members and guests to share examples, comments, and information about topics that we as individuals believe are interesting and which we believe may be of interest to other folks as well.

I certainly have learned a lot as a result of being a part of this online community.

Thanks again for your postings to this thread!


Best wishes,

Azizi


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Sep 07 - 10:43 PM

I wrote this exchange earlier in this thread:

First person: What's the word, mocking bird?
Second person: What I said, cabbage head.

After I wrote it, I thought something about wasn't quite right.

And-for no reason I can pin down-it just occurred to me that the real way that exchange went was:

First person: What you mean, jellybean?
Second person: What I said, cabbage head.


So here it is, fwiw.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Sep 07 - 11:42 PM

Okay. I figured out what was wrong.

Here's how it's supposed to go:

First person: What's the word?
Second person: Mockin bird.

**

And of course, "What's the word?" means the same thing as "What's happenin?" and "What's the news?" and "What's goin on?"

But "What's goin on?" beats all the rest in the song department, thanks to Marvin Gaye's soulfully deep take on this colloquial expression:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiZC_WrCqKk


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Azizi
Date: 12 Sep 07 - 11:57 PM

Two for the price of one!

The video link I posted has Marvin Gaye singing "What's goin on" and What's happenin brother".

**

Also, I just thought of another contemporary saying in that family of greetings- "What's Up?"

If somebody asks me that, soometimes I say "the sky".

True, it's not rhyming. But it's at least tryin to be witty.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Snuffy
Date: 13 Sep 07 - 04:06 AM

What's your name?
Mary Jane
Where d'you live?
Down the grid?
What house?
Mickey Mouse
What number?
Cucumber
What street?
Pig's feet
...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 13 Sep 07 - 10:43 AM

Drat you, Snuffy - this was the version I learned in the playground in 1949, except after 'What street ? Pigs' feet' I seem to remember 'What shop ? Lollipop'.

Only teasing, didn't mean drat.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Snuffy
Date: 13 Sep 07 - 05:56 PM

What shop
Lollipop
Drat You
Bryn Pugh

That's the line I couldn't remember, so I replaced it with ...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Sep 07 - 08:42 PM

You guys* are crackin me up!

Thanks for the chuckles!

[substitute "gals" or "gal and guy" or "you two" if "guys" doesn't apply]


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: maeve
Date: 13 Sep 07 - 09:53 PM

My mother grew up in very rural Edgefield, South Carolina. She used to respond with, "Puddin' n' Tane, Puddin' n' Tane, ask me again and I'll tell you the same." She says it was used to be mean (as in an answer to a new student at school asking your name), or occasionally just to be a bit fresh. This would have been in the 1920s-1930s. She couldn't think of any other rhymed responses.

maeve


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Sep 07 - 10:05 PM

Thanks, Maeve, for asking your mother about this subject and for posting that information about when she remembers the "Puddin Tane" rhyme and why she remembers it was said.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: NormanD
Date: 14 Sep 07 - 01:26 PM

There's a GREAT rockin' variation of this song ("Puddin' 'n' Tain") by a band called The Alley Cats from 1962, produced by Phil Spector. It's available on one of the Spector box-set compilations.

Now I know what the song is about (kind of).

Norman


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 14 Sep 07 - 10:29 PM

Jump Rope Verse - Western USA 1980

(rope is swung high, over a single swinger's head)

Hellicopter, Hellicopter
High Overhead
Come on down
Or I will shoot you dead.

(outside participants proceed to make "guns" with fingers and shout "bang bang." Rope is lowered to a horizontal position about six inches above the ground as "Swinger" turns and "Participants" jump over the circling rope.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Learned this one today. Obviously copyrighted for more information consult Pirate Byrd's Eye.

Just joking folks...it is obviously Pubic Domain....as is...all of his royal's bird-poop.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: kytrad
Date: 15 Sep 07 - 06:10 PM

Well I'm older than all of you, and our KY mountain village was quite isolated until just after the turn of the last century, early 1900s, thereabouts. We had never heard the word 'poontang,' but we did have the rhyme under discussion. Here's how it goes:

What's your name?
Puddin & Tame
Where d'you live?
Up the lane
Where d'you go?
Go to school
What d'you sit on?
Sit on a stool
What d'you look like?
Look like a fool!

There may have been one or two other rhymes in there- can't remember it all just now. It was said only for the fun of the rhyming, and sometimes for tricking someone into saying, "look like a fool," when all the gang would laugh at the joke.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Azizi
Date: 16 Sep 07 - 10:35 AM

Thanks, kytrad for posting that version of Puddin Tane!

I also appreciate you adding your comments and including where, when, and how this rhyme was used. I'm especially interested in your recollection that this rhyme was used to trick people into saying "look like a fool" so others could then have a laugh. I guess that some people might not have liked being laughed at but maybe he or she realized that it was all in "clean" fun and he or she laughed right along with the others.

Has humor become more malicious nowadays? {This is mostly a rhetorical question}. It seems to me that humor has become less "clean". I'm talking about the intent and not just the words. Maybe in smaller communities, where people knew each other and therefore knew that the people making the joke liked him or her, a person could more easily laugh along with the fact that he or shewas the target of the joke.

Maybe there are other reasons why these days children are too quick to consider something a personal slight. Kids might even get on a set {get angry} if they think that someone is looking at them. And then they may feel that in order to save face, they have to quickly retaliate with physical violence.

Though I don't have any personal knowledge of this, I've read where some boys {and I guess some girls, too} used to respond with a verbal putdown {like I suppose Puddin Tame/Tan} is witty insult exchanges like the dozens. I'd rather children and teens {and adults for that matter} show off their quick thinking and verbal skills than see situations so quickly escalate into fist fighting and much worse.

**

Btw, Jean, I noticed that the word you used for Puddin's last name {if indeed Puddin Tame is a name} was "tame" and not "tane" as I remember saying it. Well, tame definitely rhymes with "name" and "same" better than "tane" does. The word/name "tane" may indeed be a corruption of the word/name "tame".

**

NormanD, thanks for sharing that information about that recording of "Puddin' 'n' Tain" by The Alley Cats band. I'll have to check it out!

**

gargoyle, I'm never sure whether you're serious or joking {maybe that's a good thing}. Be that as it may, the example you gave isn't the kind of rhyming exchange that this thread focuses on {the kind where one person says a line, and another person responds with a line whose end word rhymes, or sorta rhymes}.

But thanks anyways -I think {therefore I am} :o)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Azizi
Date: 16 Sep 07 - 10:57 AM

I see that I left out the word "with" in one of the sentences I wrote in my most recent post to this thead. Since the addition of that word slightly improves that sentence, or at least makes its meaning a little clearer, here's that corrected sentence as well as the next sentence in which I tried to make my main point.

"Though I don't have any personal knowledge of this, I've read where some boys {and I guess some girls, too} used to respond to verbal putdowns {like I suppose Puddin Tame/Tane is} with witty insult exchanges like the dozens. I'd rather children and teens {and adults for that matter} show off their quick thinking and verbal skills than see situations so quickly escalate into fist fighting and much worse.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Sep 07 - 06:54 PM

Alice Kane was born in 1908 and grew up in Ulster. Her book, Songs and Sayings of an Ulster Childhood, written with Edith Fowke, includes the following:

"What's your name?" - Mary Jane.
"Where do you live?" - Down the lane.

Her mother knew,

"What's your name?" - Curds and cream' (pronounced crame)
"What they call you?" - Pudgy dolly.

I suppose "call ye" sort of rhymes with "dolly."


Here in the States, Thunderbird wine (powerful and inexpensive)was marketed in the late '50s with the phrase, "What's the word?" "Thunderbird!"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Azizi
Date: 16 Sep 07 - 07:27 PM

Hey, how could I forget "What the word? Thunderbird!"

Thanks, Lighter. And thanks also for those examples from "Songs and Sayings of an Ulster Childhood".

It's interesting that so many of these children's rhymes are found in the USA and the UK {and elsewhere} before the internet age. However, people did travel and communicate with each other way back then. Communicating overseas just wasn't done as fast as we're doing it now.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: open mike
Date: 16 Sep 07 - 10:42 PM

it is "TAME"

here is another:

"You remind me of a man."
"What man?"
"The man with the power."
"What power?"
"The power of Hoodoo."
"Who do?"
"You do."
"Do what?"
"Remind me of a man."
"What man?"
"The man with the power."
"What power?"
etc.....


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: MystMoonstruck
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 02:54 AM

In these parts, kids in the late Fifties and Sixties said this:

See ya later, alligator.
After a while, crocodile.
Not so soon, you big baboon.

The last line wasn't said in a mean way, rather a joking, laughing way.

In our family, it was Puddin Tane. At least, that's what it sounded like to me.

See you around if you don't turn square.
That's another Fifties/Sixties I remember.

My parents also said, "Sleep tight, and don't let the bedbugs bite."

It's not a rhyme, but my dad often said this as we passed silos or circular structures: "Run into the roundhouse, dear! He'll never corner you there!" Someone told me this is from an old song, but he never sang it.

I didn't see this one:
I see London! I see France!
I see ...'s underpants!

Liar, liar, pants on fire!

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me!

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Red skies at night, sailors delight.
Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.

I've heard practically everyone in my family use the lines above at some time. I'm not sure where we got started on this. My dad was the only sailor. Maybe they read it in the Farmers Almanac. I really don't know.

Fill in the names:
... and ... sittin' in a tree -- K-I-S-S-I-N-G!
First comes love, then comes marriage,
Then comes ... with a baby carriage!

I think this also was a jumprope rhyme, but even today it's used when affection is observed. I recall Jack McFarland on "Will & Grace" starting to recite this one but getting bogged down on the spelling part.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Azizi
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 07:46 AM

Correction:

"Hey, how could I forget "What's the word? Thunderbird!"

**

Thanks to all those who have posted to this thread thus far {and to those who may still post to this thread} !!!!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: W y s i w y G !
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 09:30 AM

Regarding the "none of your business" angle on this upthread...

In another thread once I wanted to know what the "Owl Hoot Trail" was, in a cowboy song. I was told it was a common way of saying something like, "This cowboy isn't fixin' to answer that rude question, pilgrim!" In that vein, Hardi and I were on vacation one year, camping-- where it's not considered polite to ask where people are from or headed for, what they do for a living, etc., unless the person volunteers it..... and in this vacation I'm remembering, a group of little girl lacking adult attention in the swimming lake just would not leave us alone-- her mom was sunning herself in company with other young moms and these ladies were paying zero attention to their lonely kids. "What's your name?!?" the girls would demand, as if they were at the school playground (where that IS a good way to make a new friend). To satisfy their curiosity but maintain campers' privacy, I'd make up hard-to-pronounce fake names.

Every day there was a new group of this lonely sort of kids. One day they were so insistent that the name I gave (in frustration), was something like "Esmeralda Vagina." I guess I hoped they'd go home, tell their moms the name of the nice new lady they'd "met," and the mons would realize they oughtta keep their kids closer in the scary world of random adults out there. (These lonely kids must be easy pickings for pedophiles.)

So when I read, upthread, about the idea of "poontang" as a given name-- in some wordless way, I understood that connection to my own experience! :~)

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: W y s i w y G !
Date: 17 Sep 07 - 10:18 AM

Post corrected for typo's:

Regarding the "none of your business" angle on this upthread...

In another thread once I wanted to know what the "Owl Hoot Trail" was, in a cowboy song. I was told it was a common way of saying something like, "This cowboy isn't fixin' to answer that rude question, pilgrim!" In that vein, Hardi and I were on vacation one year, camping-- where it's not considered polite to ask where people are from or headed for, what they do for a living, etc., unless the person volunteers it..... and in this vacation I'm remembering, a group of little girls lacking adult attention in the swimming lake just would not leave us alone-- their moms were sunning themselves in company with other young moms and these ladies were paying zero attention to their lonely kids. "What's your name?!?" the girls would demand, as if they were at the school playground (where that IS a good way to make a new friend). To satisfy their curiosity but maintain campers' privacy, I'd make up hard-to-pronounce fake names.

Every day there was a new group of this lonely sort of kids. One day they were so insistent that the name I gave (in frustration), was something like "Esmeralda Vagina." I guess I hoped they'd go home, tell their moms the name of the nice new lady they'd "met," and the moms would realize they oughtta keep their kids closer in the scary world of random adults out there. (These lonely kids must be easy pickings for pedophiles.)

So when I read, upthread, about the idea of "poontang" as a generic given name-- in some wordless way, I understood that connection to my own experience! :~)

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Sep 07 - 12:33 PM

Just came in on an ongoing discussion....
We used to chant (many years ago):
    What's your name... Puddin Tame
    Where do you live? Down Cucumber Lane
    Ask me again, and I'll tell you the same.
sbd


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Melissa
Date: 26 Sep 07 - 06:25 PM

There have been times in history when it was unwise to let many folks know your name.


M


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Rowan
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 12:41 AM

The bits from jeffp and Open Mike
You remind me of a man.
What man?
The man with the power.
What power?
The power of hoodoo.
Hoodoo?
You do.
Do what?
Remind me of a man.
What man?
etc.

and

That's Life.
What's Life?
A magazine.
How much does it cost?
Twenty-five cents.
I've only got a dime.
(shrug) That's Life.
What's Life?
etc.

were also heard around Melbourne in the 50s except that the magazine one didn't use dismal guernsey; as I recall, the price was
"Three bob"
and the response was
"I've only got a deena."

And the antiphon/response of
"See ya later, alligator.
After a while, crocodile."
above was always
"See ya later, alligator.
In a while, crocodile."
although the added response of
"Not so soon, you big baboon."
did appear at some stage in the 60s.

Ian Turner's book of children's playground songs "Cinderella dressed in yella" (1969? and out of print now) has a huge number of such sayings (including most of the ones mentioned above) but has no reference to any of the versions of Puddin' Tane. The only time I ever heard of "poon" in Oz was among a particular group of students in Canberra in the early-mid 60s. "He's a real poon!" was used in the same sense as "He's a real dill!" I have no idea of how or why it appeared although JFK's presidency, well perused in Oz, may have had some connection.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Kent Davis
Date: 06 Oct 07 - 10:56 PM

In South Carolina, around 1967, our childish response to "Hey!" was "Hay is for horses."
In Southeastern Ohio, this year, my older child heard a more elaborate response from her friends, "Hay is for horses, straw is cheaper, but grass is free. Get a farm and you can have all three."
Who else has heard a variant of this?
Kent


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: GUEST,Guest Elonil
Date: 07 Oct 07 - 12:39 PM

"Snitch, snitch fell in a ditch.
Found a penny and thought he was rich."

From St. Louis/St. Charles Mo. area 1930's-50's


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: GUEST,Young Buchan
Date: 07 Oct 07 - 04:00 PM

As children in Suffolk, if someone asked 'What's your name?' we always eplied Puddeny Crane, from a rhyme which I always assumed was widespread, but may not have been, since I tried googling various bits of it and didn't get a huge response:
What's your name? Puddeny Crane
Where do you live? Down the lane
What do you keep? A little shop
What do you sell? Candy floss [or sometime lollipops]


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Azizi
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 07:23 AM

I'm taking the liberty to repost this example from this Mudcat thread:
thread.cfm?threadid=94034&messages=263 :

Subject: RE: Origins: Down by the Banks of the Hanky Panky
From: Jim Dixon - PM
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 05:39 PM

The quote from McDougal reminds me of a parallel smart-alecky reply:
"What's your name?" – "Puddentain. [However you spell it.] Ask me again, I'll tell you the same."
I learned that from a "Little Rascals/Our Gang" comedy that was shown on TV when I was a kid in the 1950s. (Who said it? Stymie?)

– but it goes back at least to –

From The Beulah Spa (a play) by Charles Dance (London: John Miller, 1833):
MAG. ... What is her name?

HEC. Pudding and tame—if you ask me again I shall tell you the same.
(Sorry for the thread creep.)

-snip-

The statement about a quote from McDougal was in reference to an early form of the "Down By The Banks of the Hanky Panky rhyme.

Thanks Jim!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: GUEST,Schyler
Date: 11 Oct 10 - 02:46 AM

I remember this from a song my sibling, friends, and I sang when we was in a kid. It went:

What's your name?

Puddin' Tane.

Where do you live?

Down the lane.

What's your phone number?

Cucumber.

What'd you eat?

Pigs feet.

What'd you drink?

A bottle of ink.

I believe there was also a part after saying "A bottle of ink" where we said "to make you stink" or something like that.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: GUEST,Erik
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 06:22 PM

OK here's our variation:

What's your name?
Puddin Tane, ask me again and I'll tell you the same.

Where do you live?
Down the lane.

What's your number?
Cucumber.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: GUEST,Patience
Date: 07 Sep 11 - 03:43 PM

When I was a child, my Dad would teach me to say:


What's your name? Puddin' Tane.

Where do you live? Down the lane.

What's your number? Cucumber.

What do you eat? Bread and meat.


Hence, my Dad and one of the next door neighbors always used to call me "Puddin'".


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: GUEST,Scooter
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 08:51 PM

I have a book, titled OL' MAN ADAM AN' HIS CHILLUN, written by a Roark Bradford in 1928. The passages are written similarly to the title, in a broken dialect, that of the slaves. It is filled with bible stories though these might set one back on their heels to read as it is written from a white mans perspective of the black man telling the stories, in 1928. I am perusing the book for this saying (Puddin tane) as I too was brought up hearing this and have no idea of it's origin.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: GUEST,Carla White
Date: 30 Aug 12 - 01:40 PM

What I remember, this was Rhode Island in the 50s, was the rhyme:

What's your name?
Puddintane.
Where do you live?
Down the lane.
What's your numba (Rhode Island)?
Cucumba.

I was looking for the next question!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: GUEST,Reader
Date: 02 Nov 12 - 12:13 PM

@ Jeri, I'd resist the urge to copy and paste or rely in any way on Wikipedia or (gasp) "urban dictionary".

I'm not going to type the meaning or etymology for the word here. It obviously has a different meaning or conation depending on if the word is being used by whites or the native speakers of the language.

The word I can imagine MAY have traveled to the Philippines since many native African-Americans served there in the military and many had children with those soldiers. I won't go into how it would come to mean "whore" there, though I'm not surprised if it does.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Joe_F
Date: 02 Nov 12 - 06:35 PM

In my youth (1950s), I seldom heard & never used "poontang", but its primary meaning was a *black* woman considered sexually. So listed in Spears's _Slang and Euphemism_ (1981). So it is racist as well as vulgar, and I hope "puddin' tane" (which I know from childhood, 1940s) has nothing to do with it.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Puddin Tane & Other Rhyming Sayings
From: Azizi
Date: 03 Nov 12 - 11:05 AM

Greetings!

I decided to publish a page on my Cocojams cultural blog that focuses on the early examples of Puddin Tane. The hyperlink to that page is
http://cocojams.com/content/early-examples-childrens-rhyme-puddin-tane "Early Examples Of The Children's Rhyme "Puddin Tane".

Most of that blog page features examples from this Mudcat discussion thread. Citations and a hyperlink to this page is given on that Cocojams page.

I've extracted those entries from this discussion thread which I started in 2007 and presented those examples in chronological order by the rhyme's date as a means of making those examples & the information about them easier to read.

My thanks to all those whose examples & comments are re-posted on that cocojams page.

Also, click this link to my cultural blog http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-alley-kats-puddin-tain-sound-file.html for a post that features a sound file and the lyrics of the 1962 doo wop song "Puddin Tain" by the Alley Kats and a sound file of the 1962 cover of that song by The Kit Kats.

Best wishes!

Azizi Powell


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