Sunday, 30 May 2010

Origin of the phrase 'Think small, bugger De Gaulle'

What is the origin of the expression- 'Think small, bugger De Gaulle"?

I am editing a book about Soho street-life from the 1950's to the 1970's. I believe the expression 'Think big cobble a pig" is of Lancashire dialect origin (cobble- 'prepare as a sweet-meat') . However 'think small bugger De Gaulle' must date from the second world war at the earliest when the rumour was put about that the great French leader had no anus.
Is this usage still current? What was it's geographical spread? Grateful for any help on this one.
  • 2 years ago
windwheel by windwhee...
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Best Answer - Chosen by Voters

There are several variants on the expression- 'think big, gobble a pig" (not cobble- there may be some confusion with the word 'cobbler' as in apple cobbler- which is not a Lancashire specialty) 'Think small, swallow f**k all"
Milder forms of this expression were used to topical effect on BBC Radio's ITMA ('It's that man again!') during rationing and gained currency amongst certain sections of the gay community. The reference to De Gaulle in your post is misleading as recent research has shown that De Gaulle's propaganda machine- whatever its other faults- did not in fact deny the existence of the General's anus but merely advanced theoretical arguments tending to show that it was vanishingly, or asymptotically, small.


For the influence of Bourbaki on the De Gaulle anus discussion see
'Critique of Post Colonial Reason'
by Gayatri Spivak Chakroborty
  • 2 years ago
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