Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

The phrase "Twice yet, carle, I'll come to Spain!" occurs in the obscure fairy tale Molly Whuppie (more original version?) after a princess tricks a giant by stealing his sword. Contextually:

"Woe worth you, Molly Whuppie! never you come again."

"Twice yet, carle," quoth she, "I'll come to Spain."

This is the second time the giant has been tricked, which I believe may link to "twice." It's an idiom, though, so I can't be certain. What is Molly trying to communicate, and where does this idiom come from?

Edit: I think "twice yet" is a reference to the fact that she'll show up twice more - though I have no idea how she would know this.

share|improve this question
    
Have a read of Maol A Chliobain. –  Matt Эллен Sep 13 '13 at 8:21
    
@mplungjan I'm curious why it was listen NSFW? –  Emrakul Sep 13 '13 at 13:49
    
I don-t know, My office marked it ADULT so I just added the tag –  mplungjan Sep 13 '13 at 15:56
1  
Might have marked it NSFW so more people would read it. –  RyeɃreḁd Sep 13 '13 at 16:51

2 Answers 2

Standard fairy tale promise. "I'll be baaack"

Many fairy tales have things come in three.

She knows that the king will ask something impossible for each of his sons and there are three of them.

share|improve this answer
    
Any particular reason for the use of Spain? –  Emrakul Sep 13 '13 at 13:46
    
Not that I can find. Perhaps it was not Spain when it was first told and misheard... or perhaps the Giant used to live in Spain –  mplungjan Sep 13 '13 at 15:59
    
Twice yet = Twice more. The next time she comes she says 'Once yet...'; and after the final visit she says 'Never more, carle,' quoth she, 'will I come again to Spain.' –  StoneyB Jun 30 at 18:21

Carle is a form of churl, a mildly insulting form of address, perhaps similar to 'My lad'. And yet meaning 'in the future' isn't all that uncommon: "The car's broken down and the railway's on strike, but don't worry, boss, I'll get to work yet!"

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.