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.

  • Have a read of Maol A Chliobain. – Matt E. Эллен Sep 13 '13 at 8:21
  • @mplungjan I'm curious why it was listen NSFW? – user50519 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
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    Might have marked it NSFW so more people would read it. – RyeɃreḁd Sep 13 '13 at 16:51

It's quoting the epic poem The Song Of Roland about Charlemagne going into Spain to fight the Muslims

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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.

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  • Any particular reason for the use of Spain? – user50519 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 on hiatus Jun 30 '14 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!"

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