13

I was reading the Tao of Pooh, when I stumbled on this quote from the original Winnie the Pooh:

"Can they fly?" asked Roo.

"Yes," said Tigger, "they're very good flyers, Tiggers are, Stornry flyers."

What is the meaning of the word "Stornry?" I can guess from the context that it means very good, or excellent, but is it simply a word Tigger is making up on the spot here? I know Winnie the Pooh is known to use verbiage that is usually not considered within the age range of its target audience, is this another example of that?

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    There is no verbiage in Winnie the Pooh. – Lambie Jul 9 '18 at 13:49
32

Based on Galen Fott’s account, stornry is a typo found in American editions of A. A. Milne's 1928 The House at Pooh Corner; the English editions have strornry rather than stornry in the quoted passage. Fott then remarks,

it’s very obvious “strornry” is a British child’s way of saying “extraordinary” or “extraordinarily”.

Like strornry, both those words have three r’s in them, which I think makes it still more clear that stornry is a typo. But note that a 1905 book by Edith Nesbit, The Railway Children, has a form with two r's:

“It is most extraordinary rum!” said Peter.
“Most stronery!” echoed Phyllis – The Railway Children, page 302 (Ch. XIV)

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    I had no idea...I guess you learn something new every day. Thanks! – scohe001 Jul 16 '14 at 14:06
  • So, it isn't a typo at all yet this answer gets all these votes? How can that be?? – Lambie Jul 9 '18 at 13:47
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    @Lambie, it is a typo... the original English edition has "stRornery", but the American edition dropped that first R for no apparent reason, rendering the word's pseudo-phonetic spelling less effective. – Hellion Jul 9 '18 at 15:28
  • I would not call it a typo, either way. – Lambie Jul 9 '18 at 18:28
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    The earliest instance of strornry that a Google Books search finds is from Herman Charles Merivale, Binko's Blues: A Tale for Children of All Growths (1884), where it appears with a leading apostrophe: "Ozone be hanged. I mean—something to rouse in us—a 'strornry feelin—of xstrorny drowsinus—it's very odd : my eyes won't open keep—think—if you'll xcuse me —I'sh go—right—off sleep!" – Sven Yargs Mar 22 at 14:12
12

It's a children's contracted form of "Extraordinary", in much the same vein as how the author uses "heffalump" for "elephant" elsewhere.

4

This is a very example of how a child, mis-hearing something gets the wrong idea about how the expression is constructed. As a child I heard my mother say that I had a hernia that needed repair. For several years I thought that I had had "an ahernia."

You see the same thing commonly where people hear "should of" instead of "should have". When they are not quickly corrected, they show themselves up in adult life by using the incorrect grammar in public.

  • Yes, like undertoad for undertow, another famous example. This is actually the mechanism. Why aren't more people agreeing with this?? It just beats me. – Lambie Jul 9 '18 at 13:47

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