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#174365 - 03/07/08 09:58 PM "lebenty leben"
cadenza Offline
stranger

Registered: 03/07/08
Posts: 2
Loc: Japan
Could someone help me with the source of the term "lebenty leben"? I saw it's from Uncle Remus (on AWADmail Issue 157), but I haven't been able to find the story in which the term appears. Or, are there any other sources?

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#174368 - 03/07/08 11:04 PM Re: "lebenty leben" [Re: cadenza]
zmjezhd Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
Thre are only three ghits for "elebenty leben" and "Uncle Remus": link. Two are for this thread, the original citation from AWADmail that you mention, and another site that contains a pastiche of the Uncle Remus stories written by Joel Chandler Harris (link). A quick search through his works on Gutenberg reveal nothing. In fact, even when speaking in dialect, only the spelling eleven occurs:
Quote:
"Den w'en it seem lak de little Rabs, w'ich dey wuz mighty nigh forty-eleven un um, is all gone ter sleep, Brer Wolf, he crope 'roun', he did, en feel on de mantel-shelf, en feel, en feel, twel he come ter ole Brer Rabbit money-pus."
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#174370 - 03/07/08 11:12 PM Re: "lebenty leben" [Re: zmjezhd]
tsuwm Offline
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Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10521
Loc: this too shall pass
but, leventy-leven is *much more common - well, 219 gh. and there is much disagreement on the decimal equivalent thereof. eleven? twenty-one? seventy-seven? 101? 111? 121 (11 x 11)? or is it the same as eleventeen?

-joe (numbers are so inexacting) friday

edit: OED2 actually defined eleventeen as twenty-one!

editē: this unexpectedly cropped up on Google[books]:
There's a Monopoly game going on in the day room..."Gimme those dice. I'll blow this board to pieces. Here we go. Lebenty Leben. count me over eleven." - Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest


Edited by tsuwm (03/07/08 11:36 PM)

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#174372 - 03/08/08 08:24 AM Re: "lebenty leben" [Re: tsuwm]
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Isn't that how old Bilbo Baggins was on his birthday when he dsappeared?

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#174376 - 03/08/08 09:45 AM Re: "lebenty leben" [Re: Faldage]
The Pook Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1067
Loc: Tasmania
Originally Posted By: Faldage
Isn't that how old Bilbo Baggins was on his birthday when he dsappeared?


No I think (going from memory alone 'cos I can't be bothered at 1:45am to look it up) that Bilbo disappeared on his eleventy-first birthday, which was 111. That would make eleventy-leven 121. But then again that's in a different universe from Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox, so maybe they use different numbers there...

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#174380 - 03/08/08 12:28 PM Re: "lebenty leben" [Re: The Pook]
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Yeah. Eleventy-first. That sounds better. Course it might also be inferred that they were using some base other than 10. Twelve is always a good choice, meaning that eleventy-one would be 133 base 10.

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#174389 - 03/08/08 09:48 PM Re: "lebenty leben" [Re: Faldage]
The Pook Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1067
Loc: Tasmania
Originally Posted By: Faldage
Yeah. Eleventy-first. That sounds better. Course it might also be inferred that they were using some base other than 10. Twelve is always a good choice, meaning that eleventy-one would be 133 base 10.


hmm. Hobbits have ten fingers just like us. Wonder how many fingers foxes and rabbits have? (Not counting Bugs Bunny who would have eight I think)

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#174395 - 03/09/08 01:29 PM Re: "lebenty leben" [Re: The Pook]
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Originally Posted By: The Pook
Hobbits have ten fingers just like us.


That would certainly tend to make one think decimal, but we do have remnants of a base twelve system lurking about in little hidey-holes in our language and it's a good system for fractional parts of the number represented by 10. Twelve is divisible by two, three, four, and six. The existence of a word for one more than ten that can have the -ty suffix does suggest that the base of the system is greater than ten. One way to derive a base twelve system from finger counting is to count on the knuckles.

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#174400 - 03/09/08 06:13 PM Re: "lebenty leben" [Re: Faldage]
The Pook Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1067
Loc: Tasmania
Originally Posted By: Faldage
One way to derive a base twelve system from finger counting is to count on the knuckles.

Gives a whole new meaning to the expression knucklehead...

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#174401 - 03/09/08 06:50 PM Re: "lebenty leben" [Re: The Pook]
cadenza Offline
stranger

Registered: 03/07/08
Posts: 2
Loc: Japan
Many thanks for your comments. I've seen "leventy-leven" meaning 111 or 121 so far. Anyway, the soumd has a nice ring compared to "one hundred and eleven" or "one hundred and twenty-one" .
Maybe cartoon characters have eight fingers at least for a technical reason.
Well, "lebenty-leben" seems rather rare for English speaking people, right? I wonder if there is a possibility that the phrase appeared in "Song of the South" in conversation, but I have no means to find out...

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