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#174365 - 03/08/08 02:58 AM "lebenty leben"  
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cadenza Offline
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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?

#174368 - 03/08/08 04:04 AM Re: "lebenty leben" [Re: cadenza]  
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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."


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
#174370 - 03/08/08 04:12 AM Re: "lebenty leben" [Re: zmjezhd]  
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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

Last edited by tsuwm; 03/08/08 04:36 AM.
#174372 - 03/08/08 01:24 PM Re: "lebenty leben" [Re: tsuwm]  
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Isn't that how old Bilbo Baggins was on his birthday when he dsappeared?

#174376 - 03/08/08 02:45 PM Re: "lebenty leben" [Re: Faldage]  
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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...

#174380 - 03/08/08 05:28 PM Re: "lebenty leben" [Re: The Pook]  
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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.

#174389 - 03/09/08 02:48 AM Re: "lebenty leben" [Re: Faldage]  
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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)

#174395 - 03/09/08 05:29 PM Re: "lebenty leben" [Re: The Pook]  
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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.

#174400 - 03/09/08 10:13 PM Re: "lebenty leben" [Re: Faldage]  
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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...

#174401 - 03/09/08 10:50 PM Re: "lebenty leben" [Re: The Pook]  
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cadenza Offline
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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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