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A pair of tits

April 24, 2020

During lockdown I have been reading, or re-reading, a number of children’s classic books. At the moment I am on Lucy M Boston’s The Children of Green Knowe, which I had never read before. Published in 1954, it’s an enchanting story about a little boy, Tolly, who goes to live at his grandmother’s ancient and magical house (Boston went on to write other books in the series, all based on her own 900-year-old manor house in Cambridgeshire; A Stranger at Green Knowe won the Carnegie Prize in 1961).

I am enjoying it a lot but this morning I burst out laughing at a sentence which I am fairly sure Lucy Boston did not intend to be funny. I should first explain that Tolly has befriended a chaffinch and keeps his bedroom window open, even though it’s winter, so that other garden birds will fly in. Here’s the sentence:

‘When he reached his room at the top of the stairs, he was delighted to find a pair of tits there…’

Was it crass of me to laugh? It certainly was, but I couldn’t help it.

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6 Comments
  1. Simon Carter permalink

    You’d need a pretty stony heart if that line didn’t raise a smile (or a titter). Billy Bunter’s frequent ejaculations still amuse.

  2. Oh yes, he was was always ejaculating, wasn’t he? Though when I first read those stories I didn’t know the other meaning!

  3. Simon Carter permalink

    Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were fairly prolific ejaculators as well.
    Billy Bunter also frequently cacchinated which isn’t a word you see every day.

  4. Yes – I don’t think any other author except Frank Richards ever used it.

  5. Mark Brafield permalink

    I can’t give chapter and verse but I clearly remember a Famous Five story when the boys were planning a splendid picnic (‘lashings of ginger beer’) and decided to invite the girls to join them, and at the same time bring in the feast. Blyton wrote that ‘the boys went to fetch the girls and came back with the tarts’.

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