9 comments for “Three farmers on their way to a dance

  1. dearieme
    March 18, 2019 at 11:45

    Who originally told the lie that the three chaps were farmers?

  2. The Blocked Dwarf
    March 18, 2019 at 12:18

    That was absolutely fascinating, thank you.

    Who originally told the lie that the three chaps were farmers?
    -dearieme

    Perhaps not a lie as such, I haven’t checked the history of that photo but I do know that German farmers, especially isolated rural mountain farmers, often worked the mines in addition to their farms. Indeed some farmers even had their own mines on their land. And if their sons worked solely in the mines (often until they inherited dad’s farm) then they would still be classed as ‘farmers’ because their fathers and their fathers before them and their fathers-you get the idea- were.

    Finally the word ‘Bauer’ means not only ‘farmer’ but also ‘peasant’ or simply by 1914’someone from Upper Nosebleed’. We still use it in German that way today. “He is such a farmer” says nothing about his job but his manners.

    • dearieme
      March 18, 2019 at 13:53

      “He is such a farmer” says nothing about his job but his manners.

      We say it in English too: “he’s such a boor”.

      • The Blocked Dwarf
        March 18, 2019 at 14:52

        “he’s such a boor”.
        Well paint me purple and let me dance naked on a harpsichord ! I always thought it was ‘bore’ ! From ‘boer’ or is it older?

        • dearieme
          March 18, 2019 at 18:09

          “Boer” is the Dutch/Afrikaans cognate term: “boor” in English is much older than the Cape Colony. Googling throws up links to German, Latin and general Indo-European.

          Faced with such complexity I always use google translate to see what the word is in English’s nearest relative, to wit Frisian. If the words are similar enough I assume they go back to the Migration Period. It turns out to be “boor”. I rest my case.

          • The Blocked Dwarf
            March 18, 2019 at 18:28

            . If the words are similar enough I assume they go back to the Migration Period.-dearime

            I’m sure they do in this case. I’m in Norfolk where the older norfolkers still refer to one another as ‘bor’ or ‘bur’ or ‘bure’ etc.
            Most, even Norfolkers themselves, assume it is just ‘boy’mispronounced, as in the awful song “Hev Yew Gotta Loight Boy? “, but it comes from that same older Germanic form for ‘farmer/peasant/neighbour’ (‘buurman’ in Dutch still I believe). Re ‘boor’ I just assumed that it was a Victorian thing referring to the reputed ill manners of their enemies. I think Paul Kruger did little to correct that impression when he came over.

      • Chuckles
        March 18, 2019 at 14:54
        • The Blocked Dwarf
          March 18, 2019 at 15:06

          I may be wrong, but I think ‘Bua’ is the Alemannic word for ‘Bube’ or in English ‘boy’. So the song would be ‘I am a lusty lad’ not a ‘I am a lusty farmer’. Caveat, I may well be wrong about that!

          • Chuckles
            March 18, 2019 at 15:43

            I’d say you’re probably right, BD, but in the Tyrol, all the likely lads are farmers anyway, at least according to reports from the usual unreliable sources?
            I’m probably influenced by the Dutch ‘boer’ for farmer as well.

            I was subjected to entirely too many replays of a less melodic version of this one

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOPT5xDFqp8

            in my misspent youth, featuring an album cover much devoted to flugel-horns and such. Left lasting scars it did, not least the poetic majesty of the second verse

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