Posted by John Carter on January 07, 2004
In Reply to: Re: "Up in Annie's room, behind the clock" posted by masakim on January 05, 2004
: : A phrase I remember from the 1940s, used when someone enquired about the whereabouts of some (lost) object. This reply either meant "I don't know" or "I am not telling you".
: : Anyone know the origin???
: up in Annie's room behind the clock, it's (or ... behind the wallpaper) explanatory phrase for when something disappears unaccountably about the house (usually). It may have originated as a services' catchphrase before the First World War, in reply to a query concerning someone's whereabouts.
: From _Cassell Dictionary of Catchphrases_ by Nigel Rees
I might hypothesize that it is more likely to have arisen in the servant's quarters in a 'stately home'; 'Annie's room' suggests either a child or a maid-servant - and surely no child's bedroom would have a clock (and presumably a mantel-shelf to stand it on).