Posted by David FG on August 12, 2005
In Reply to: One Flew Over The Cuckoo's nest.. posted by Beany on August 11, 2005
: : : : One Flew Over The Cuckoo's nest..
: : : : Whats the meaning of this phrase?
: : : It is the title of a book by Ken Kesey and a movie based on the book. "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest" is my favorite movie so I should know the answer, but I don't. The book is set in a mental hospital. That probably explains the "cuckoo" and it is about escaping from there literally and figuratively.
: : : Spark Notes has a summary, etc. I took a quick look and didn't find anything about the title. http://www.sparknotes.com/film/cuckoo/
: : : But I did find this on another site http://www.epinions.com/content_14526418564:
: : : The title "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" refers to a shock therapy-induced recollection of a childhood game the Chief (an patient) played with his grandmother. The game centered around a quixotic chant whose elements represent OFOTCN's 3 main characters, and their respective conflicts and polarities. The lyrics are as follows:
: : : "Tingle, Tingle, Tangle Toes
: : : She's a good fisherman
: : : Catches hens, puts'em inna pens
: : : Wier blier, limber lock
: : : Three geese inna flock
: : : One flew east, One flew west,
: : : One flew over the cuckoo's nest
: : : O-U-T spells out
: : : Goose swoops down and plucks you out.
: : Although this may have nothing to do with the meaning of the nursery rhyme, most European cuckoos lay their eggs in other birds' nests and build no nests of their own. The baby cuckoo is raised by parents of a different species along with their own babies but usually grows more quickly than its non-cuckoo nest-mates and pushes them out to die.
: Though I suspect it's unrelated to this phrase, or the rhyme, 'The Cuckoo's Nest' is also a euphemism for the female genitalia, at least in the folk song of that name.
I am not sure whether this is at all relevant either, but as has been pointed out, the European Cuckoo doesn't build a nest, so if that is the species meant, it is a deliberate absurdity. On the other hand, many American species of cuckoo do and as it is an American book...