Posted by Smokey Stover on April 05, 2006
In Reply to: Re: Every time a coconut! posted by Victoria S Dennis on April 04, 2006
: : : : : Does anyone know the correct usage and origin of the phrase " Every time a coconut!"?
: : : :
: : : : It comes from the fairground game in which balls are thrown at coconuts balanced on poles. If you manage to knock over a coconut you win it. Hence, in your phrase, 'every one is a winner': you win every time.
: : : : DFG
: : : This is, I presume, strictly UK usage? I'd never heard it stateside, so I went googling. Many of the quotes dug up by google could be translated "every time," as if the "a coconut" were superfluous. I didn't get a strong sense that "winning" was as much an issue as inevitability. Did I mis-read the results?
: : It's a British game called a coconut shy that's popular at funfairs, church fetes, etc. It's not that you win every time, it's that everytime you win, you win a coconut. While winning one coconut would be okay, there's not much point to winning a lot of coconuts.
: - as in the old British song in which the fairground stall owner sings "I've got a luvverly bunch of coconuts / Roll a bowl a ball a penny a pitch" (VSD)
The first thing that came into my mind at the word coconut was a picture of Basil Rathbone, as Sherlock Holmes, singing this song (as above) in a London music hall. Unforgettable. SS