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Posted by R. Berg on November 23, 2005

In Reply to: Pick-a-peck posted by RRC on November 23, 2005

: : : : What's the meaning of "pick-a-peck"? It's in the title of an animation episode (Ranma 1/2 ep 140) which I'm having to translate. I searched using Google,, and here, and unfortunately I couldn't get a clue of this expression's meaning. :(

: : : : Thanks in advance for any help provided.

: : : A peck is a unit of measurement. I always see it as a bushel of sorts.
: : : Literally, pick a peck means to gather a large quantity of something.
: :
: : There are four pecks to the bushel, four (dry) quarts to the peck. Apples and potatoes in particular used to be sold by the peck. There's a well known tongue twister that exists in several versions, of which one is:
: : "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers: If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?"

: : Other than that, I'm not familiar with anything called "pick-a-peck." It could be a slogan used by one of those orchards that allows you to pick your own fruit. SS

: Using Google, I was able to determine that the name of the episode is in fact "Pick-a-Peck o' Happosai", in which a character named Happi gets copied so that there are six of him running around. It would seem to indeed be "Pick a peck of Happis", so the translation should reflect whatever it would mean to have quite a bit of Happi or too much Happi.

The equivalent should translate approximately to "Get (gather, harvest) a lot of Happis." I don't know what language you're translating into; a nice touch would be wordplay that connects with some quotation familiar to children, in the same way that "pick a peck" reflects the Peter Piper tongue twister.