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Proper Charlie

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bobwilson
462599.  Mon Dec 22, 2008 12:00 am Reply with quote

To be clear - the French weren't the best "trained" army - they were the best "drilled" army. And no, they couldn't have done better. They were trained on the principle of fighting an invasion by a "civilised" opponent. Fortunately, Ho Chi Minh's forces learned this lesson and assumed that their opponents would not behave in a civilised manner - which is why they won their battle.

 
grabagrannie
462927.  Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:06 am Reply with quote

Hello? Can I swing this debate back to the subject with which it started? Although I must admit, the use and meaning of 'Viet cong' was very interesting, and also the debate about the relative merits of the French and the people they have surrendered to (sorry, that should read 'fought against').
That item about Mr Baldwin's play was interesting too. It seems to signify that 'Charlie' meant almost the opposite of what it says on page 228 of TBOGI. [If I can assume that it means 'Charlie' had become white street slang for an African American, whereas CB27 is saying that 'Charlie' was African American slang for a white person.] I wonder how widespread this usage was? It still seems to mean that TBOGI was in error, unfortunately. The film was only made 36 years ago. Surely someone can come up with a definitive answer for the reason for the name change? I would have thought that the connection with cocaine would have been more likely, though I have been unable (in the last 5 minutes) to find out when 'charlie' was in common usage as slang for cocaine.

 
suze
462985.  Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:04 am Reply with quote

Partridge reckons it dates from the 1970s; it is claimed that a US government publication referred to drug users as "Charlie", they presumably being the new enemy once Vietnam was over and done with.

I also discover that apparently some in Scotland call cocaine "Bronson" after a famous Charlie, and that some are alleged to call it "Gianluca" (Vialli). That last sounds to me like one of those many alleged pieces of rhyming slang that no one actually uses.

 
CB27
463019.  Mon Dec 22, 2008 12:19 pm Reply with quote

grabagrannie, I'm not sure who came up with the information for Charlie being slang for black people, so I don't know if there's basis for it or not.

The info I found about Charlie used as a sort of "ethnic slur" for white people is documented and accepted so one possibility would be a confusion in that the book should have said it was a term used by black people for white people, or, as often happens, it could have been turned around at some time or another as a cool way to call someone back.

Another possibility exists that it's just not recognised as a slur, but has been used. An example would be "George", which is not recognised as an ethnic slur, but was used as such at one point (see post 426523 for details).

 
CB27
463026.  Mon Dec 22, 2008 12:22 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
I also discover that apparently some in Scotland call cocaine "Bronson" after a famous Charlie, and that some are alleged to call it "Gianluca" (Vialli). That last sounds to me like one of those many alleged pieces of rhyming slang that no one actually uses.


Stephen did touch on a similar "progression" in slang on the show once when he mentioned someone claiming not to be "listerine". Originally the slang for American was "Sceptic Tank" - Yank, then this was shortened to "sceptic", and to be anti American and therefore "anti-sceptic" was to be "listerine".

 
suze
463067.  Mon Dec 22, 2008 1:34 pm Reply with quote

I have actually heard that one used, but only since its mention on the show. Did Stephen invent it? I think we should be told ...

 
eggshaped
464323.  Wed Dec 24, 2008 8:03 am Reply with quote

Quote:
TBOGI explains that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was changed to Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory for the film because 'Charlie' had become US street slang for an African American


I don't have an original copy of the book here, only the latest "noticably stouter" edition (available now, from all good stockists), but my copy says:

Quote:
"Allegedly because Charlie had become US street slang..."


I think that covers us.

I actually thought that they changed the name so that they could sell "Willy Wonka" chocolate bars and associate them with the movie. Allegedly.

 
Sadurian Mike
464656.  Wed Dec 24, 2008 3:22 pm Reply with quote

I always thought Willy Wonka was something you needed to see a doctor about.

 
grabagrannie
466159.  Sun Dec 28, 2008 10:48 am Reply with quote

Ummm, CB27, shouldn't that be 'Septic Tank'? :-)
Hello, eggshaped. Yes, the word 'allegedly' does appear in the sentence in my edition of TBOGI. But if no one can find support for the allegation, shouldn't it be dropped? I suppose somebody somewhere must have made that suggestion as a reason for the name change, otherwise TBOGI would not have found it and repeated it (quite correctly, as an allegation, rather than as an undisputed fact). I could suggest, belatedly, that the film's title was changed possibly because 'Charlie' had become US street slang for cocaine. My ramblings would, of course, not be worth reporting:-)
If only someone could ask somebody connected with the film - but I know and I appreciate [I really do :-)] that it is much to trivial to bother about any more.

 
eggshaped
466174.  Sun Dec 28, 2008 11:12 am Reply with quote

I just remembered my source for the fact that the film's title was changed in order to sell chocolate.

I think it was Sweet Talk: The Secret History of Confectionery by Nicholas Whittaker.

A brilliant book, if anyone wants an easy-to-read factual book on a fun subject.

 
grabagrannie
466184.  Sun Dec 28, 2008 11:31 am Reply with quote

So 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' wasn't 'chocolatey' enough, but 'Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory' was? :-)

Are you saying, eggshaped, that, according to Whittaker's book, the film's title was changed in order to sell chocolate, rather than because of any street slang confusion?

 
eggshaped
466478.  Mon Dec 29, 2008 4:29 am Reply with quote

I read the book about 5 years ago, but if memory serves, that's what Whittaker said. The chocolate bars were actually called "Willy Wonka" bars, which explains why the new title was more suitable.

Still, it has been alleged (not least by us) that it was down to street slang. :)

 
Basilbrush
1213328.  Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:39 pm Reply with quote

In the UK a "proper Charlie" is a silly person who behaves stupidly and makes a fool of himself. I used to think the comical expression referred to either Charlie Chaplin or to the Italian Scottish aristocrat Bonny Prince Charlie. However I am assured by people from Newcastle upon Tyne in north east England that the saying refers to a locally well-known Newcastle clown, Charlie McFall. The expression is not used often these days. Only older folk tend to use it to describe a 'twit'. If someone accidentally makes a fool of himself he might say "I feel a proper Charlie".

 
Spud McLaren
1213331.  Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:15 pm Reply with quote

He might also say, "I fell like a right tit." Which lands us back with suze's third paragraph in post 461742.

 
charliemic
1245912.  Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:12 am Reply with quote

I'm not sure if I believe my parents...

But I would be able to make the world Marvel origin movie ever

 

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