NABOKV-L post 0027681, Thu, 1 Mar 2018 13:00:47 +0000

Re: Sig Leymanski, Sig Heiler, papa Fig & Pig Pigment in Ada

'Pig/fig' is another link of Ada to Alice--and one of the most known puns in 'Wonderland' on the Duchess's baby boy turning into a pig (see Chapter 6, by Cheshire Cat).

Interestingly, prudish Carroll apparently had in mind only the sweet fruit (Ficus carica) and definitely did not mean 'fig' as an offensive gesture---although such archaic English usage (from Italian 'fico') exists e.g. in Shakespeare (HENRY V., iii. 6. 58. Pistol: 'figo [fico] for thy friendship'?)

As Alexei correctly notes, any Russian knows a 'fig' primarily as an offensive term/gesture ('kukish')--although a sweet Mediterranean fruit is known as well (mostly in dried form). Due to unpleasant homophony, it is usually called today by its Turkish name, 'injir'.

Victor Fet?


From: Vladimir Nabokov Forum <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU> on behalf of Alexey Sklyarenko <skylark1970@MAIL.RU>
Sent: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 2:38 AM
Subject: [NABOKV-L] Sig Leymanski, Sig Heiler, papa Fig & Pig Pigment in Ada

Here is my message "Sig Leymanski, Sig Heiler, papa Fig & Pig Pigment in Ada" (in which the Russian quotes were garbled) sent as an attachment.

Alexey Sklyarenko
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