Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-02-2001, 03:49 PM
Phlosphr Phlosphr is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: in a Moot
Posts: 11,621
Who can name the countries of origin of these nationalities??

Ahh Yes!! I picked up a wonderful special edition copy of Herman Melville's Moby Dick(library bound gorgeous condition). I was reading the first several chapters and I saw these nationalities and I could not believe they were real. I consider myself pretty good at geography but a few of these threw me for a loop. Take a guess:

Feegeeans:

Tongatobooarrs:

Erromanggoans:

Pannangians:

Brighggians:

I have a good guess for the first two but the last three I am quite vexed by...Any Ideas?
  #2  
Old 11-02-2001, 04:16 PM
Speaker for the Dead Speaker for the Dead is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: New Brunswick
Posts: 4,404
Re: Who can name the countries of origin of these nationalities??

Quote:
Originally posted by Phlosphr
Ahh Yes!! I picked up a wonderful special edition copy of Herman Melville's Moby Dick(library bound gorgeous condition). I was reading the first several chapters and I saw these nationalities and I could not believe they were real. I consider myself pretty good at geography but a few of these threw me for a loop. Take a guess:

Feegeeans: Someone from Fiji I assume.

Tongatobooarrs:

Erromanggoans:

Pannangians: Wouldn't that be someone from Panama?

Brighggians:

  #3  
Old 11-02-2001, 04:23 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
Mod Rocker
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: N E Ohio
Posts: 40,699
Feegeeans: Fiji

Tongatobooarrs: Tonga

Erromanggoans: Erromango Island, Vanuatu

Pannangians: haven't found it, yet

Brighggians: haven't found it, yet
  #4  
Old 11-02-2001, 04:25 PM
Colibri's Avatar
Colibri Colibri is offline
SD Curator of Critters
Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Panama
Posts: 40,802
Feegeeans are clearly from Fiji (usually spelled Feegee in Melville's day, or even Fidgee).

Tongatoboarrs probably refers to inhabitants of Tongatapu, the main island of the Kingdom of Tonga.

Erromango is an island in Vanuatu, formerly the New Hebrides.

Still working on the last two.

(And no, Speaker, Pannangians are not Panamanians.)
  #5  
Old 11-02-2001, 04:45 PM
Von_Erich Von_Erich is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Kauai
Posts: 184
I think it is sage to say Pannangians are from Pangea, heh heh.
  #6  
Old 11-02-2001, 05:10 PM
ShibbOleth ShibbOleth is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Schlaraffenland
Posts: 20,611
I would venture a guess that Pannangians would be from Malaysia. But I would also guess that none of these spellings is particularly accurate. People from Tongo are normally called Tongans, but this could be more complex in their native tongue.
  #7  
Old 11-02-2001, 08:19 PM
samclem samclem is offline
Graphite is a great
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Akron, Ohio
Posts: 26,202
I think that shib hit the pannangians correctly. Penang was commonly spelled Panang(for instance, an atlas I have from 1889).

Say, are you sure this isn't a Bricker Challenge?
  #8  
Old 11-02-2001, 08:46 PM
Phlosphr Phlosphr is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: in a Moot
Posts: 11,621
Samclem What do you mean by a Bricker Challenge??

Do you mean Randy Bricker as in one of the two editors of 'URBANIA'?

But seriously, the reason for the post is two fold, I collect old books, first editions, pristine non-first editions that are old. Mostly antiquated books...And Melville is a wondrous writer and I enjoy reading 'Moby Dick' every couple years...I have always wondered what the nationalities are when I get to the 'Street' chapter...

Second reason, I would love to incorporate those words for the Nationalities for the people of those respective countries in my class. I think the students would get a kick out of it. Thanks all the same folks for the definitions you have found thus far...!
  #9  
Old 11-03-2001, 01:13 AM
Lemur866's Avatar
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: The Middle of Puget Sound
Posts: 22,274
Yeah, I'm guessing Pannangians refers to Panang, or Malaysia. Ever been to a Thai restaurant and had Panang curry?
  #10  
Old 11-03-2001, 01:53 AM
kniz kniz is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Pratts, Mississippi
Posts: 6,246
A Google search for Brighggians lead to a Russian site. Just a possible hint.
  #11  
Old 11-03-2001, 02:03 AM
astro astro is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Taint of creation
Posts: 33,150
Brighggians = Washington State Bright Island whalers?
  #12  
Old 11-03-2001, 08:14 AM
samclem samclem is offline
Graphite is a great
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Akron, Ohio
Posts: 26,202
asto going against your good guess is the fact that all the others were South? Pacific natives. Would a Bright Islander have looked like one of these, standing on the docks?
  #13  
Old 11-03-2001, 10:01 AM
Fretful Porpentine Fretful Porpentine is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Bohemia. A seacoast.
Posts: 6,380
Pannangians might be people from Pago Pago, in Samoa, which IIRC is actually pronounced "Pango Pango."
  #14  
Old 11-03-2001, 11:08 AM
Colibri's Avatar
Colibri Colibri is offline
SD Curator of Critters
Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Panama
Posts: 40,802
Quote:
Originally posted by Fretful Porpentine
Pannangians might be people from Pago Pago, in Samoa, which IIRC is actually pronounced "Pango Pango."
I think this could be a possibility. While there is a "Panang" in Malaya, the others are from the South Seas. And you are right about th epronunciation of Pa(n)go Pa(n)go.

"Brighggian" has me royally stumped, though.
  #15  
Old 11-03-2001, 11:21 AM
Colibri's Avatar
Colibri Colibri is offline
SD Curator of Critters
Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Panama
Posts: 40,802
Which brings up the point that some South Sea languages use different orthography than English. In Fijian, "b" signifies the sound "mb", and "g" means "ng" in Samoan. I don't know if these writing systems had been established in Melville's day, though.
  #16  
Old 11-28-2001, 08:25 PM
samclem samclem is offline
Graphite is a great
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Akron, Ohio
Posts: 26,202
I couldn't stand it any longer!

So I went over to ...gasp!...another board which I frequent, populated by some folks who like etymology.


A poster named Douglas Wilson posted this to my query:

Quote:
Well, in the first place the entire passage is written in a light or humorous fashion, so Melville might be having a joke at our expense.

As for my best guess at "Brighggian", first I have to guess what sound is being represented. My best guess: /braidZ@n/ or so, what we might write today as "Bryjun". Now if a Cajun is a 'Cadian, then a Bryjun should be a 'Brydian, and my best guess is that this would be an apheretic form of "[New] Hebridian"/"[New] Hebridean" pronounced with a "long I": i.e., a native of the New Hebrides (nowadays Vanuatu, I suppose). Of course this would overlap with Erromango, but how these words were pronounced or applied by casual users in 1850 I don't know for sure.

Just a wild guess.
From this thread at Dave Wilton's wonderful etymology site/message board.

I invite your comments and I invite you to visit.

Did Douglas solve the mystery?
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:49 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017