What type of syntax or allusion is this?

Instant gratification for the hoverers:

“Bing cherries do not a good cherry pie make.” “Two items do not a list make.”

The former is from an ongoing thread about cherry pies; the latter a quote from Opal’s explanation of “Hi Opal!”. I’ve seen this sort of phrasing elsewhere; these are but two instant examples. Is this actually an example of syntax as used in another language, or a literary allusion, or something else?

I’d have called it a hyperbaton.

Specifically, forcing a Object Subject Verb format upon a Subject Verb Object language, English.

I don’t think you’re write about that. The regular order for the sentence would be, “Two items do not make a list.” That looks like a pretty simple SVO sentence (you can check that “two items” is the subject because the verb, “make”, agrees with that and not with “list” in both arrangements.)

What seems to be the case is that the auxiliary verb is occupying V2 position, with the main verb stuck at the end of the sentence. V2 order is common among Germanic languages; it’s still the norm in German and Dutch. The word order is pretty unexceptional for German, except that I don’t think German uses an auxiliary verb no form negatives. A sentence like, “Two items have not a list made”, though, would translate pretty much word-for-word into German.

English used to be V2 like it’s Germanic brethren; this is probably just a pattern that has survived unaltered, except that now it adds a certain emphasis because of its odd word order.

I take it to be an allusion to the common phasing of a quote attributed to Aristotle: “One swallow doth not a summer make.”

Throw Mama From The Train, A Kiss, A Kiss is a reference to some ancient music. though not as ancient as Aristotle.

“Vat, you mean Aristotle Onassis?”

See, I thought of the poem lines “Stone walls do not a prison make/Nor iron bars a cage.”

While we’re on the subject of unusual (for modern English) sentence constructions…

Is there a word for the use of one adjective, then a noun, then the word “and,” and then another adjective? Tolkien used it a lot. For example, instead of saying “They were tall and fair men,” JRRT would say “They were tall men and fair.”

Except that Aristotle didn’t say this; the English translator going for a poetic or lofty utterance said this.

Modern translators put the quote into standard phrasing: One swallow does not make a summer.

Poets would often transpose words or use other variations on normal wordflow just to make the scansion work or the line rhyme or to emphasize a particular word or notion.

Take those lines from Richard Lovelace’s “To Althea, From Prison.”

Stone walls’ do not’ a pri’ son make’
Nor i’ ron bars’ a cage’

It’s written in trochaic tetrameter*. I marked the stressed syllables.

But if you write the line in standard phrasing, the stresses are now all wrong:

Stone walls’ do not’ make a’ pri son’
Nor i’ ron bars’ a cage’

Today the device is still frequently used but all too often it’s an affectation. It’s not quite what Fowler meant by elegant variation but certainly along the same lines.
*I know that the second line only has three feet. This is an example of catalexis, where the final unaccented syllable is cut off. I think. I haven’t studied prosody since the days when Lovelace and I went wenching together.

Right (whence “common phrasing”). But he did so long ago, and the translation has been much quoted since.

Yoda-speak it is.