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Piggy with a house

For my own edification in the ways of foreign childrens' songs, I went to the local library baby and toddler singalong today. Fifty percent of the songs were unfamiliar to me. For another quarter, I knew the words, but not the tunes to which they were being sung.

And then there were moments like this, when what is probably - I hypothesize - a usual British Englishism I've been hearing for years stood out like a metaphorical sore thumb in what was an otherwise familiar sequence.

Where did the piggy stay?

This little piggy stayed home.
This little piggy stayed at home.



( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 27th, 2012 07:26 pm (UTC)
Thought pattern:
- damn colonials, missing out words and mangling the language!
- this little piggy went to market, this little piggy sta-
- oh.
- huh.
Sep. 27th, 2012 07:52 pm (UTC)
Wait! Which is which? My instinct was "stayed home", but my instincts tend to skew half British and half American thanks to my dad's British education, so I never know where a particular instinct is coming from.
Sep. 27th, 2012 08:00 pm (UTC)
I was raised in the US with "stayed home". Today at the library in the UK, it was "stayed at home".
(no subject) - highlyeccentric - Sep. 30th, 2012 08:38 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - owlfish - Sep. 27th, 2012 08:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - eulistes - Sep. 27th, 2012 10:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - owlfish - Sep. 27th, 2012 10:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - houseboatonstyx - Sep. 28th, 2012 03:54 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sam_t - Sep. 28th, 2012 12:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 27th, 2012 08:04 pm (UTC)
I personally think if you add the "at", it throws off the rhythm of the rhyme, but that could just be the way I say it.

(I also routinely make up variations where this little piggy went out for sushi, this little piggy had roast beef, etc. etc.)
Sep. 28th, 2012 11:08 am (UTC)
I agree on the rhythm (having primarily studied poetry as a creative writing undergrad). But, I am willing to concede that I may have a built in bias, since the omitted "at" is the way I learned it.
Sep. 27th, 2012 08:34 pm (UTC)
I always thought it was "went home"
Sep. 27th, 2012 08:47 pm (UTC)
But that would somewhat duplicate the last little piggy who goes "whee, whee, whee".
Sep. 27th, 2012 08:49 pm (UTC)
When I was taught this by my English working class Granny in the 1950s it was "stayed home."
Sep. 27th, 2012 08:57 pm (UTC)
And I know it as 'stayed at home' - which suggests that it may be a regional rather than an age variation (me being London and you being Yorkshire).
(no subject) - heleninwales - Sep. 28th, 2012 01:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - owlfish - Sep. 27th, 2012 08:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 27th, 2012 09:33 pm (UTC)
"Stayed at home" - it doesn't scan right otherwise.
Sep. 28th, 2012 05:07 pm (UTC)
Depends on where you're from. Scans wrong to me if it's "stayed at home"!
Sep. 27th, 2012 09:42 pm (UTC)
I'm with sollersuk 'Stayed at home', which I suspect means it depends how you say the rhyme whether the 'at' is required or not.

Sep. 27th, 2012 09:47 pm (UTC)
When you put it that way - "home" and "none" have entirely different "o" sounds, so don't actually rhyme for me in the first place! (Leaving aside the n/m difference, of course.)
(no subject) - inamac - Sep. 27th, 2012 09:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 27th, 2012 10:22 pm (UTC)
Definitely stayed at home. This little piggy had roast beef, this little piggy had none...

And this little piggy went "wee, wee, wee"

All the way home.

How could it be anything else?

But then some damned Colonials don't sing "Ring a ring a rosie"...
Sep. 27th, 2012 10:25 pm (UTC)
To what degree do "home" and "none" rhyme for you, vowel-wise?
(no subject) - daisho - Sep. 28th, 2012 07:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 28th, 2012 01:48 am (UTC)
My British husband (desperance) insists that "stayed at home" is the one right, true, holy way of saying the line, but American me learned "stayed home" as child, and that's all I've heard until this point at age 49 and a half.
Sep. 28th, 2012 02:06 am (UTC)
(Her husband desperance is right. I'm just sayin'.)
(no subject) - rosamicula - Sep. 28th, 2012 11:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 28th, 2012 02:09 am (UTC)
Wikipedia's "most common modern version" is the one I grew up with, as did all right-thinking English people. I note that their alternate version has the alternate wording, but also offers jam and bread in lieu of roast beef. There's probably a lesson in that.

I also note that - as suspected - the verse is English in origin, so we're right by definition. Harrumph.
Sep. 28th, 2012 08:38 am (UTC)
I've never come across the jam version. How very tame.
Sep. 28th, 2012 08:43 am (UTC)
I clicked 'stayed at home', but - as so often with these kinds of polls - was afterwards struck by existential doubt as to whether my choice was correct. Having had my little crisis, I'm again fairly sure I'd use 'at home'...
Sep. 28th, 2012 09:14 am (UTC)
Definitely 'stayed at home'. And roast beef. And there's some assonance in home/none but it doesn't feel like it's trying to be a rhyme.
Sep. 28th, 2012 01:37 pm (UTC)
Just to be difficult, my Irish husband insists that the verse he grew up with was:

This little piggy went to market,
This little piggy went to the fair...


I will ask his mother when she comes to visit at Thanksgiving.
Sep. 28th, 2012 07:28 pm (UTC)
Unless you're in Yorkshire, that version really doesn't scan. :)
Sep. 30th, 2012 10:50 pm (UTC)
Was definitely "stayed home" in Canada in the 70s. I've never heard it any other way. On the other hand, I've heard both "this little piggy ate roast beef" and "this little piggy had roast beef".
( 35 comments — Leave a comment )