Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway? To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=22454
37 messages

Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?

15 Jun 00 - 06:26 PM (#243066)
Subject: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: Barbara

I bet Sandy knows the answer to this one, if no one else does, but I was sitting in the car today with my tape of the New Golden Ring playing, listening to "Poor Howard". And there's this verse:
Who's been here since I've been gone? (3X) J. Arthur Rank with a great big gong.

So, who is this dude? Is this some early radio show?
Something that people knew about at the time of the song? Or is it just some inspired nonsense?

Blessings,
Barbara


15 Jun 00 - 06:33 PM (#243077)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: Linda Kelly

J Arthur Rank was one of yer actual icons of the British Film industry (Like your Sam Goldwyn). His productions were introduced by a semi-clad man striking a large gong .

Nowadays he has infamously passed into cockney rhyming slang for er, dare I say it, male masturbation -work it out for yourself.


15 Jun 00 - 06:38 PM (#243086)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: The Shambles

Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band's 'Intro and Outro' featured J Arthur Rank on gong.


15 Jun 00 - 07:00 PM (#243098)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: Liz the Squeak

The gong was cardboard and they had to be really careful it didn't swing in the breeze. The real gong sound was made on J Arthurs dinner gong. A real gong that size would be about 3 octaves deeper and be far too heavy for the chains holding it up.....

In Carry on Up the Khyber, a play is made on this, where a lackey hits a gong and the Kharsi of Kalibar (Kenneth Williams - did anyone else see that great programme on tonight, UK terestrial TV) says 'Oh what Rank stupidity....' Well I thought it was funny.

LTS


15 Jun 00 - 07:23 PM (#243111)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)

Wow! The things I've learned on Mudcat! I've been wondering about this for over twenty years! My life is complete.


15 Jun 00 - 07:38 PM (#243116)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: Barbara

I am soooo grateful, LTS, for the explanation. Could you give me a sentence using the rhyming slang? (I mean is it like, "He's been at the J. Arthur Rank again"?)
TIA, Blessings,
Barbara


15 Jun 00 - 07:40 PM (#243118)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: Barbara

...I should have said Ickle Dorritt, not LTS... sorry.
Blessings,
Barbara


15 Jun 00 - 07:49 PM (#243123)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: Mooh

Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. Wow, that brings back memories. Was that the band that did "Through the canyons of your mind, I will wander through your brain. Through the ventricles of your heart, my Dear, I'm in love with you again..." or something like that? Wish I had that record today. Mooh.


15 Jun 00 - 07:57 PM (#243124)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: The Shambles

Barbara, this is rather delicate but.......

Having a J. Arthur.

Does that help?


15 Jun 00 - 08:30 PM (#243143)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: McGrath of Harlow

Here is a dictionary of rhyming slang. By no means all of it is current. Any tourists who walk into a London boozer and try using it will get some very funny looks. Not advisable.

And if you click here, there's a picture of the fella with the gong, and a bit about what he was there for. He wasn't J.Artghur Rank, who was much too respectable and important to get his kit off. (It takes a bit of a time loading, because there are lots of other pictures as well.)


15 Jun 00 - 08:58 PM (#243153)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: Malcolm Douglas

The gong was struck (on film) by Bombardier Billy Wells, a former British Heavyweight Boxing champion and occasional bit-part actor.

Malcolm


16 Jun 00 - 05:44 AM (#243277)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler

...and was actually played by famous percussionist James Blades off screen (he was only about 5'2" tall!).
RtS


16 Jun 00 - 09:54 AM (#243346)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: AndyG

Mooh,

Info about The Bonzo's is here. The links page conects to a huge array of BDB sites.
The Viv Stanshall Tribute site is here, Ginger Geezer.

AndyG


16 Jun 00 - 10:32 AM (#243369)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: Rana who SHOULD be working

Andy, You beat me to it re. Bonzo's (I was going to start another thread).

Mooh - Canyons of your mind is indeed a Bonzo - I have the best of vinyl and still play it.

Rana


17 Jun 00 - 10:08 AM (#243767)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: robroy

What is fortuitous is J Arthur Rank had a brother called xerox and he made a large fortune

robroy


17 Jun 00 - 02:43 PM (#243835)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: Tiger

Is that Rank as in Rank Organisation?


17 Jun 00 - 07:40 PM (#243890)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: Micca

Tiger, Yes it is and he was also related to Robert Graves the writer and poet.Barb the other rhyming slang from the same time is a Sherman, as in the tank of the same name and the usage is as in" having ,(or to have a)Sherman or a J Arthur".


17 Jun 00 - 07:48 PM (#243893)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: Micca

Oh, I forgot, ***Thread creep*** slightly, Bombardier Billy Wells who is seen striking the gong in the Rank movies, had a beer named after him by the Charles Wells brewery, Their strong bitter is called Bombardier in his honour.


17 Jun 00 - 08:23 PM (#243899)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: harpgirl

...I wondered about this myself, Barbara. But I don't get how his name turned into british slang....you mean like "crank"?????


18 Jun 00 - 12:15 AM (#243943)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: GUEST,John

They are all rank strangers to me.


18 Jun 00 - 02:51 AM (#243963)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: Barbara

I suspect it's either 'wank' or 'yank', Harpgirl.
You know how rhyming slang works, right?(Find a two [or more] word phrase that rhymes with the real one, and then drop the rhyme. So 'wank' rhymes with 'J. Arthur Rank', and so you drop the "Rank" part and call it a "J.Arthur").
Blessings,
Barbara


18 Jun 00 - 03:24 AM (#243965)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: Murray MacLeod

Barbara, you have just destroyed a rare and precious innocence ....

Murray


18 Jun 00 - 03:54 AM (#243967)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: Murray MacLeod

Also it is worth norting tat the term "J Arhtur " is now obssolete in Briian, only used by odl men whosee eysihgt has ben desroyted by engaging in sucj prtcises ...

Muyyar


18 Jun 00 - 06:11 AM (#243975)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: The Shambles

The term also inspired a whole generation of 'Merchant Bankers'.

With very strong wrists.


18 Jun 00 - 07:01 PM (#244160)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: Lanfranc

It has long been considered in the City of London that the collective noun for Bankers is "A Wunch".

Many thanks for the "Clickies" on this thread, and also for the origin of the name of one of my favourite beers.


18 Jun 00 - 07:38 PM (#244166)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: Mark Cohen

This thread belongs in "Best of the 'Cat" to be sure. I knew the name and gong from watching old movies on TV, but the rest of the info is priceless. D'ya think this is how the Gong Show got started?

With the Marmite thread, the football thread, and this one, "I believe, I believe, I believe the Brits are taking over..." (and doing a damn good job of it, too)

Aloha,
Mark


18 Jun 00 - 07:57 PM (#244170)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: Morticia

There is a wonderful line in "The Folksinger" which is a parody on "The Boxer"
" It completely wrecked his sex life
When he fell and broke his wrist"

isn't the mudcat the most educational place?


18 Jun 00 - 08:35 PM (#244183)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: McGrath of Harlow

An example of back slang that should appeal to Mudcatters is "Banjo" or "Whistle" for suit - from "Banjo and Flute", or "Whistle and Flute".

And if properly dressed up you'd have a "titfer" as well. ("Tit for Tat" - but God knows where that comes from. God and someone on the Mudcat who will probably tell us.) That's just one of the words people use all their liofe, and never realise that any rhyming slang is involved.

I'm not too sure Brit itself isn't rhyming slang as well...


18 Jun 00 - 10:53 PM (#244230)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: Mooh

Andy and Rana, thanks for the BDDDB info. I think I'll go exploring now. Peace, Mooh.


19 Jun 00 - 01:33 AM (#244293)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: hrodelbert

Titfer, Tit for tat - Hat! (whose a clever boy then?)


19 Jun 00 - 08:09 PM (#244670)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: GUEST,John W Donaldson

J/Arthur Rank made his money in the milling business, flour. He got into movies but he made most of his money by picking up the franchise to Xerox copiers for most of the world, the US excluded. John


19 Jun 00 - 08:32 PM (#244687)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: McGrath of Harlow

"Titfer, Tit for tat - Hat!" - yes hrodelbert - but the question was, what is the source of Tit for Tat, not what is it rhyming slang for.

In my last post I accidentally referred to "back slang" when I meant "rhyming slang". Back slang is a totally different system. In Victorian London, for example "cool - the namesclop" would be "look - the policeman". I suspect that the later expression "Cool it!" might have owed something to that.

Anybody give any other examples of back slang or rhyming slang which have passed into the language to such an extent that people using them don't realise they are rhyming or back slang at all?


20 Jun 00 - 06:18 AM (#244844)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: The Shambles

A friend of mine in my youth was a butcher. He told me that 'back slang' was a way that they could communicate to each other in the shop without upsetting the customers. For as we know the customer is always right? They could loudly refer to a troublesome or fussy customer as a 'tnuc' without causing them to take their custom elsewhere. I think regular shoppers there must have thought that this word was a term of endearment for valued customers?

It must have rubbed off on me as in this equally silly thread What Is it with the World, as I had already used it for the name of an imaginary off-world instrument called the Traf. There is I believe a silent but deadly version of this wind instrument.


20 Jun 00 - 06:21 AM (#244845)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: The Shambles

A friend of mine in my youth was a butcher. He told me that 'back slang' was a way that they could communicate to each other in the shop without upsetting the customers. For as we know the customer is always right? They could loudly refer to a troublesome or fussy customer as a 'tnuc' without causing them to take their custom elsewhere. I think regular shoppers there must have thought that this word was a term of endearment for valued customers?

It must have rubbed off on me as in this equally silly thread What Is it with the World, as I had already used it for the name of an imaginary off-world instrument called the Traf. There is I believe a silent but deadly version of this wind instrument.


20 Jun 00 - 06:41 AM (#244850)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: Liz the Squeak

Try back slanging car park and see what you get!!

If we want to creep sideways again, Navy (Merchant that is) slang for a *Sherman* is a Portuguese Hand Pump.

Woody Allen said it was sex with someone you love......

There was a case in the USA of a woman claiming outrageous damages due to an RSI (repetative strain injury) - it seems she worked for a sex chat line and would masterbate up to 8 times a day.......

LTS


20 Jun 00 - 08:22 AM (#244868)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: McGrath of Harlow

I supposuppose the present English Home Secretary's surname is really a form of back slang. Jack Straw.


21 Jun 00 - 02:45 PM (#245503)
Subject: RE: Who is J. Arthur Rank, anyway?
From: The Shambles

After the performance of the German football team in Euro 2000 and of their striker. I feel that the sight-damaged and muscular-armed ones, may be now known as Carsten Janckers?

Or Phillip Nelvilles?