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 Post subject: Nutsey Fagan solved!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2002 1:44 pm 

Joined: Fri May 31, 2002 8:02 am
Posts: 410
I've searched on and off for the last couple of years for the origin of the slang expression Nutsey Fagan, as in "What a Nutsey Fagan idea!" or "Everybody's going Nutsey Fagan here today!"

I am now pleased to announce that I'm holding a facsimile of a piece of sheet music (copyright 1923) entitled "Nut-sey Fagan" (yes, there's a hyphen in Nut-sey). The cover reads as follows:


Words by Billy Rose and Mort Dixon
Music by Ernest Breuer

by writer of "Barney Google," "You Tell Her, I Stutter," "You've Got to See Mamma," etc.

A typical chorus goes like this:

Nutsey Fagan, Nutsey Fagan,
He's the guy for me.
Nutsey Fagan, Nutsey Fagan
My "fromage de brie."
Women leave their husbands' shack,
Look at him and dash right back,
Nutsey Fagan, Nutsey Fagan,
He's the guy for me.

Now someone said that William Safire's Lexigraphic Irregulars have been looking for this, too. Does anyone know where I can get in touch with them?
Am I the first to find it? And is there a reward?

While I'm waiting for your reply I'm on to a new quest: Where does "Nosy Parker" come from?

Mr. Fussbudget

True wit is nature to advantage dressed,
What oft was thought, but ne'er so well expressed.

PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2002 8:22 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2002 3:01 pm
Posts: 1681
...and I think it is "Lexicographic Irregulars"
And nicely done on your quest. Persistence pays off...

I would try to contact William Safire by emailing the New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter ... right.html
or one of the agency’s that handles his appearances

"Your column is a pack of damn lies," a reader wrote to William Safire about a political piece he did in the New York Times.
Brushing aside the stern criticism, Safire immediately debated whether it should be damn, the way it sounds, or damned, as the past participle of the verb, to damn. The ed on some words is simply slipping away, he points out. We're seeing more barbecue chicken, whip cream and corn beef. His conclusion: "Ears are sloppy and eyes are precise; accordingly, speech can be loose but writing should be tight."

William Safire bio
http://www.nytimes.com/library/opinion/ ... afire.html

William Safire's Rules for Writers:
Remember to never split an infinitive.
The passive voice should never be used.
Do not put statements in the negative form.
Verbs have to agree with their subjects.
Proofread carefully to see if you words out.
If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be by rereading and editing.
A writer must not shift your point of view.
And don't start a sentence with a conjunction. (Remember, too, a preposition is a terrible word to end a sentence with.)
Don't overuse exclamation marks!!
Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.
Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.
Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
Always pick on the correct idiom.
The adverb always follows the verb.
Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague; seek viable alternatives.

Nosey Parker
One of Queen Elizabeth I's first duties after succeeding to the throne was to appoint a new archbishop of Canterbury to succeed Reginald Pole who died on the same day as her sister, "Bloody" Queen Mary. She appointed Matthew Parker. He had a very long nose and was always poking into other people's affairs. The expression "Nosey Parker" was coined from him.

The usual origin suggested is Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury in the 16th century. He sent out detailed inquiries and instructions about his diocese and was thought of as a busybody. But nosey parker isn't recorded until 1907. Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable suggests it was nose-poker, with poker used in the sense of poking your nose into other people's business. It's possible poker was changed to a proper name - but the Oxford English Dictionary does not mention nose-poker at all.

The more you know, the more you know you don't know.

"The more you know, the more you know you don't know and the more you know that you don't know. Oh, it sounds funny, but it is serious. Self-knowledge, in particular, is a dangerous thing--the more one knows oneself the smaller one's opinion of oneself, in most cases--and to this there is no advantage."
~David Byrne, The New Sins
http://www.newsreview.com/issues/chico/ ... ckbeat.asp

"The more you know, the more you know that you don't know"
~according to this person it is a “wise saying from an ancient Greece”
http://www.mongoliaphotogallery.com/gan ... tement.htm

The more you know, the less you think you know.

"The more you know, the less you need."
~Aboriginal proverb

"The more you know, the less you understand"
~found attributed to Lao-tzu and also Tao Le Ching

"the more you know and understand the more you must know and understand .. knowledge is an unsatiable hunger .. which makes life easier and at the same time harder .... knowledge is a paradox w/ no resolution just a boundless function of human nature .... knowledge is a trap which we embrace and which we run away from .... and in the end the only escape is death .... or maybe not "
~ Quoted from: Shafik Yaghmour

“...my sister is dreadfully afraid of learning anything,” said Mr. Osmond.
“Oh, I confess to that; I don’t want to know anything more - I know too much already. The more you know, the more unhappy you are.”
~ Henry James. (1843 - 1916). The Portrait of a Lady.

" And the same holds of the relation of rhetoric to all the other arts; the rhetorician need not know the truth about things; he has only to discover some way of persuading the ignorant that he has more knowledge than those who know."
~attributed to Socrates, from Plato's Gorgias
http://soe.csusb.edu/preintern/Engprep/ ... oric2.html
http://www.uttyler.edu/meidenmuller/Con ... /plato.htm

As we acquire more knowledge, things do not become more comprehensible, but more mysterious.
~Albert Schweitzer

All men by nature desire to know.

But go ye and learn what that meaneth
~Matthew 9:13 (paraphrased: But go and learn what this means...)

 Post subject: Nosey Parker
PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2002 12:30 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2002 3:01 pm
Posts: 1681
I posted "nosey Parker" on Dave Wilton's Word Origins discussion forum and got a couple webpages that have better, more complete, information.

The first and wisest of them all professed
To know this only, that he nothing knew (referring to Socrates?)
~John Milton, Paradise Regained, bk. I (1671).

"As the circle of light grows larger, so does the circumference of darkness around it."
~Albert Einstein

I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance
~Socrates, from Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, bk. II, sec. 25. (c. 225 AD).

"The greater becomes the volume of our sphere of knowledge, the greater also becomes its surface of contact with the unknown."
~ French scientist Jules Sageret

"All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance"
~T.S. Eliot in Choruses from the Rock (1934)
http://www.westminster.edu/staff/brenni ... eliot1.htm

 Post subject: Nutsey Fagen
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 7:06 am 
New member
New member

Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:48 am
Posts: 1
Location: SINY
I've been searching for this as well. (one of the few times Wikipedia let me down) and came across this site when I learned, via a search of the NY Times and a William Safire article from '95 that there was a song regarding Mr. Fagen. But it still doesn't answer the question, who inspired the song? He may have been an "eccentric" who joined in and danced behind funeral processions in NY in the late 19th century and perhaps was even at Grant's funeral. I suspect the origin, as well as the person, is/was Irish. But what do I know? Still curious.

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