Another man's rhubarb

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Another man's rhubarb

Post by Archived Topic » Sun Oct 10, 2004 9:22 am

Matt from Wisconsin (USA) wants to know if anyone can tell me the origin of the phrase "Rub another man's rhubarb". I've heard it used as a negative imperative as follows: "Don't rub another man's rhubarb." Allthough I'm not exactly sure what the admonishment means. I'm guessing it means leave the subject alone or don't uneccessarily agravate someone.

If anyone knows the origin and meaning of this phrase I'd appreciate it if they could tell me.

Thanks,
Matt
at - vidhed9000@yahoo.com

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Another man's rhubarb

Post by Archived Reply » Sun Oct 10, 2004 9:37 am

It's best to leave his aubergines alone too.
EA

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Another man's rhubarb

Post by Archived Reply » Sun Oct 10, 2004 9:51 am

Not to mention Ygor's pineapples (Ugh!).
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Post by Archived Reply » Sun Oct 10, 2004 10:05 am

Don't rob another man's rhubarb, at least not unless you know how it was fertilized. And, heavens to Betsy, never rub rhubarb leaves on your skin.



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Post by Archived Reply » Sun Oct 10, 2004 10:20 am

Has any one tried freshly baked Rhubarb pie with vanilla ice cream. It is delicious.
Ahmed
BC Canada
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Post by Archived Reply » Sun Oct 10, 2004 10:34 am

Ahmed! Interesting. Where do you rub it? *VBG* Seems a bit messy!

Leif, WA, USA

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Post by Archived Reply » Sun Oct 10, 2004 10:49 am

Matt the quote is from Batman the Movie and is spoken by The Joker >>>
Here is the scene from the film "Batman":
"Tell me something my friend. You ever dance with the Devil in the pale moon light?" says the Joker.
"What?" says a stunned Bruce.
"I always ask that of all my prey. I just like the sound of it." He then shoots Bruce as Vicki watches and screams.
"Never rub another man's rhubarb. Why is it every time I come for you, somebody always gets in the way?" he asks Vicki. "I need a moment alone, boys."

.. from what I can gather it has become something of a cult saying used in a variety of situations but mostly in reference to not messing with another blokes girl .. hence >>
"I never rub another man's rhubarb, unless it's an attempt to start a fight with the man, an' right now that yupster's girl in the mini skirt is lookin' really good!"
(http://www.degeneratepress.com/earplugs ... 27_96.html)
.. and >>
"They chatted briefly but she had a boyfriend and Mathias was never someone to rub another man's rhubarb. (http://www.davidjrodger.com/P41.HTM)

.. as to origin it seems to be one of those enigmatic lines given to equally enigmatic movie characters that are expected to remain, at best, obtuse ..
Wizard of Oz, Australia. 05/11/03
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Post by Archived Reply » Sun Oct 10, 2004 11:03 am

Matt, To answer you question, as far as I can tell the expression has two meanings. But don’t bet any money on these because I was only able to make inferences from usage after doing a Google search – wasn’t able to find the expression in any references.

As far as I can tell this expression had its moment in the sun, and perhaps its invention, in the 1989 Batman movie (also song on CD in the early 1990s). The Joker after shooting the guy who was messing with his romantic interest says: “Never rub another man's rhubarb. Why is it every time I come for you [Vicki], somebody always gets in the way?"

So one meaning, and the Batman meaning, is don’t rub, ‘don’t touch / mess with another guy’s girl/women.’

The second meaning, which seemed to be in the majority in the Google hits appeared to be the one you suggested, ‘don’t aggravate/irritate someone.’

Eric Partridge’s ‘A Dictionary of Slang’ gives one of the definitions of ‘rhubarb’ as ‘Genitals, male or, occasionally, female.’ ‘Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang’ says: [late 19th century and still in use] The genitals of either sex and thus the coarse query “How’s your rhubarb, Missus?” or “How’s your rhubarb coming up, Bill?

So it seems that in the Batman expression the ‘rhubarb’ is a stand-in for the girl/women’s private area, which in turn is a stand-in for the girl/women – wow a metonymic synecdoche! In the ‘aggravation’ case things are more straightforward – we have a direct assault on a stand-in (<:) that most guys don’t like receiving tactile intrusions on from other guys. And you thought that rhubarb was just about pies and squabbles!
__________________________________________________

Ken G – November 4, 2003





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Another man's rhubarb

Post by Archived Reply » Sun Oct 10, 2004 11:17 am

Wiz, Didn’t see your posting when I posted or I would have commented. But looks like my work was not in vain since I filled in the gaps in your usual superficial coverage. Only kidding. In your tenure you’ve made a whole host [two or three] of worthwhile Wordwizard contributions. (<:)

Yours in devilish digs,

Ken – November 4, 2003

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Post by Archived Reply » Sun Oct 10, 2004 11:32 am

I was visualizing your look after you posted with a VBG. I am not sure who is doing any Rubbing, could be the baker? Leif, believe it or not this ‘camel jockey in training’ will not refuse Rhubarb Pie when it is offered. In fact, I just had some the other day when I was travelling to FT Nelson a town North of Dawson Creek. A quick quiz without looking at any resources: Why is Dawson Creek significant? And no it is not the Hollywood version of Dawsons Creek.
Ahmed
BC Canada

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Post by Archived Reply » Sun Oct 10, 2004 11:46 am

Ahmed, In 1964 I drove to Alaska from New York City. And Dawson Creek was the beginning of the Alcan Highway and my trek to Anchorage over those 1500 miles of dirt road. I returned home two years later but this time took the scenic route down to Haines, and caught the ferry to Prince Rupert. Did it all in my trusty ’63 Corvair – ‘unsafe at any speed’ – according to Ralph Nader and his first claim to fame. Great in snow, little tricky on ice, and if you didn’t get asphyxiated by the fumes you had it made – almost. I lived to tell the tale, but did suffer some brain damage and often wonder what I might have been if only I had left the windows cracked. (<:)

Ken – November 4, 20003

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Post by Archived Reply » Sun Oct 10, 2004 12:01 pm

Bravo, spoken like a true Notherner. Did you ever buy Peace Country Honey?
Ahmed
BC Canada
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Post by Archived Reply » Sun Oct 10, 2004 12:15 pm

Rubbing another man's rhubarb is a criminal offence in Britain.
Stalking.
EA
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Post by Archived Reply » Sun Oct 10, 2004 12:29 pm

It's not unusual in most countries for a man to wake up suddenly to find an enormous stalker in his bedroom.

A visit to the bathroom generally sorts it out.
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Another man's rhubarb

Post by Archived Reply » Sun Oct 10, 2004 12:44 pm

How the hell do you get out of bed with an enormous stalker?
Ahmed
BC Canada
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