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What is the meaning of the old expression, "Thank your mother for the rabbits"?

Question #151232. Asked by psnz.
Last updated Jun 09 2024.
Originally posted Jun 09 2024 8:25 PM.

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BigTriviaDawg star
Answer has 2 votes
BigTriviaDawg star
6 year member
853 replies avatar

Answer has 2 votes.
This is a rather odd saying that is a way of saying goodbye with a little tongue in cheek.
The offhand nature of Wexford people gave rise to two peculiar sayings during the Second World War. Scarce commodities were passed around then and great thanks would be bestowed for the gift of an ounce or two of tea. The donor would shrug off the kind deed by saying, "Ah thank your mother for the rabbits, the soup was lovely!" It was a longwinded, "Ah, for nothing!"

link https://www.jjon.org/joyce-s-words/rabbits
In British and Irish English, the jocular phrase thank your mother for the rabbit(s) has been used:
– as an ironic expression of gratitude;
– as a goodbye.

link https://wordhistories.net/2020/09/03/thank-mother-rabbit/

While the expression started in the United Kingdom, it really gained more common use in Australia.

Response last updated by BigTriviaDawg on Jun 09 2024.
Jun 09 2024, 8:32 PM
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