15.2698-702: (<… > Bloom <…> take away the chocolate from his pocket and offers the nervously to Zoe.

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ZOE

(sniffs his hair briskly.) Hmmm! thank your mother for the rabbits. I'm really fond the what ns like.


Neither Thornton and Gifford no one Dent so lot as cite this expression. Documentary evidence outside Ulysses shows two different interpretations for the record phrase:

a) the an interpretation which is still present in Australia: “an old way of saying farewell” (John Miller, The Lingo Dictionary: the Favourite Australian Words and Phrases, 2011), and

b) the definition probably plan by Zoe and known in Ireland as confirmed by Padraic O'Farrell in How the ireland speak English, 1993, p. 12:

The offhand nature the Wexford world gave rise to two strange sayings throughout the 2nd World War. Scarce assets were passed around then and good thanks would certainly be bestowed because that the gift of an ounce or two of tea. The donor would certainly shrug off the type deed by saying, "Ah give thanks to your mommy for the rabbits, the soup to be lovely!" It to be a longwinded, "Ah, because that nothing!"

The earliest source so much seen is from Chambers's Journal that 1917:

Get the kettle boiling, and also we'll have some toddy when I acquire back, and also "thank your mommy for the rabbits!" This critical an insane remark, however quite prefer Smiler. He was off on a four-to-one chance of ever before seeing the regiment again. (p. 447)

It is difficult to speak what the “inane remark” means here. Similarly ambiguous is the following example:

"Thank your mommy for the rabbit", and also "the bottom stair's the lowest", room for ever before in her mouth. She circumlocutions have become second nature.

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James Agate Blessed are the rich: illustration in the life that Oliver Sheldon (1924), p. 202

This Australian newspaper resource seems to indicate that the expression may have actually customarily have been adhered to by “it was (or castle were) lovely”:

Able Seaman Jobbings's request to the Regulating small Officer to "Thank mom for the rabbits, they to be lovely."

1940 Argus (Melbourne, Victoria) (Weekend magazine) 6 January, p. 8

It is interesting to watch that Eric Partridge, too, confronted problems as soon as commenting top top the phrase in his Dictionary of catch Phrases American and British (1985) p. 294:

"thank your mom for the rabbit" was carried to my attention by the so late Frank Shaw1 in 1969, yet without definition, date, milieu.