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  1. Newbie
    Interested in Language
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      • Native Language:
      • Vietnamese
      • Home Country:
      • Vietnam
      • Current Location:
      • Zimbabwe

    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 3
    #1

    Question What "alligator" means in this context

    Hello everyone,

    Could you please tell me what exactly "alligator" means in the sentence: See you later alligator.
    I did not know how to explain the meaning to my children, though, I understand that it somehow involve the crocodile. Please help me

    Thank you very much


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #2

    Re: What "alligator" means in this context

    It comes from a pop song:

    "See you later, alligator
    In a while, crocodile"

    No particular meaning - just neat assonance of sounds.


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036
    #3

    Re: What "alligator" means in this context

    Quote Originally Posted by itsme View Post
    Hello everyone,

    Could you please tell me what exactly "alligator" means in the sentence: See you later alligator.
    I did not know how to explain the meaning to my children, though, I understand that it somehow involve the crocodile. Please help me

    Thank you very much

    It doesn't have any particular meaning. Alligator rhymes with later, and crocodile rhymes with while.


    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 1,157
    #4

    Re: What "alligator" means in this context

    Can I say "After a while, crocodile" instead of "In a while, crocodile"?


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036
    #5

    Re: What "alligator" means in this context

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Can I say "After a while, crocodile" instead of "In a while, crocodile"?
    Yes, you can.

    YouTube - Swing Dancing to Bill Haley and the Comets (1956)


    • Join Date: Sep 2009
    • Posts: 422
    #6

    Re: What "alligator" means in this context

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Can I say "After a while, crocodile" instead of "In a while, crocodile"?
    Indubitably, Daruma.


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036
    #7

    Re: What "alligator" means in this context

    Quote Originally Posted by albeit View Post
    Indubitably, Daruma.
    Maeen, I trip over that word every time I try to say it.


    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 1,157
    #8

    Re: What "alligator" means in this context

    Is "After a while, crocodile" American English, and is "In a while, crocodile" British English?


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036
    #9

    Re: What "alligator" means in this context

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Is "After a while, crocodile" American English, and is "In a while, crocodile" British English?
    No, it's not, but with some effort, we could perhaps make it that way. The whole bit about alligators and crocodiles and see ya later is American, anyway. But they apparently liked it quite a bit in Vienna: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEiiLZdA3Sg



    The phrase "in a while crocodile" just means someone didn't know the song lyrics, or forgot them, or just wasn't even thinking about it. (the song that is, not the lyrics)
    Last edited by PROESL; 14-Sep-2009 at 05:54.

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