X me no Xs

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X me no Xs is a literary device common in literature from the 16th to the 18th centuries, in which the speaker is asking that something not be provided to him, often as a pun incorporating the use of a particular word both as a verb and as a noun.

Sourced[edit]

  • But me no buts.
  • Cause me no causes.
  • Cook me no cooks.
    • Felix Benguiat, Ugly Hilda (1909), p. 515.
  • Clerk me no clerks.
  • End me no ends.
  • Front me no fronts.
    • John Ford, The Lady's Trial (1638), act ii, scene 1.
  • Gift me no Gifts; I have none for thee.
    • Theocritus, The Idylls (c. 3rd century BC), translated by James Henry Hallard (1901), p. 104. Use of this literary device was likely introduced by the translator; an earlier translation by C.S. Calvery has the same character, Amycus, responding to Polydeuces' offer to "[v]isit our land, take gifts from us, and go" by saying "I seek naught from thee and can naught bestow".
  • Grace me no grace, nor uncle me no uncle.
  • Madam me no madam.
    • John Dryden, The Wild Gallant (1663), act ii, scene 2.
  • Map me no maps.
  • Midas me no Midas.
    • John Dryden, The Wild Gallant (1663), act ii, scene 1.
  • O me no O's.
    • Ben Jonson, The Case Is Altered (c. 1609), act v, scene 1.
  • Parish me no parishes.
  • Petition me no petitions.
  • Play me no plays.
  • Plot me no plots.
  • Poem me no poems.
  • Virgin me no virgins.
  • Cody me no Codys about America.
  • Tennessee me no Tennessees.

Lyrics[edit]

  • Matchmaker, matchmaker, plan me no plans.
    I'm in no rush. maybe I've learned
    Playing with matches a girl can get burned.
    So bring me no ring, groom me no groom,
    Find me no find, catch me no catch.
    Unless he's a matchless match!
    • "Matchmaker", Fiddler on the Roof (1964). These lyrics appear at the end of the song, countering the protagonist's original (uninformed) plea that the matchmaker "find me a find, catch me a catch".

External links[edit]