Saturday, 8 November 2008

why I love QI

Dorothy Parker called her parrot Onan because it spilled its seed on the ground.

I found that Quite Interesting, I didn't know it. (At first I thought I must have missed that episode, until I realised I was watching Bonus Bits & Bloopers on YouTube.) Let's take a look at the King James Bible:

And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother's wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother.

And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.

And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also.

Genesis 38:8-10
(This links to a different translation than the one quoted above, try out other versions by using the pull-down menu.)

Which sounds to me that someone was pissed off at Onan for not impregnating his brother's wife, rather than for masturbating...

In fact doesn't it sound as if he pulled out? In Dutch we call that "leaving the church without singing".

4 comments:

Willym said...

I always found that Dorthey Parker line a hoot - along wit so many other of her great one lines. And I've always found the Onan story very confusing - those poor buggers seemed to get smiten for displeasing the Lord an awful lot!

Love that Dutch aphorism - can I use it?

SubtleKnife said...

Of course you can!

And imagine being smitten for NOT making babies with your brother's wife. Poor guy thinks he's doing the right thing and KA-POW!

Gothy said...

Yep, Onanism is actually coitus interruptus, not masturbation as popular assumption would have it.

joe said...

And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.

King James was in very serious need of a good copy editor. I can't make sense of that sentence in the least.