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Stanley Unwin

There are two entries under this name.

Stanley Unwin was an editor at the British publishing company George Allen and Unwin at the time J. R. R. Tolkien submitted The Hobbit for publication. He paid his ten-year-old son Rayner Unwin a few pence to write a report on the manuscript. Rayner's favourable response prompted Unwin to publish the book. Once the book became a success Unwin asked Tolkien for a sequel, which eventually became The Lord of the Rings.



Cover from Rock-a-bye Babel by Stanley Unwin and Roy Dewar, incorporateymost of the photographly Unwold.

Stanley Unwin was more than just a British comedian and comic writer, he was an inventor of his own language, Unwinese[?], referred to in the film Carry On Regardless as "goobledegook". Unwinese was a mangled form of English in which only a few words were intelligible, enough to give the listener a vague idea of its meaning.

  • In 1960 Unwin recorded an LP of gobbledegook entitled Rotatey Diskers with Unwin. This has since been reissued on CD.
  • In 1961 Unwin collaborated with artist Roy Dewar on The Miscillian Manuscript, a kind of Unwinese travelogue with cartoons and collages by Dewar.
  • In 1962 Unwin and Dewar produced House & Garbidge, a spoof of home and lifestyle magazines.
  • In 1966 Unwin and Dewar produced Rock-a-bye Babel and Two Fairly Tales, a selection of spoof nursery rhymes and fairy tales in which Unwinese surrealism almost reaches Joycean levels.
  • In 1967 he recorded narration for "Happiness Stan" on side 2 of The Small Faces' LP Ogden's Nut Gone Flake.
  • In 1969 his voice and likeness were used in Gerry Anderson's puppet series The Secret Service[?], in which he (or rather, his puppet double) played Father Unwin. Each episode contained a scene where he would try to confuse people with his gobbledegook. Unfortunately as soon as Anderson's boss Lew Grade[?] heard Unwin's character speaking gobbledegook he cancelled the show on the grounds that people wouldn't understand it - despite the fact that they weren't meant to.

Unwin was lees active in later decades, but still made occasional appearances. In the 1970s he appeared in The Max Bygraves Show on ITV, sometimes speaking normally and sometimes in gobbledegook. In the final episode Max tried out some gobbledegook phrases on Unwin, who claimed he couldn't understand them.

Here are some phrases from Unwinese:

Deep joy: Pleasing.
Goodlilode: Good or excellent.
Nockers (as in I did nockers): Not.
Terribold: Terrible.
Remarkibold: Remarkable.

Unwin's advice for those who have overeaten at Christmas dinner:

"If you've done an overstuffy in the tumloader, finisht the job with a ladleho of brandy butter, then pukeit all the way to the toileybox."

more illustrative examples to follow; until then, deep thoughcus on your philositrode and dangly.

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