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James Callow Folklore Archive

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TRICKING SPIES

IN WORLD WAR ONE, WHEN SPIES WHO HAD INFILTRATED INTO ENEMY RANKS
WERE CAPTURED. THEY WERE PUT TO THE TEST. WHEN A GERMAN SPY
WHO CLAIMED TO BE FRENCH WAS CAUGHT, HE WAS ASKED TO REPEAT THE
WORD "GRENOUILLE" (FROG), WHICH SHOULD
SOUND SOMEWHAT LIKE GRRUNWEEAH
BUT A GERMAN WOULD ALWAYS SAY GRUNWEEHKH, MAKING A HARSH GUTTURAL
SOUND. SIMILARLY, WHEN A FRENCH SPY WAS CAUGHT BY THE GERMANS, HE
WAS ASKED TO SAY HATHAWAY BUT A FRENCHMAN COULD ONLY SUCCEED IN
SAYING HASSAWAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROYAL OAK ; SAINT MARYS RECTORY

Keyword(s): PRONUNCIATION OF FOREIGN WORDS REVEALS IDENTITY AND NATIONALITY

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Legend

Date learned: 11-17-1968

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