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Gamon de Pycombe

Discussion in 'Real Dogs' started by Mike Herbold, Dec 18, 2000.

  1. Mike Herbold

    Mike Herbold Member

    Gamin de Pycombe. In the Weikman thread Jason mentioned this name. It has long interested me. Does anybody have any idea what that translates to? Or is just something that loses a lot in the translation like Fido from Pycombe.

    Thanks to the wonderful world of internet search engines I've spent a few minutes touring the West Sussex area and found the village of Pycombe (aka Pyecombe) and know now that there is a Pyecombe Golf Club. I also saw a picture of the beautiful Pyecombe Church. And lest I hurry over there too fast to check it out in person, I even learned that there is a police speed camera site adjacent to the petrol station at Pyecombe on the Police observation point. Isn't the internet grand? One moment you're a dunce and moments later you know answers to questions that could be worth a fortune on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire".

    Now back to the Titanic and Robert Daniel's prize bulldog Gamon de Pycombe (as reported in Richard Norris Williams' biography). A few questions. What does Gamin or Gamon mean? Or it just an unusual name?(much "less than zero percent" of the people in the USA have that as a last name per another internet search.) And is there a possible connection between Robert Daniel and the village of Pycombe?
  2. Gamin is the French word for a kid, a little boy.
    (Gamine, with a 'e', being the feminine form)

    Pycombe must be the place you mentionned above. The village.

    Literally, the translated expression would be: “The little boy from Pycombe.”￾

    Hope this helps.
  3. Mike Herbold

    Mike Herbold Member

    Gamin de Pycombe does lose a lot in the translation then. I can't picture someone saying to a big bulldog "Come here little boy from Pycombe." Gamon de Pycombe sounds much better.
    And less fearful.

    Thanks for that Charles. Now we need to check on Robert Daniel's possible connection to the West Sussex area.
  4. Gamon perhaps sounds better to us, but I'm sure Gamin is the right way to write it. Gamon must be a transcription error, as the two forms (Gamin and Gamon) sound quite similar.

    I've always thought that Pycombe was the name of a village in France. Oh, well. It sure doesn't sound like the name of an English city. Anyway. happy.gif As Robert Daniel's dog is often referred as “the French bulldog”￾, I would imagine that Pycombe is also a French village.

    Pycombe, in England, must not be the place we're looking for. I would rather look on a good map of France. I will do a quick search in my atlas and see if I can help in any way.
  5. BTW, you sure we can consider Pyecombe and Pycombe to be the same villages? One may wonder. I checked the official website for that English city and I didn't see such things as: aka Pycombe. Then again, I lurked through the site very quickly.
  6. Dave Gittins

    Dave Gittins Member

    Gamin can be translated as "urchin" which might be more in keeping with a dog. Can dog lovers say if there is a breed called a French bulldog, as distinct from a bulldog bought in France? After all, I have a German shepherd with a German name but she doesn't come from Germany.
  7. Hello Dave,

    There is a breed of French Bulldogs as opposed to bulldogs from France. If anyone's interested the American Kennel Club has straightforward info on the breed standard: http://www.akc.org/breeds/recbreeds/frebulld.cfm. There's probably a heap of better sites out there for the purist, but that's the one I know about.

    So, there's one detail Cameron got right. wink.gif

    Rather than a literal translation 'The Little Boy from Pycombe', I'd go for the more idiomatic 'Pycombe Kid'. Or, perish the thought, perhaps it's 'Gammon de Pycombe', the 'Pycombe Ham'?

    For what it's worth, 'Py(e)combe does sound English to me. I can imagine Sherlock Holmes or Miss Marple popping down to solve The Mystery at Py(e)combe Grange, but that sort of fancy and the name of the dog doesn't make it a real place. Going back to Dave's point about his German Shepherd, a French Bulldog doesn't necessarily have to be from France.

    Ah, the silly things people call their dawgs...

    Cheers, F
  8. What's Gammon? I can tell you that it's not a French word....ham is “jambon”￾.

    I would also go with “Pycombe Kid”￾, Fiona.

    Holmes? Marple? Hercule Poirot is certainly the one we need to solve the case!
  9. ...why does it have to be French? wink.gif

    Amongst a several meanings, gammon is a cured ham - or a load of nonsense.


    Or an attempt at one.

    Apologies. No more jokes. At least not in the next five minutes.

  10. Mike Herbold

    Mike Herbold Member

    Okay Fiona. Now that you've totally trivialized my serious dog question, here's a few for you:
    Is there such a thing as a Frontgammon?
    If not, why not?
    And does Gamon de Pycombe ever appear in any works of Titanic fiction?
  11. Can I ask you why you keep saying Gamon, when common sense leads us to conclude that it's Gamin? Just curious...
  12. Mike Herbold

    Mike Herbold Member

    Because Gamon is the way that Don Lynch spells it in "Illustrated History" and the way it is spelled here on ET in the Richard Norris William biography. Gamin may be the correct spelling, but I don't know that yet. I appreciate that there is a French word Gamin, and much appreciate your pointing it out, but Gamon could just as easily be just a name at this point.

    On the first page of ANTR, Walter Lord says Daniels "was bringing back a champion French bulldog just purchased in Britain." Note that its the breed "French Bulldog" and not just a champion bulldog from France. Lord doesn't give the dog's name, though.

    What do I know, though. I used to be Dan Quale's speling addvisur. J
    I'm dropping Don Lynch a note now to see where he came up with his spelling.
  13. Mike Herbold

    Mike Herbold Member

  14. Sorry Mike H,

    Just seen your question re Gamo/in de Pyecombe being in any fiction. The answer's yes - but for the life of me I can't remember what, when or where. And it wasn't just in the expurgated sections of Cameron's script.

    Oh well, now I'll be awake until 3 worrying about it all. wink.gif Will let you know if the answer appears.



    So many books, so little time. Maybe I should give up frontgammon?
  15. Mike Herbold

    Mike Herbold Member

    Got a nice note from Don Lynch, who points out the following:

    1) His source for the Gamon spelling was Robert Daniel's claim for losses;

    2) The discoverer of the French Bulldog breed was another first class passenger, Samuel L. Goldenberg and he named the first Nellcote Gamin. (see the footnote to Goldenberg's bio).

    3) With the spelling of Goldenberg's dog in mind, he thinks the true spelling for Daniel's prize dog was also Gamin and that there was either a typo on the claim or Daniel spelled it incorrectly.

    Charles: I'll take my crow medium rare, thank you.
    Now let's go figure out where the name Nellcote might have come from.
  16. Mike Herbold

    Mike Herbold Member

  17. Mike Herbold

    Mike Herbold Member

    Charles and Fiona:
    We can now put the spelling of Gamon Gamin de Pycombe to rest, and, as soon as Fiona finds her fictional setting, close this matter altogether. Eaton and Haas in "Titanic: Triumph and Tragedy", Chapter Nineteen, mention the claim of Robert W. Daniel in the amount of $750 for Champion French bulldog Gamin de Pycombe. It is these records that Don Lynch also referred to.
  18. Thanks for all your work on that one, Mike. Now I'll be able to sleep at night. happy.gif

    Great link - great pictures too. Incredible Titanic connection really, and it'll be interesting to see how Gamin de Pycombe rates in Marty Crisp's forthcoming book. I now know more about French Bulldogs than I ever wanted to. 'Nellcote Lad' too, eh.

    As I wrote, now I'll be able to sleep at night - at least if I can remember which wretched novel it is that's bobbing on the edges of my memory... Standby for this thread to be revived at 3am on a Wednesday in 2 month's time. Or not. lame.gif


  19. For Mike H,

    Found this mention of Pycombe Lad and thought of you...
    From First Class Dogs in the poetry collection When the World's Foundation Shifts by THS* Wallace (Rabbit Press, Harrisburg, 1998)



    * No, I'm not making it up. It really is 'THS' Wallace.
  20. Senan Molony

    Senan Molony Member

    It's a dog's life when it's Titanical
    You can't chase it,
    Although it's mechanical;
    We're First Class, but down below decks
    In Third Class,
    And not allowed sex!
    For fear of spoiling a pedigree
    Tho' Sun Yat, and Gamin, might bed agree
    And give you a Pycombe de Sen
    Which would sure give a
    Kick up the men
    Who sent us down here in the first place
    'Tho of course it's a dreadfully
    Third place.
    We're all in a canine foul mood
    (Albeit we're plied with fine food)
    And our thoughts grow ever more dark
    Since our bite's better than our barque;
    It's just no recompense getting fatter
    And that,
    Is the kennel,
    Of the matter.

    (BTS McOlympic, 1933)