Long Name No Can Say

Paul Wing

RCA Victor BC-50

Total Time: 22:22

“Nikki Nikki Tembo No So Rembo Oo Ma Moochi Gamma Gamma Goochi” is the name of a little Chinese boy in a story called “Long Name No Can Say” narrated by Paul Wing. It was available as an RCA Camden recording in the mid-1940s (RCA – Camden CAL 1044). It seems that this same story has been retold many times in many variations, subsequent to that time period, which is perhaps the origin of the “Tikki Tikki…” variety (Mosel, Arlene (2007), Tikki Tikki Tembo (paperback ed.), Square Fish). A 1961 Golden Press variation of the story has the boy’s name as “Sticky Sticky Stumbo…”

It has been suggested that the story probably originated from the Japanese folktale Jugemu instead of a Chinese folktale. The inadvertent misrepresentation of a Japanese folktale as a Chinese one may explain why many native Chinese speakers have felt the story to be offensive as it inaccurately depicts their language and history. It is possible that the version of the story by Paul Wing may have been the source of this misunderstanding or at least responsible for popularizing it.

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