Historically Speaking

Making sense of it all!

I’m The Queen Of England

Posted by Elyse Bruce on June 24, 2013

When you hear someone mention that they’re the Queen of England (provided that the person really isn’t the Queen of England or that the person isn’t certifiable), it’s usually in conjunction with another phrase preceding the expression.  For example, when David Michael Green wrote an OpEd piece for OpEdNews.com that was published on November 22, 2007 the title of the article was:

If Conservatism Is The Ideology Of Freedom, I’m The Queen Of England

Back on September 27, 1989 the Denver Post newspaper published an article about Forrest Hiller’s amazing lottery win that paid out $6.5 million.  The story reported the following quote as being the winner’s initial reaction to winning the lottery:

“I thought, `Right, and I’m the Queen of England.'”

The fact of the matter is that there are a number of variations on the Queen of England theme.  Some know the idiom with the Queen of Sheba instead of the Queen of England as seen in Ann Lander’s response to a letter sent in to the Dear Ann column, and published in the Montreal Gazette on October 9, 1965:

Teen crime is up.  Teen drinking is up.  Teen car accidents are up.  If this picture doesn’t reflect a change in teenage behavior, then I’m the Queen of Sheba.

When it wasn’t the Queen of Sheba being maligned, Cleopatra’s identity was being sullied as seen in the sports article by Gayle Talbot, published in the Prescott Evening Courier of October 7, 1939.  The Cincinnati Reds were going into the third game of the 1939 World Series against the New York Yankees, and the story had sports fans on the edge of their seats.  The article, entitled, “Cincy Tired Of Ailing Yanks” reported in part:

“I’m weary of hearing that stuff,” said one of the most prominent of the Reds.  “Sure, they’re good.  They’ve knocked our ears down twice.  Maybe they’re even wonderful.  But I’m a little disappointed when Ruffing has to build up his alibi beforehand, and then sticks to it after he’s pitched that kind of a game.  If that guy had a sore arm, I’m Cleopatra, and I never saw the Nile in my life.”

The French are known to say:  “Et moi, je suis la reine d’Angleterre.” (And me, I’m the Queen of England!)

Likewise, those who speak Hebrew say:  “Ve’ani malkat anglia.” (And I’m the Queen of England.)

There are those who speak Czech who say:  “A já jsem čínský papež.” (And I’m the Chinese pope.)

The Greek tend to say:  “Κι εγώ είμαι ο αλί-μπαμπάς.” (And I’m Ali Baba.)

The Spanish respond with:  “Y yo soy la Reina de Saba.”  (I’m the Queen of Spain and Mexico.)

In the end, any identity can (and has) been slipped into the expression over the generations to express incredulity.  Entire cultural groups have been slipped into the expression as in “I’m a Dutchman” or animals as in “I’m a monkey’s uncle!”

Although Idiomation was unable to pinpoint the first time the Queen of England (and there have been more than a few) was used in this way, suffice it to say that it’s been around for longer than many care to remember.

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