So, in case you didn't know, Prugelknaben is German for whipping boy - that is, a boy who grew up beside a prince that was punished whenever the prince misbehaved. Kind of a weird practice, and rightly abandoned once we figured out that princes are jerks like the rest of us.

What I came here to post is only tangentially related to actual Prugelknaben.

I have in front of me a paperback copy of the first edition of the first collected volume of Robert Ripley's popular Believe It Or Not! series. 

Now, the concept of the whipping boy was by no means limited to any one country or regime. Many of the royal houses of Europe, as you may remember from your history classes, were tied together by marriage and blood and often consorted with each other, and so you should not be surprised to learn that the Tudors, the Saxe-Coburgs, the Hanovers, the Bourbons, the Mecklenburgs, and so on all had whipping boys.

So why did Ripley choose to use the German "Prugelknaben" to explain the concept of the whipping boy, to the exclusion of all other nationalities and royal families participating in the same practice? 

Oh, the book was printed in 1937?

I see.


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