A footnote to the story of Daffodil

My memory is usually pretty good, but I completely forgot that two years ago I had already written about Daffodil, the dog Orbán recently touted as his beloved pet. Fortunately, search technology can succeed where memory fails.

As it turns out, Hungarian Spectrum contributed to the discovery of the whereabouts of Orbán’s kuvasz. 444.hu found a post of mine from April 2014 about the Orbán family’s purchase of an estate that originally belonged to the Hungarian branch of the Habsburg family. I wrote: “The site is off limits to strangers. It is guarded by security personnel as well as by a kuvasz named Nárcisz (Daffodil). Orbán admitted that the family has a ferocious dog called Nárcisz, but, he added, ‘it is in Felcsút.’ I guess he didn’t want to say that the animal is actually guarding part of the Archduke Joseph’s estate owned by his family.

According to the 444.hu article, there is a sign on the gate that declares that “this is private property, for strangers entrance is forbidden and life-threatening.”  So, it seems that Daffodil is neither nursing puppies in Budapest nor lying on the sofa in Felcsút. She is instead standing guard in Alcsút, ready to take on anyone she doesn’t know who dares to pass through the gate of the estate.

She may not be a beloved pet, but perhaps she’s a good metaphor for the Hungarian prime minister and his refugee policy.

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March 5, 2016 11:21 am

Nice footnote, but there is still NO WAY that a person could severely beat a dog guarding a palace owned by the Prime Minister or his near relatives without security people catching that person. The place is surely surrounded by cameras and guards.
The only way a person could beat and half-blind a dog like that is if it were a person security people are there to protect. Anyone else – anyone – would be caught and stopped.
If the dog really suffered a severe beating on Orban’s estate, as he claimed, it had to be from a family member.

March 5, 2016 2:39 pm

Look, the elder Orban (who acts as a front for his prime minister son these days ) regularly beat up his son Viktor well into adulthood.

Beating up an annoying dog would be nothing for these people.

This was the real revolution, when the “cselédek” (the servant class) took over.

With Fidesz the servant class did – while the oh so elitist Buda-based snobbish Christian middle class bourgeoisie applauded. It’s actually pretty interesting phenomenon.

If one reads Móricz, Kosztolányi or Szilard Borbély one might have an idea about the humanist values of the oppressed classes.

Even these days for an average person beating up a dog is like taking a dump, part of life, very natural.

Andrew J Chandler
March 6, 2016 6:31 am

The English/ Welsh word ‘daffodil’ is a corruption from the Latin ‘asphodel’, which grew, according to legend, on the Elysian fields. According to Pliny, it also grew on the banks of the Acheron, delighting the spirits of the dead. In Wales, they say that if you are the first to find a daffodil in your village on St. David’s Day, 1st March, you will have more gold than silver for a year! On the other hand, the English nickname for the Welsh is ‘Taffy’ as in their popular nursery rhyme… ‘Taffy was a Welshman, Taffy was a thief, Taffy came to my house, and stole a leg of beef!’ Take your pick as to which legend best applies to Viktor Orbán and his dog! Or maybe, ‘one man and his dog went to mow a meadow’ (perhaps a football pitch – lol!)

March 6, 2016 7:19 am

Yes! The nickname Taffy refers to the river Taff in West Wales – in Brecon Beacon country. Some of the beacons are called Taf – Taf Fechan is one.

It originally refered to people from Cardiff and was spread around by the incomers using the port – hence the nursery rhyme.

In my working life it was common to refer to all Welsh as Taffy – but it would be considered non-PC today.

Regarding daffodils – the leaves are poisonous! There was a case recently where a Chinese community became ill with ‘severe vomiting’ because they had used daffodil leaves in a recipe. Apparently they were mistaken for chives which they use in dumplings – not unlike in Hungary!.

10 people recovered!


Andrew J Chandler
March 6, 2016 8:47 am

I don’t want to get into an argument about the origins of ‘Taffy’, first documented in an eighteenth century ‘chap’ and song books, but there are many apocryphal stories about this. Since the name was sung as a taunt by English children in the marches and in London on 1 March, and is an ‘eff’ sound, not a ‘v’ as in Welsh, I think it’s more likely to ‘stem’ (forgive the pun) from the daffodil! The river names are anglicisations of the original Welsh sounds, of course, but these names would not have been well-enough known outside Wales to be corrupted, long before Cardiff became a major port. The rhyme was recorded in Joseph Holliwell’s 1842 ‘The Nursery Rhymes of England’, so it was clearly of English origin. Yes, I heard about the Chinese poisoning themselves. On the Isle of Man, they are known as ‘goose leeks’, ironically.

Andrew J Chandler
March 6, 2016 9:02 am

If you think about it, the English, and for that matter, the Hungarian version of ‘Dafydd’ is ‘David’, not ‘Daffid’, so I don’t see why ‘Taf’ should have been changed to ‘Taff’ in the case of the rivers you refer to. (there’s also another ‘Taf’ in west Wales). It’s more likely that the river that flows through the capital is taken from the daffodils which grew on its banks, or from ‘diff’, since the Norman English couldn’t pronounce ‘dydd’ (‘deethe’), which is Romano-British in origin.

March 6, 2016 9:46 am

Have I missed your point? The river is named ‘Taff’ – the beacons ‘Taf’.

It’s too coincidental for me – especially when you consider many surnames are actual places. People were either identified from where they came from – or by their trade, as in ‘Smith’.

As a completely irrelevant addition my partners family originally came from Poland – the family name being a Polish surname – but when her great-grandfather wanted to Hungarianise his name he chose Köszegi – as he resided in Köszeg.

March 6, 2016 9:49 am

However – the National flower of Wales is the daffodil of course.

March 6, 2016 3:27 pm

I find the name “Narcisz” much more poignant – just look up narcissism in wiki or any psychology text …
Narcissists cut a wide, swashbuckling figure through the world. At one end of the self-loving spectrum is the charismatic leader with an excess of charm, whose only vice may be his or her inflated amour-propre. At the far end of the spectrum reside individuals with narcissistic personality disorder, whose grandiosity soars to such heights that they are manipulative and easily angered, especially when they don’t receive the attention they consider their birthright.