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"it stinted and said 'Ay'."
Act 1,
Scene 3
Lines 44-60

An explanation of the innuendo in the story by Juliet's nurse in myShakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Act 1, Scene 3.


Thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more wit,
Wilt thou not, Jule?' and by my holidam,
The pretty wretch left crying and said 'Ay.'
To see now how a jest shall come about.
I warrant, an I should live a thousand years,
I never should forget it. 'Wilt thou not, Jule?' quoth he,
And, pretty fool, it stinted and said 'Ay.'                       

Lady Capulet

Enough of this; I pray thee, hold thy peace.


Yes, madam. Yet I cannot choose but laugh,
To think it should leave crying and say 'Ay.'
And yet, I warrant, it had upon its brow
A bump as big as a young cock'rel's stone;
A perilous knock, and it cried bitterly.
'Yea,' quoth my husband, 'fall'st upon thy face?
Thou wilt fall backward when thou comest to age,
Wilt thou not, Jule?' it stinted and said 'Ay.'


And stint thou too, I pray thee, nurse, say I.                  

The nurse finds this story of young Juliet falling on her face funny. The nurse’s husband tried to pacify the crying toddler, saying something like, “Oh, you fell on your face; well, when you grow up you’ll fall on your back, won’t you little Jule?” When Juliet replied “Aye,” it sounded as if she understood the husband’s intended second, bawdy meaning. That's why Lady Capulet and Juliet are so irritated that the nurse keeps repeating this story.