Humpty Dumpty


Humpty Dumpty
   One of the best-known nursery rhymes in English tradition, which has excited much misguided speculation and theory. What has been obscured by centuries of illustrated children's books is that the rhyme is simply a riddle, and the hearer has to guess the answer as 'egg', but nowadays we all know the answer before we say the rhyme. The first known text only dates from 1797, although the term 'Humpty Dumpty' (meaning an ale-and-brandy drink) is recorded about a century before. Numerous close analogues from continental Europe do not help to date the rhyme, as they are all from 19th-century sources.
   ■ Opie and Opie, 1997: 252-5.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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  • Humpty Dumpty — is a character in a Nursery rhyme typically portrayed as an egg. Most English speaking children are familiar with the rhyme:: Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. : Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.: All the king s horses and all the king s men : Couldn t… …   Wikipedia

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  • Humpty-dumpty — from French nursery rhyme hero (the rhyme first attested in English 1810), earlier a short, clumsy person of either sex (1785), probably a reduplication of Humpty, a pet form of HUMPHREY (Cf. Humphrey). Originally, humpty dumpty was a drink… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Humpty Dumpty — [hump′tē dump′tē] n. a short, squat character in an old nursery rhyme, a personification of an egg, who fell from a wall and broke into pieces …   English World dictionary

  • Humpty Dumpty — 1904 Buch Humpty Dumpty von William Wallace Denslow Humpty Dumpty ist eine Figur aus einem englischen Kinderreim.[1] Er ist ein menschenähnliches Ei, was im Text des Vierzeilers nicht ausdrücklich erwähnt wird …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Humpty Dumpty — Hump|ty Dump|ty a character in a ↑nursery rhyme (=an old song or poem for young children) and in the book ↑Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll, who is like a large egg in shape. The rhyme goes: Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,/Humpty Dumpty… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • humpty-dumpty — noun (plural humpty dumpties) informal 1》 a short fat person. 2》 a person or thing that once overthrown cannot be restored. Origin C18: from the egg like nursery rhyme character Humpty Dumpty, who fell off a wall and could not be put together… …   English new terms dictionary

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  • Humpty Dumpty — /hump tee dump tee/ 1. an egg shaped character in a Mother Goose nursery rhyme that fell off a wall and could not be put together again. 2. (sometimes l.c.) something that has been damaged severely and usually irreparably. [rhyming compound based …   Universalium