Humpty Dumpty

related topics
{god, call, give}
{language, word, form}
{film, series, show}
{war, force, army}
{law, state, case}
{album, band, music}
{build, building, house}
{food, make, wine}
{car, race, vehicle}
{town, population, incorporate}

Humpty Dumpty is a character in an English language nursery rhyme, probably originally a riddle and one of the best known in the English-speaking world.[1] He is typically portrayed as an egg and has appeared or been referred to in a large number of works of literature and popular culture. The rhyme has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 13026.

Contents

Lyrics

The most common modern text is:

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 put Humpty together again.[1]

Origins

The rhyme does not explicitly state that the subject is an egg because it probably was originally posed as a riddle.[1] The earliest known version is in a manuscript addition to a copy of Mother Goose's Melody published in 1803, which has the modern version with a different last line: "Could not set Humpty Dumpty up again".[1] It was first published in 1810 in a version of Gammer Gurton's Garland as:

Humpty Dumpty sate [sic] on a wall,
Humpti Dumpti [sic] had a great fall;
Threescore men and threescore more,
Cannot place Humpty dumpty as he was before.[2]

According to the Oxford English Dictionary the term "humpty dumpty" referred to a drink of brandy boiled with ale in the seventeenth century.[1] The riddle probably exploited, for misdirection, the fact that "humpty dumpty" was also eighteenth-century reduplicative slang for a short and clumsy person.[3] The riddle may depend on the assumption that, whereas a clumsy person falling off a wall might not be irreparably damaged, an egg would be.[1] The rhyme is no longer posed as a riddle, since the answer is now so well known.[1] Similar riddles have been recorded by folklorists in other languages, such as "Boule Boule" in French, or "Lille Trille" in Swedish and Norwegian; though none is as widely known as Humpty Dumpty is in English.[1]

Full article ▸

related documents
Mammon
Ask and Embla
Orcus
Aos Sí
Duamutef
Enyalius
Einherjar
Stormbringer
Brigid
Ancient of Days
Vamana
Triptolemus
Laocoön
Samuel (Bible)
Book of Numbers
Mares of Diomedes
Ahalya
Arion
Gigantes
Isaiah
Epigram
Book of Nahum
Vayu
Niobe
Forseti
Mictlantecuhtli
Wepwawet
Bes
Maponos
Igbo mythology