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Humpty Dumpty
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Humpty Dumpty

Humpty Dumpty is a character in Mother Goose rhyme, portrayed as an anthropomorphized 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 put Humpty together again

Humpty Dumpty

He also appears in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass and discusses semantics with Alice. Among other things, he explains the hard words from Jabberwocky.

There are various theories of the origin of Humpty Dumpty. One is from the name of a cannon during the English Civil War. It was on top of a tower. When the opposing force blew off the top of the tower, Humpty Dumpty fell to the ground. The King's (since they were on the Royalist side) footmen and cavalry tried to fix him, but failed.

In another theory, Humpty Dumpty referred to King Richard III of England, the hunchbacked monarch, whose horse was named "Wall". During the battle of Bosworth Field, He fell off of his steed and was said to have been "hacked into pieces".

(However, although Shakespeare's play depicts Richard as a hunchback, other historical evidence suggests that he was not.)

Humpty Dumpty may also refer to a Roman war machine called a Testudo used to cross moats and climb over castle walls. Humpty Dumpty refers to the turtle-like look of the machine and the noise of the wheels.

Another theory has Humpty Dumpty as medieval argot for short maladroits.

A phonetic variation composed of near-sounding French language words of the rhyme is also used in the fields of Systems analysis, Knowledge management and requirements management in Software development to illustrate the complexity of human communications. It is useful in bilingual or near-bilingual environments to show the issues involved in crossing over from the oral world typical of implicit knowledge to the written world of explicit knowledge.

One of the many variations is thus:

Homme petit d'homme petit, s'attend, n'avale
Homme petit d'homme petit, à degrés de bègues folles
Anal deux qui noeuds ours, anal deux qui noeuds s'y mènent
Coup d'un poux tome petit tout guetteur à gaine

If this is read out slowly (by somebody who has a good enough knowledge of French to pronounce it properly, but has not been told a nursery rhyme is involved) to an audience of persons who have been warned a nursery rhyme is involved, the reader would be rather bemused and the listeners would very rapidly reckognize the nursery rhyme.

A literal translation of the french words (by somebody with a good knowledge of French,and a moderate knowledge of English but no knowledge of the nursery rhyme) would come out thus:

Little man of little man, waits for himself, does not swallow
Little man of little man, by degrees of stuttering madwomen
Anal two that knots bears, anal two that leads
Strike from a bedbug small volume any watchman with a girdle

Humpty Dumpty is a historically important pinball machine released by Gottlieb in October 1947. It is considered to be the first true pinball machine ever produced, distinguishing it from earlier bagatelle game machines. Humpty Dumpty had six flippers but, unlike modern pinball tables, they faced outward instead of inward and were not placed at the bottom of the table near the main outhole. Like all early pinball tables, Humpty Dumpty was constructed with wood and had backlit scoring in preset units of scoring rather than mechanical reel or electronic LED scoring.