- skip - Brewer’s

Hop-oʹ-my-Thumb

.

A nix, the same as the German daumling, the French le petit pouce, and the Scotch Tom-a-lin (or Tamlane). Tom Thumb in the well-known nursery tale is quite another character. He was the son of peasants, knighted by King Arthur, and killed by a spider.

⁂ Several dwarfs have assumed the name of Tom Thumb. (See Dwarfs.)

“You Stump--the-Gutter, you Hop-oʹ-my-Thumb,

Your husband must from Lilliput come.”


Kane OʹHara: Midas.


“Plaine friend, Hop-oʹ-my-Thumb, know you who we are?”—Taming of the Shrew (1594).

To hop the twig. To run away from one’s creditors, as a bird eludes a fowler, “hopping from spray to spray.”

⁂ Also to die. The same idea as that above. There are numerous phrases to express the cessation of life; for example, “To kick the bucket” (q.v.); “To lay down one’s knife and fork;” “Pegging out” (from the game of cribbage); “To be snuffed out” (like a candle); “He has given in;” “To throw up the sponge” (q.v.); “To fall asleep;” “To enter Charon’s boat” (See Charon); “To join the majority;” “To cave in;” a common Scripture phrase is “To give up the ghost.”

previous entry · index · next entry

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

previous entry · index · next entry

Hoods (Anglo-Saxon hõd)
Hoodlum (American slang)
Hoodman Blind
Hook, Hooks
Hook it!
Hook or Crook (By)
Hookey Walker
Hooped Pots
Hoopoe (Upupa Epops)
Hop
Hop-o-my-Thumb
Hope
Hopeful
Hope-on-High Bomby
Hopkins (Matthew)
Hopkinsians
Hopping Giles
Hopton
Horace
Horatian Metre (An)
Horatio