Pumpernickel (1766)

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Mon Apr 29 23:54:58 UTC 2002

A few German Web sites address the "pumpernickel" etymology; one gives
"Nickel" = "Kobold"/"kleiner Mensch", while another refers to an old
epithet for rude bumpkins, like Ben Fortson's reference.

"Pumpernickel" is likened at two sites to "Furzheini", which I suppose is a
modern German word: I don't know it and I can't find it, although I find
"Heini" = "twit"/"twerp" (and "Furz" is "fart"). Is this "Heini" related to
"Heinzelmännchen" = "brownie"/"leprechaun" by any chance?

And here's a fine germane stanza from 'classical' music:

O! welch ein würdiger Artickel!
Ins allgemeine Lexikon;
Da schreibt man ja vom Pumpernickel,
Welch Lob trügst du denn nicht davon?
Ihr Herren Lexikographi,
Besorget den Krambambuli.

Perhaps Ben Fortson or somebody can translate this effectively? I'm not
sure I exactly understand the last two lines in particular.

-- Doug Wilson

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