Pumpernickel (1766)

Benjamin Fortson fortson at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Tue Apr 30 15:00:36 UTC 2002

"Heini" is probably related to the Heinzel- of Heinzelmaennchen, at least
ultimately: Heini is a nickname for Heinrich, and Heinzel is a nickname
for Heinz. I want to say the latter is somehow a form of Heinrich also,
but I don't have the resources here to look it up.
        As for the verse, Krambambuli is an old word in student slang for
'booze, liquor' (it originally designated a kind of brandy). I don't know
if I can "translate it effectively" (i.e. give an English verse
translation that would have the same spirit as the German), but the
meaning is: "O! What a worthy article [that has made it] into the general
dictionary! For they're writing there about pumpernickel: what praise
could you not get from that? You Sir Lexicographers, go get the liquor." I
suppose the idea is that the lexicographers should have a drink for their
praiseworthy inclusion of "pumpernickel" in the dictionary. It doesn't
make a *whole* lot of sense, but this sort of verse is more about fun with
words than anything else.


On Mon, 29 Apr 2002, Douglas G. Wilson wrote:

> "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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