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Any comments from folks on the publication date? I've seen 1872 as well.

"This article needs splitting into multiple articles and making into a disambiguation page." Oh, for cripes' sake! Wetman 18:03, 27 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Well, the poem should stay here at Jabberwocky. But the film etc should be linked to from Jabberwocky (disambiguation)

It is very few poems which has spawned "fanart" like movies and music. I think this information should be mentioned in the article, instead of just linking to Jabberwocky (disambiguation), like they were just incidentally sharing the same name. --Kasper Hviid 00:54, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)


The glossary on this page only covers the words in the first and last verses. However, those are not the only verses that contain words that Carroll created. Are the words in the glossary the only words he ever defined, or what? If so, should we include the possible meanings of words like "uffish" "galumphing" and "frabjous"? StellarFury 16:19, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

  • Added Frumious, Jubjub, and Bandersnatch which are defined in Snark. --JW1805 20:10, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)
  • I think the Glossary should be in alphabetical order (rather than the order the words appear in the poem). Also, I think only words specifically defined by Carroll should be included. Any other definitions are just speculation. --JW1805 05:17, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I disagreed with this edit, and reverted it back, but others may have a different opinion. As it was, I thought it was redundant. It contained a description of MischMash, which was almost identical to the sentence in the Origin and Structure section. Other definitions have "From The Hunting of the Snark", but don't have lengthy explanations of what that means. If you want to know, you would just click and link and go to that page. It also contained two basically identical sentences ("Four o'clock in the afternoon: the time when you begin broiling things for dinner" and "the time of broiling dinner, i.e. the close of the afternoon"). Also, the sentence about the different spellings of "brillig" should go in the Origin and Structure section, which already contains information about differences with the original version. --JW1805 30 June 2005 18:34 (UTC)

The glossary was missing a few words that were defined in a dictionary I had as being invented by Carroll, so I added those. Sorry if I didn't do it right or anything, I don't update wikipedia on my own very often. --Spencabee

Shouldn't the terms Jabberwocky and/or Jabberwock be defined in the glossary? (talk) 21:07, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Snicker-snack is not necessarily referring to sharpness. Please remove that interpretation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:07, 23 April 2010 (UTC)


There are numerous punctuation errors in the poem as it is here in this article. I am proposing this corrected version:

   ’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
   Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
   All mimsy were the borogoves,
   And the mome raths outgrabe.

   “Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
   The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
   Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
   The frumious Bandersnatch!”

   He took his vorpal sword in hand:
   Long time the manxome foe he sought—
   So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
   And stood awhile in thought.

   And, as in uffish thought he stood,
   The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
   Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
   And burbled as it came!

   One, two! One, two! And through and through
   The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
   He left it dead, and with its head
   He went galumphing back.

   “And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
   Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
   O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
   He chortled in his joy.

   ’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
   Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
   All mimsy were the borogoves,
   And the mome raths outgrabe.

And I agree (largely). I've used the version from: the project gutenberg edition. At first I was suspicious of the 's --- but the first is a contraction, the others are quotation. The project gutenberg uses only the single quote, you differentiate. You're colons after "wabe" should be (according to gutenberg) semi-colons. Does anyone have access to a more authoratative version? -- 21:49, 26 May 2005 (UTC)

There is an analysis by Warrior Librarian with colons. Chris Capoccia 12:23, Jun 3, 2005 (UTC)

Beyond Books also uses a colon after wabe. Basically Speaking: Language Arts Rudiments Chris Capoccia 18:36, Jun 6, 2005 (UTC)

Hmm, I'd still say the Project Gutenberg edition was most authoritative. --Mathish 12:02, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

The oldest editions on google books, from 1887 and 1898, both use the semi-colon. (,M1), ( Carlo (talk) 05:45, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Stanza or Verse?[edit]

Should we talk about stanza or verse?

"Stanza" is the correct word for a group of lines in a poem. However, nobody knows this word.

"Verse" it the word most people understand. However, it really refers to a single line in a poem. --Kasper Hviid 22:02, 6 Dec 2004 (UTC)
It depends on what you're talking about. If you're talking about "stanzas," use the word stanza; if you're talking about verses, use the word "verse." It's the reader's own damn fault if they don't know the difference.
Who can really say what "most people" understand? I think most people would understand English a lot better if we all weren't constantly trying to second-guess the ignorance of others. Use the right word for the job and expect "most people" to use a dictionary if they're not sure of the meaning of that word.
Just link to the stanza and verse articles. Sheesh. --maru (talk) contribs 01:51, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree with you completely, maru. What does it matter? I speak for myself when I say, "End of discussion." --Powerfulmind 00:55, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

Other Topics[edit]

I just thought of something... is it possible that this poem is a source of inspiration for the star wars' species of wookies? just a random thought.--naufana 22:31, 11 march 2005

I don't believe a glee club from a university is significant enough to be included as a Derivative Work. This adds nothing to anybody's understanding of Jabberwocky as a cultural phenomenon.--DominicSayers 13:31, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

I know nothing of Warhammer except what is on the Wikipedia page. There is no mention of Jabberwocky there but I presume it exists. Nor is there any mention of a "deamon" or "madeins", however I am extremely dubious about the spelling. Unless I am corrected here, I will change these to "daemon" and "maidens" at some time in the near future. In the same vein as my previous comment, I believe this cross-reference sheds more light on Warhammer than it does on this poem: perhaps the link should be from there to here and not the other way round? --DominicSayers 09:32, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

I have reluctantly amended the Warhammer reference, although I would be more than happy for this to be removed altogether for the reasons mentioned above. --DominicSayers 13:47, 30 August 2005 (UTC)

I propose that the link to "vorpal" be removed from the listing. It distracts from the text, and it is linked to in the commentary anyways. -- User:DavidMcCabe 02 November 2005.

William De Morgan (1839-1917) was an English potter/designer and the son of a prominent English mathematician, Augustus De Morgan. The Wikipedia page about William shows a blue and white tile that he designed. I believe that this design was either inspired by "Jabberwocky" (or Tenniel's illustration) or it was the actual inspiration for the middle five stanzas of the poem--I'm betting on the latter. This iteration of the tile design was unlikely executed by De Morgan, rather, it looks more like the work of his partners, the Passenger brothers. There are earlier versions of the design that are of a much different style. In these earlier versions, one can see that the design is accomplished with, or at least inspired by, french curves (in particular, the Burmester series): mathematicians' tools used to draw hyperboles an parabolas ("way behind" and "way before") and elipses ("way beyond on both sides") (I'm referring to Humpty's and Alice's description of the "wabe," the plot of grass surrounding the sundial--see Burmester for an explanation of the column with a sundial on it!),M1

Carroll the mathematician (Dodgson) especially studied these. I can provide an image of the tile design as executed by De Morgan, but someone will have to help me as I am old (Father William). What is needed is (1) proof that Carroll and De Morgan were aquainted (very likely) and (2) that De Morgan at least sketched the design before 1871 (possible, since his sketch books survive--I don't know the date of the earliest iteration of this tile design, but De Morgan was making pottery by the 1860's per Wikipeia). It would also be nice if there was any evidence that Tenniel saw this design, since his illustration and the tile design are a bit similar. I can also provide a photo of Carroll's hearth at Oxford that clearly shows that it was surrounded with De Morgan-style tiles--which include a ship as described in "...Snark," a dodo, and some other interesting images. There is also a letter that mentions how Carroll had his younger guests keep warm before his fire while he told them stories. If anyone is interested in this, I have a lot more stuff related to this and I can get them on the track. -- User:garybeac 27 February 2008 —Preceding comment was added at 08:26, 27 February 2008 (UTC) -- User:garybeac 27 February 2008

Nonsense or Nonsensical as an Adjective[edit]

The edit by at 15:51 on Jun 12, 2005 changed nonsense to nonsensical in the sentence “It is generally considered to be the greatest nonsense poem written in the English language.” Nonsense, while usually a noun, also has an adjectival use. Nonsensical can only be used as an adjective. In my opinion, as long as nonsense is an appropriate word, it would be the better word because it is two fewer syllables. Chris Capoccia 03:00, Jun 13, 2005 (UTC)

I've always heard the genre referred to as nonsense verse or nonsense poetry, never as nonsensical poetry. Wikipedia has an article called Nonsense verse, and Google returns several hundred thousand more results for the original wording. I think it would be safe to change it back. - EurekaLott 04:35, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The Greatest?[edit]

I changed it from 'the greatest poem in nonsense verse' to 'one of..' Even it were the "best" nonsense poem by Carroll, it would have to be better than The Walrus and the Carpenter or A Sitting on a Gate, or even Snark. And that's even before considering Edward Lear who I always believed was undisputed master of the genre, and The Dong with the Luminous Nose or The Owl and the Pussycat. Plus there is a awful lot of more recent stuff by e. g. Roald Dahl, Spike Milligan and Ogden Nash. Let's not get carried away.

I think the editor had a more narrow sense of nonsense verse in mind. For example, The Walrus and the Carpenter, although containing a few odd situation, uses no strange words and is fully parsable - it could be argued that tWatC isn't nonsense verse at all. Shinobu 09:50, 25 June 2006 (UTC)


Is it really necessary to have 5 Polish translations on this page? Are these all on a website somewhere that can just be linked to? It seems overkill to have here (maybe more appropriate for Polish Wikipedia). --JW1805 19:18, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Agreed, this is impressive but serves little purpose here. NTK 04:51, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Subpage, or move to Polish Wikipedia and add a note saying "on the Polish page (interwiki link) there are a few translations in Polish". Bye, Shinobu 09:33, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
I can't read Polish, but I don't mind having five translations. However, a brief paragraph describing obvious differences so that a non-Polish speaker can understand key points would be useful.--Revth 03:01, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

How were chosen the the translations? In particular, I don't think the French one is very good. I prefer by far the one found in the book « Tout Alice » which is, in my mind, excellent. This one just uses words difficult to pronounce, and this breaks the dynamics of the poem. The one I allude to uses simpler words and is very fluent. Maybe there is a problem of copyright...

  • Since I last visitied this page, the number of translations has multiplied. Now there are also two German and two Danish translations. Where will it end?!--JW1805 (Talk) 01:43, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
Why are there translations at all? How different people translate the first stanza into various languages doesn't seem notable and doesn't contribute much to the article. I'm going to remove it unless someone comes up with a good reason to keep it. — ShadowHalo 02:31, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
I agree with ShadowHalo. From my point of view either removing them from this article and/or creating a new article dealing with those translations would be ok. -- Pichote 08:48, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
This. ... is getting crazy. There are too many translations. It is not normal to give so many translations. And they are easily available to the curious as the foreign languages are listed on the left of the page. So remove this section! (talk) 07:54, 24 April 2019 (UTC)


I had no idea the word chortle was invented by Carroll. Interesting... — mæstro t/c, 12:19, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Carroll loved to pull legs. I think he gave his famous definition of this word with his tongue in...coming off his hard palette. Alice's father, Professor Liddell, was a Greek scholar. Thus the word should be pronounced "kortled," and we should understand that the old man did a little choreography: a jig for joy. -- User:garybeac 27 February 2008 —Preceding comment was added at 03:38, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Wocky Jabber[edit]

Wocky has it's origins in latin and means "the son of". Jabber means nonsense talk... so Jabberwocky is the offspring of a load of beautiful nonsense. Oh Callooh! Callay! Mr Carol.


How do you figure that "wocky" has its roots in Latin? I have looked it up and I know 1. that there are no W's used in the Latin language so the only word close os voco, vocare which means "to call". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

In note 7-10 in Barry Mazur's "Imagining Numbers" it's speculated that the "Jabberwocky" is derived from "Kitāb al-jabr wa al-muqābala", the ninth-century work of mathematician Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, also noting that in Carroll's book the word appears first written from right to left, like Arabic.

Pronounced as "Bath"?[edit]

This might be a very stupid question, but Lewis is English and pronounces his "bath" as "bahth," not "baeth" (short 'a' as in the North American English form, like "cat")--right? So it would be "rath" like "wroth" and not similar to the NAE "rash"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kilyle (talkcontribs)

He was a northerner (born in Cheshire), and pronounced bath the same way that Wordsworth, Ted Hughes, Tony Harrison, and probably most people in the UK do: with a short "a".
chocolateboy 04:07, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

"Carroll emphasized in the introduction to The Hunting of the Snark that the initial syllable of borogove is pronounced as in borrow, rather than as in worry." Can you tell me how Carroll might have pronounced "borrow" and "worry"? I've, uh, changed my last name to Borogove, you see. Kaleja 00:38, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

"Borrow" like "tomorrow" and "worry" like "hurry".
chocolateboy 09:36, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Image linked?[edit]

Why is the illustration linked instead of shown? I have never edited images, so I am hesitant to change it -- though I could research how it works and be bold --Scix 19:28, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Forget it, I seem to have gone insane. --Scix 19:29, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Reference in The Elder Scrolls series?[edit]

One of the the quest rewards is a staff called the Wabbajack. It's different in sound and it's not a precise enough anagram of Jabberwock to suggest a reference, but the Daedric Prince who gives it to you is Sheogorath, whose sphere is madness. His behavior, and the staff's ability are both nonsensical enough to suggest a reference, but I might just be grasping at straws here. -- 08:55, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Page Bloat[edit]

Many of the references in popular culture and derivative works are non-notable. I suggest we pare this list down to the essentials, removing much of the cruft that has accumulated. leontes 23:30, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

I've took away the majority of refences towards in popular culture and gaming lists. If people feel they are necessary, possibly spinning of the information to seperate articles may be preferable than to adding them back in, as the list was becoming ungainly and full of unnotable sources. The derivative works portion could also do with some major trimming leontes 01:47, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
I've removed the bits I think can go with little loss. Thincat 11:29, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
After a rather abrubt revert saying "discuss it just don't delete it", here is discussion as to why things should be changed in the page. First off all, the jabberwock picture is too large as it is, it is larger than any other picture on the page, and stylistically, I personally think it should be smaller The statement "Jabberwocky is also a popular Choral piece, often performed with choreography and props." Has no citation nor any explanation as to its importance. Choral piece? To what music? In what format? Ever scholastically? The statement ""Jabberwocky" (voiced by Rogue) appears as track 5 on The Crüxshadows CD single "Tears", released December 4, 2001 on the Dancing Ferret Discs label." is not wikilinked, and has no explanation of importance... Who is rogue? Is Dancent ferret discs important? Did it have any cultural impact? Also, Tempest115, why did you revert my edit, did you see I wikilinked some things? Why would you change those wikilinks, do you feel this article is better without wikilinks? The addition of the mimsy of the borogroves movie and film, even though references the poem, don't't deal with the content of the poem, only the use of one word, mimsy, for the use of a character in the story... Is that really notable? Why is the super-nintendo game important? What does it say beyond the beginning of the paragraph which says "The creatures and characters of the poem are often referenced or cited in popular culture, leading to many appearances in many mediums since its writing." Is that not covered, why mention the super nintendo meantioned at all? Why mention the simpsons article? Anyone disagree with these changes? I personally think we should keep the list clean and concise on this page, dealing with notable references to the poem. If a list is necessary, possibly a page cultural influnces of Jabberywocky may be in order, however, I think they certainly don't belong on this page leontes 03:20, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
I mostly agree with Leontes with one main exception: I think the note about The Last Mimzy and Mimsy were the Borogoves is probably okay. Being the inspiration for a well-known story and major Hollywood film is pretty noteworthy. But the rest of it, obscure song references and such, is probably best left out of the article. Oh, and 500px is wayyyy too big for the article. On many monitors that's going to stretch across more than half the screen and look ridiculous. --JayHenry 03:53, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
Sorry about that. I tried to get it to fit around the text, but after I saved the page I realized it was much to big, but I didn't get a chance to change it. Oops. InsidiousTweevle 17:06, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
I resized the picture and made the changes again, one at a time... I removed the Mimsy mention from the paragraph as it is still mentioned in the see also section and seems reduntant to have twice, if better served in this section, feel free to readd. I still believe the Simpson's comic mention is unnecessary. What is consensus, keep or remove? leontes 15:49, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
Good work, Leontes, I think it looks great. I'd vote to remove the Simpson's comics reference as it's pretty trivial. Having Mimsy were the Borogoves in the See Also section is just fine, IMO. Just as long as it's included somewhere. --JayHenry 16:28, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
Looks good to me. I agree that the Simpsons comics bit doesn't really deserve a paragraph to itself. Perhaps if there were a short list of references or something it could be mentioned there? Anyway, good job. InsidiousTweevle 20:16, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
According to the fiver pillars of wikipedia Wikipedia:Five pillars and WP:Trivia all non-notable references must go. This includes everything that is non-notable, but merely references. It's tempting to include every mention of jabberwocky everywhere, but they just aren't notable. A short paragraph explication is all we need. 04:41, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Another Spanish Translation[edit]

There is at least one more translation into Spanish, in which "the mome raths outgrabe" is rendered as "rugestornuflan agregues los zaes." Erudil 16:57, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Remove translations?[edit]

Late last year, some were discussing the removal of the translations of the first stanza. Is anyone really against this? It seems a little extraneous to have so many foreign translations in the English Wikipedia. On a lighter note, the only reason I'm reading this page is because the poem was mentioned here. --Brandon Dilbeck 06:12, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree that they should be removed or taken to their own article. Jabberwocky in translation or the like. The casual reader won't be interested in the translation, although it is interesting. leontes 14:12, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree, there are too many here....and people just keep adding more. Put them in a separate article. --JW1805 (Talk) 15:27, 7 July 2007 (UTC)
I agree, a casual reader would get nothing out of them; since the original was written in English the translations don't contribute anything to the understanding of the poem.AshcroftIleum 05:01, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Possible vandalism?[edit]

The first stanza of the poem originally appeared in Mischmasch, a periodical that Carroll wrote and illustrated for the amusement of his family. It was entitled "Stanza of Anglo-Saxon Poetry." Carroll also gave translations of some of the words which are different from Humpty Dumpty's. 17:36, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Humpty Dumpty was in the book "Through the Looking Glass", and he gave some explanations of the words. So it's fine. 02:09, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Derivative works[edit]

Don't shoot me, I appreciate all the work done to reduce bloating, but I still think the article should mention the vast amount of tributes and parodies out there. I also think it should show the two approaches writers have taken (i.e. altering words, or using it as poetic form) and mentioned one writer for each approach (deliberately choosing authors with wikipedia articles to avoid non-notable content). Should I add the first stanzas to give a sense of what I mean, or would that weigh down the section? (I guess the real question is - is it clear enough the way it is now?) AshcroftIleum 04:31, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Strunklemiss is awesome; I think it's a great example. I think the link is enough though, no need to add stanzas or anything. I don't know the specific Frank Jacobs version, I think he's had a few, but I guess it's as good of an example as any other variation. 16:22, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Deleting my Niven reference was beyond petty. Good grief. It's not exactly like the numerous references to the Bandersnatch in the large body of work encompassing Niven's "known space" universe is "minor".

Great heaping amounts of trivia remain, yet, a reference to a major writer's use of the word -- likely the largest current-era use of the term -- is DELETED?

I sense that -someone- does not like Larry Niven. I cannot think of any other reason for the deletion, short of garden variety vandalism.

In any case, I won't bother to re-insert it. My life is too short for the kind of crap that would inevitably ensue (i.e., the NivenClipper would delete it again, and then I'd have to either reinsert it -- only to have him delete it AGAIN, or, leave it deleted.) At my point in life, I have better things to do with my time than engage in pointless urinary matches with strangers.

My win, Wikipedia's loss: the vandals/pathlogical editors win again, but I get to move on with my life. 03:03, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

I wouldn't take it personally. It looks like that editor removed your reference because it was better suited under the bandersnatch article. So, Larry Niven's work is still covered, just not on this article. I wouldn't worry about it too much (and, of course, WP:AGF). --Midnightdreary 03:13, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Peer review[edit]

I have completed a peer review on this article, almost a year after it was requested. It can be viewed here: Wikipedia:Peer review/Jabberwocky/archive1. Not sure why there was such a delay!! --Midnightdreary 11:53, 2 September 2007 (UTC)


I suggest we tolemn this article into bredgil phosonders. (talk) 06:33, 15 September 2008 (UTC)


Although the article quotes Carroll as saying "make the 'g' hard in 'gyre' and 'gimble'," the U.S. English audio file uses a soft "g." This should either be replaced with a correctly pronounced audio file or removed entirely. Altgeld (talk) 22:24, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

What is the point of having a US English version at all? It is a British English poem written by a British English person. Roger (talk) 21:04, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
I thought that the point was pronunciation assistance on the nonsense words in different dialects. You can't expect Americans to speak in a British accent when reading a British poem. While I suppose it's easy enough to convert in your head, it's not completely ridiculous to want to hear the nonsense words with American vowel sounds, so that you can pronounce them to match the rest of your speech. This sort of thing is especially important with poetry.
However, I agree that the American version had problems. It bugged me last time I looked this article up and I think the article is improved without it. APL (talk) 04:11, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

There are several problems with the American English version - not the least of which is that the speaker sounds Canadian. Listen, for example, as the "MUMraths aOOTgrabe." As to the entry text itself, the pronunciation is given twice - under both the "Glossary" and "Pronunciation" headings - both citing the same source. Redundant = bad. (talk) 04:27, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Now 2018, and the soft "g"s and "mum" are still there! Ridiculous! 2601:545:8202:4EA5:A521:4CA2:669F:F08 (talk) 00:24, 26 January 2018 (UTC)

Possible influence on JabbaWockeeZ[edit]

I think this is where the JabbaWockeeZ , from America's Best Dance Crew, may have chosen their groups name. Just think it could be mentioned... (talk) 15:15, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

All we need is to find a place where one of the dance crews' members states that's the case or an authoritative source reports that that is true, and we can add it in. —Peco! Peco!TALK 17:55, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
Not necessarily. I agree with Eureka's removal of these links, per the inclusion criteria of "limit your additions to works that use the poem as an integral part of their makeup."
If JabbaWockeeZ just use the word "Jabberwocky" as an inspiration for their group's name, then that is not a notable detail for this poem's article (though it would obviously be worth mentioning at the JabbaWockeeZ's own article, if/when there is one) - whereas if they somehow integrate concepts from the poem into their dance routines, then that would make them a potentially notable derivative work.
I hope that clarifies things. -- Quiddity (talk) 18:47, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, yes. I agree. Good call. I was focusing on the NOR policy and not thinking about the fact that they probably haven't used the poem as inspiration for their dances ;-) Good call. —Peco! Peco!TALK 16:12, 13 March 2009 (UTC)


If someone translated 'Jabberwocky' into a modern version, it would help. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:11, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure I follow what you mean by a Modern Version. The Jabberwocky is written mostly in modern "English". —Peco! Peco!TALK 13:46, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Edits by and reverts[edit]

This user has made edits to this page that I consider disruptive; thus I have reverted them, but the user didn't agree and reverted again. Since similar edits have been made to a number of other articles, I am discussing the issue at User talk:; I say this in case anyone is wondering whether any discussion about it is going on at all. --LjL (talk) 01:56, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

What are the "absurd ones"? -lysdexia 02:11, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
What "absurd ones", where did I say that? I probably forgot. If you mean the changes you did to this article that I find a little absurd, then mainly:
  • capable of extending its neck -> capable of outstretchan one's neck
  • Manxome: Fearsome; the word is of unknown origin. Its stem may be manic. [in other edits, you cited a number of other "possible" stems; where's your source?]

Other changes were simply a little gratuitous, as I said in the edit summary, such as:

  • A swift moving creature -> A swift-going creature
  • A thin shabby-looking bird -> A gaunt shabby-looking bird

but no big deal here.

--LjL (talk) 02:22, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Vorpal sword[edit]

This has no great independent significance and is not particularly large. It should be merged here.- (User) Wolfkeeper (Talk) 03:22, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

This proposal has sat way too long so I have completed the merge. Please feel free to undo or modify this as you may see fit. --Mcorazao (talk) 18:27, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Reverted. (talk) 16:38, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
There doesn't seem to be any consensus to merge, and with the now extensive "popular culture" material, Vorpal sword now seems to be of sufficient length to stand alone. -- Radagast3 (talk) 14:20, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

Derivative Works[edit]

This section is trivial. I don't think it belongs on this page. Pollinosisss (talk) 01:51, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

I've tried to keep the list under control by pruning and adding warning messages, but I've been unable to keep up with the increasingly trivial additions. At the very least, the section needs to be trimmed dramatically. - Eureka Lott 15:09, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
The title of the section is "Derivative Works." If the work isn't heavily based on the poem to the extent of possible copyright infringement, and just uses the word or a mere reference, it can hardly be called derivative. Ong elvin (talk) 13:45, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

Re the above I have cut the Derivative works section. Every famous work inspires hundreds of other creations. This list is not comprehensive or notable. WP:TRIV says "Trivia sections should be avoided." Spanglej (talk) 05:15, 14 September 2010 (UTC)


Burbled – Possibly a mixture of "bleat", "murmur", and "warble".[8] Burble is also a pre-existing word, circa 1303, meaning to form bubbles as in boiling water. The dutch word broebelen still remains this meaning of bubbling boiling water.

Where does "bleat" fit into this? It seems like a combination of bubbled and warbled more than anything. Also, burble apparently existed as a word for bubble too. I just don't see how bleat could fit in more than bubble. Additionally, there's no source. I'm a complete wikipedia newb, and I'm hesitant to change it though. Thoughts? (talk) 23:54, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

There is a source; you just missed it. "Bleat", "murmur", and "warble" is Carroll's own suggestion, although he made it up AFTER he coined the word (or subconsciously borrowed an older word and thought he coined it, which I think is possible). Carlo (talk) 02:34, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Pronunciation of recording[edit]

I think there are several problems with the recording of the poem on this page:

  • The reader pronounces the "ome" in "manxome" as in "tome". Being a portmanteau of "manly" and "buxom", I would have thought "manxome" should be pronounced like "buxom".
  • The reader completely mispronounces the word "tulgey" as "tugley".
  • The reader seems to say "and with his head" instead of "and with its head". This is not so much of a problem as the other errors. --Hpesoj00 (talk) 16:25, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
You're right about "tugley." I've always pronounced "manxome" like "buxom," too, but I don't know that it's a portmanteau of "manly" and "buxom" - I don't recall Carroll ever saying this, and I suspect it's something that others have assumed after the fact. So the way we both pronounce it might be wrong. Carlo (talk) 15:03, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

how not to write a poem[edit]

"'Jabberwocky' was meant by Carroll as a satire designed to show how not to write a poem." This sounds apocryphal and far fetched, never mind that it stands in implicit contradiction with the previous statement that "[Jabberwocky's] structure is perfectly consistent with classic English poetry." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Orthotox (talkcontribs) 20:30, 1 May 2010

I dont totally agree w/ ol' Orthodox there, and might add...On & on you all go.. what's this word mean? or whats it's origin?etc etc.. folks, YES it IS a non-sense poem, but it is ALSO a SOUND poem... it didnt matter what words or non-words were used(or even if they had ANY meaning), it got the point across.. somebody killed something. and that's all, that's it. Chaplin did this very well in 'Modern Times' restaurant scene, near end of movie.. mouthing sounds, pantomiming action and GETS the story across, perfectly well. And that's why, how it works.. makes sense?? crazy words in a "structure.. perfectly consistent with classic English poetry." Geez, folks, lighten up, he was having fun. 2602:304:CDAF:A3D0:C0C2:125A:C5C6:B8AF (talk) 05:03, 5 January 2016 (UTC)

Similar word for Burble also in German[edit]

"Possibly a mixture of "bleat", "murmur", and "warble". Burble is also a pre-existing word, circa 1303, meaning to form bubbles as in boiling water. The Dutch word broebelen still retains this meaning of bubbling boiling water."

The word blubbern, which sounds very close to "broebelen", also exists in German. I am Swiss, but I think it is also used in Germany, I'm not sure. It's "blubbere" in Swiss German. -- (talk) 10:10, 14 May 2010 (UTC) (lKj)

Origin of, and relation of snicker-snack and vorpal[edit]

The article on vorpal sword mentioned that "vorpal" can be formed by taking letters alternately from "verbal" and "gospel". This and the fact that "snicker-snack" looks very similar to a swedish term "snickesnack" meaning "rubbish" as in deceitful or nonsensical talk, could be added to the article. I have no sources though since this is my own theory and the term could possibly be too modern for Carroll to have known of it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:47, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for your comment. I've added the note about "vorpal" as you've suggested. Wikipedia can't accept your idea about snicker-snack, though, as there is a policy against original research – only ideas already found in reliable sources can be included. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 14:10, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Incorrect grammar usage[edit]

Thought I'd point out there are numerous instances where grammar is weak. I only skimmed the Translations section (Translations ), but even in the first sentence I saw errors.

Anyone feel up to the task of rewriting the section? (I didn't read the rest of the article, but it may suffer similar problems) (talk) 22:11, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Current problems with this page[edit]

(1) Pronunciation of "gyre". I know that Carroll specified a hard g, but that's because the word is derived from gyroscope, which had a hard g in his day but is (universally, I believe) pronounced with a soft g in our times. Worth explaining, I feel.

(2) Carroll wrote many poems parodies ... They have become generally more well known than the originals they are based on, and this is certainly the case with "Jabberwocky"

This sentence implies that "Jabberwocky" is a parody, which is highly controversial, and no-one that I'm aware of has put forth a convincing claim and shown what original it is a parody of. I haven't read the book cited as a reference for the above sentence, so I don't know whether it does actually make this claim.

(3) The whole section about Vogon Jeltz's poem. The poem isn't titled "Oh Freddled Gruntbuggly" (in HHGG chapter 7, where it occurs, no title is mentioned at all). No source is given for the (astonishing) claim that it's based in some way on Jabberwocky (though that HHGG elsewhere makes reference to Carroll is true). (talk) 23:16, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

Just a comment on #1, I've always pronounced "gyre" with a hard g. It might be because I'm not a native English speaker or because I'm used to pronouncing scientific names (and both Greek gŷros and Latin gȳrus are pronounced with a hard g).
As for the rest, as much as I love this poem, I'm no literary historian, heh. Please feel free to change them per WP:BOLD, just make sure to explain your edits, maintain a neutral tone, and most importantly, always provide a reliable source. Unsourced information in the article can be deleted at any time. If you feel they are inaccurate, you may remove them.-- ObsidinSoul 00:09, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
The offered source makes a connection between Douglas' poem and "Jabberwocky". Fair enough about the title of "Oh Freddled Gruntbuggly". Please do add the "Gyre" note into the article if there is a strong source. Five sources are given that suggest "Jabberwocky" is a poem parody. (See article). "Jabberwocky back to Old English: Nonsense, Anglo-Saxon and Oxford" by Lucas, Peter J. in Language History and Linguistic Modelling (1997) pp503-520 ISBN 978-3-11-014504-5; Hudson, Derek (1977) Lewis Carroll: an illustrated biography. Crown Publishers p76; Green, Roger Lancelyn (1970) The Lewis Carroll Handbook, "Jabberwocky, and other parodies" : Dawson of Pall Mall, London; Prickett, Stephen (2005) in Victorian Fantasy. Baylor University Press p113 ISBN 1-932792-30-9; Chesterton, G. K (1953) "Lewis Carroll" in A Handful of Authors, ed. Dorothy Collins, Sheed and Ward, London. Best wishes Span (talk) 13:34, 5 July 2011 (UTC)


I have removed the section on the neuro-lingustics of nonsense sentences. The fact that they happen to be called "Jabberwocky" phrases does not mean they are about the poem in any real sense. Cusop Dingle (talk) 17:43, 21 December 2011 (UTC)


I can't check but does the reference used on the definition of Gimbal makes sense/is actually where the word came from in this poem? Etymology of the word gimbal suggest it has been around since the 1600s at least, but maybe the author did not know of it. Gimbal. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:33, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

That definition of 'gimble' is spoken by Humpty. As it mentions in the article, the poem is designed not to make much sense. It is a satire on pretentious verse. I've added the Oxford English Dictionary definition on Gimbal. Thanks for that. Span (talk) 12:42, 10 May 2013 (UTC)


Re today's IP edit, I checked the reference and Carroll was definitely discussing publication formats with Macmillian in 1868. The WP article doesn't suggest there was a 1868 edition of the book, just that it was in the process of being put together. Span (talk) 09:51, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

I've linked the diff, in your comment, for future reference (when "today" is no longer today ;) Hope that's ok. –Quiddity (talk) 19:16, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
Sure. Thanks. Span (talk) 19:24, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

Brillig a Dutch word?[edit]

See [1] and [2]--Nowa (talk) 00:55, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

Needing Protection[edit]

Consistent vandalism on this article, perhaps a protect or semi protect would help. Konveyor Belt express your horror at my edits 18:28, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

It's done. Span (talk) 12:54, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

I would like to add to the section regarding 'Jabberwocky in Other Media'. The American progressive rock band, Ambrosia, recited Jabberwocky during 'Mama Frog'. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kmhat (talkcontribs) 21:40, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

But would that tell us anything about the poem or the poet? Has it altered the way in which people today understand the poem? Has a critic discussed this song in a way that reflects on the nature of the poem? Why would readers of this article think that this recitation is relevant? It is possibly appropriate for a mention at Ambrosia (band) – I really don't know. Thincat (talk) 22:17, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Greedy adam perfoming[edit]

The Israeli band Greedy Adam performed this song at 2013, can we add this information somehow? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:47, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

Recent change[edit]

It say something, not flesh. Hafspajen (talk) 03:33, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

Kindly provide reference[edit]

Kindly provide reference, the original collection of texts said Samuil Marshak. It was a text I added myself, from a translation from an other Wikipedia. And I need a reference, if you want to change it. --Hafspajen (talk) 01:55, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

This translation of the poem (Бармаглот / Barmaglot) first appeared in 1967 translation of the book made by Nina Demurova and Dina Orlovskaya. Indeed, the book referenced Samuil Marshak (who died in 1964) as one of the translators, because three of his earlier translations (You Are Old, Father William, The Mock Turtle's Song and Humpty Dumpty) were used in this version. Later editions reference four translators: Nina Demurova (who did the prosaic part of the book) and Samuil Marshak, Dina Orlovskaya and Olga Sedakova as the translators of verses. The following is said in the translator's afterword by Nina Demurova (from this Russian edition: 1992 PRESSA, pp. 298-299):

Приступая к работе над сказками Кэрролла в начале 60-х годов, мы включили в текст переводы С. Я. Маршака, давно уже ставшие достоянием русской культуры. Для издания 1967 г. остальные стихи перевела Д. Г. Орловская. Три года спустя Дины Григорьевны Орловской не стало. Труд по подготовке стихотворной части настоящего издания взяла на себя Ольга Александровна Седакова. Таким образом, за исключением отдельных, специально оговоренных случаев, переводы стихов в этом издании осуществлены С. Я. Маршаком, Д. Г. Орловской и О. А. Седаковой.
С. Я. Маршаку принадлежат переводы стих. "Папа Вильям", "Морская кадриль", "Шалтай-Болтай" в тексте самих сказок.
Д. Г. Орловской принадлежат переводы стихотворений в тексте обеих сказок Кэролла: "Июльский полдень золотой", "Цап-царап сказал мышке", "Лупите своего сынка", "Дитя с безоблачным челом", "Бармаглот", "Раз Труляля и Траляля", "Морж и плотник", "Зимой, когда белы поля", "Вел за корону смертный бой со Львом Единорог", "Сидящий на стене", "Королева Алиса на праздник зовет", "Загадка Белой Королевы", "Ах, какой был яркий день".
О. Л. Седаковой принадлежат переводы стихов в тексте сказок: "Как дорожит своим хвостом", "Еда вечерняя", "Ты мигаешь, филин мой", "Дама Червей", "Колыбельная", а также стихотворные переводы в комментарии Гарднера и "Приложениях", за исключением специально оговоренных случаев.

In short, most of the poems (including 'Jabberwocky') were translated by Dina Orlovskaya (who died in 1969), three by Samuel Marshak and some of the remaining by Olga Sedakova. Russian Wikipedia articles ru:Бармаглот and ru:Алиса в Зазеркалье mention Dina Orlovskaya as the translator of 'Jabberwocky', so as Russian sources like Vek Perevoda. Sadly, I have no idea what other "original collection of texts" or "other Wikipedia" might be referring Samuil Marshak. — Dangaard (talk) 16:10, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
OK; in that case please add it. With reference. Hafspajen (talk) 20:10, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

File:Jabberwocky.jpg to appear as POTD soon[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:Jabberwocky.jpg will be appearing as picture of the day on April 1, 2017. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2017-04-01. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page. — Chris Woodrich (talk) 01:55, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

The Jabberwock, the titular creature of Lewis Carroll's nonsense poem "Jabberwocky". First included in Carroll's novel Through the Looking-Glass (1871), the poem was illustrated by John Tenniel, who gave the creature "the leathery wings of a pterodactyl and the long scaly neck and tail of a sauropod". "Jabberwocky" is considered one of the greatest nonsense poems written in English, and has contributed such nonsense words and neologisms as galumphing and chortle to the English lexicon.Illustration: John Tenniel

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Lewis Padgett[edit]

Shame on you for not linking to Mimsy Were the Borogoves which is the best inspiration of Jabberwocky I know of. Tddpirate (talk) 05:06, 5 February 2019 (UTC)

Article assumes it's a parody[edit]

In the section on "Linguistics and poetics", it says:

'Carroll wrote many poem parodies such as "Twinkle, twinkle little bat", "You Are Old, Father William" and "How Doth the Little Crocodile?" Some have become generally better known than the originals on which they are based, and this is certainly the case with "Jabberwocky".'

This suggests that "Jabberwocky" is a parody, for which there's no clear evidence. GDBarry (talk) 18:50, 10 February 2019 (UTC)

References are given the reception section. Anna (talk) 13:46, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
There's nothing in that section to suggest that "Jabberwocky" is a parody of another poem. What's the original supposed to be?GDBarry (talk) 20:21, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
Parody of a genre. "According to Chesterton and Green and others, the original purpose of "Jabberwocky" was to satirise both pretentious verse and ignorant literary critics." Anna (talk) 23:01, 17 February 2019 (UTC)

Pronunciation like gyroscope. Since this was how "gyroscope" was pronounced in Carroll's day.[edit]

Jabberwocky is from 1855 but Gyroscope, was coined in 1856 by physicist Leon Foucault. (talk) 08:01, 24 April 2019 (UTC)

The refs are given. The term was coined in 1852. Anna (talk) 19:20, 24 April 2019 (UTC)
OK, I've fixed the Wiktionary entry now. (talk) 09:40, 28 April 2019 (UTC)

Do borogoves make their nests under sundials?[edit]

In the current article (July 2, 2019)

Borogove: Following the poem Humpty Dumpty says: " 'borogove' is a thin shabby-looking bird with its feathers sticking out all round, something like a live mop." In explanatory book notes Carroll describes it further as "an extinct kind of Parrot. They had no wings, beaks turned up, made their nests under sun-dials and lived on veal."[19]

The "explanatory book" is not cited in the article. The text "an extinct kind of Parrot. They had no wings, beaks turned up, made their nests under sun-dials and lived on veal." actually comes from an earlier work. See: Lewis Carroll juvenilia: 'Stanza of Anglo-Saxon Poetry'

The origins of ‘The Jabberwocky’

Lewis Carroll composed the first stanza to his famous nonsense poem, ‘The Jabberwocky’, more than a decade before it was incorporated into Through the Looking-Glass; and What Alice Found There (1871). It first appeared under the title ‘A Stanza of Anglo-Saxon Poetry’ in Mischmasch, one of the many family magazines that, with his 10 siblings, Carroll wrote, illustrated and edited. Both versions are identical in wording, although Carroll provides different translations of the invented portmanteau words.

Hence I'm going to delete this sentence from the article:

In explanatory book notes Carroll describes it further as "an extinct kind of Parrot. They had no wings, beaks turned up, made their nests under sun-dials and lived on veal.

Pmokeefe (talk) 13:55, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

Hi, A citation is given for the quote. Do you take issue with the reference? I am not clear. Thanks. Anna (talk) 20:35, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
Carroll gave two different explanations for some terms in Jabberwocky in Through the Looking Glass and Mischmasch, including borogove. In other cases the article gave both versions, and indicated which was which, so I re-edited the section for borogove in that manner.

Pmokeefe (talk) 06:11, 3 July 2019 (UTC)