Talk:Tikki Tikki Tembo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Find sources: "Tikki Tikki Tembo" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · HighBeam · JSTOR · free images · free news sources · The Wikipedia Library · NYT · WP reference


This article needs someone to find out:

  • When the story was originally written.
  • A list of all the forms of the name, and what their origins are.
  • What print versions of the story exist.
  • Etc.

Maybe someone can do a little more research on this? Arlene Mosel didn't write this story until 1968 (copyright of book) and Paul Wing's version entitled "Long Name No Can Say" was in 1965 on the reverse side of a Disney Story LP (think it was either Snow White or Cinderella). Ultimately, my mother has been reciting this since the 1950's as "Nikki Nikki Tombo No So Rombo Alabala Buskie Bombo Bee Chi" which from what I understand was a common version sung/chanted in the mid to late 40's at many an East Coast US Summer Camp. The story they were told, more often than not, ended up with "Nikki" drowning in the well due to the length of his name and the fact that in China it would be disrespectful to not say ones entire name. So, the brother told the name to the farmer who told to the mother who told to the...etc. When they arrived at the well with the ladder, too much time had passed and "Nikki" had drowned. The moral of the story is why those of China have SHORT names and why the HONOR of such a long name has a heavy consequence. I also took note that Nikki Nikki was changed to Tikki Tikki for Political Correctness and that Disney forced Paul Wing to change the ending for it to be "Disney-fied". The previous text was moved from the article. -- Whpq 16:55, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

I found nothing mentioning Paul Wing and long name or anything mentioning Nikki Nikki. -- Suntag 01:26, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
I lack an advanced degree in Chinese nomenclature, but it's common enough knowledge that
  • Chinese names began short and have gotten longer (where "longer" means three syllables)
  • Two-character Chinese surnames had a brief heyday after two-character personal names were banned, but have become very uncommon
  • what is common is finding esoteric characters: a more accurate version of the story might involve the younger brother trying to communicate with Chinese who don't speak his dialect; every time they try to write his brother's name (齸), he has to tell them that "no, it's not that one either" since there are 200+ characters pronounced
  • the Chinese naming taboo had nothing to do with saying the whole name. It was a ban on speaking the name at all if you were in a position of social inferiority or equality. In the "accurate version" above, another reason the little brother would have to write the name is that he was never permitted to speak his brother's actual name, even in reference to other relatives. There would be an entirely separate name he would use; most often he would simply call him "Elder Brother".
  • for an article complaining about "nonsense Chinese", it should do more homework itself: "paper" and "chapter" are the modern common nouns written 张; it has nothing at all to do with the origin of the name itself.
So the characters should really have been Thai or minorities from northern or western China. But China's big and it's had minorities all over for millennia; the point of the story is rather outside of culture. The only mistake would be having the reader feel it reflected any reality in the history of the Han people. — LlywelynII 01:18, 11 April 2012 (UTC)


Some folks here assert that there is actually a Japanese folktale with this idea. - Vonfraginoff 07:36, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

from Google's cache of as retrieved on 21 Jul 2006 02:28:49 GMT

The folktale of Jugemu is one of the most famous Rakugo in Japan. A couple could not think if a suitable name for their newborn baby boy, and so the father went to the temple and asked the chief priest to think of an auspicious name. The priest suggested several names, beginning with Jugemu. The father could not decide which name he preferred, and therefore gave the baby all of the names. Jugemu's full name is "Jugemu-jugemu gokōnosurikire kaijarisuigyo-no suigyōmatsu ungyōmatsu fūraimatsu kūnerutokoroni-sumutokoro yaburakōjino-burakōji paipopaipo-paiponoshūringan-shūringanno-gūrindaino ponpokopīno-ponpokonāno-chōkyūmeino-chōsuke". The recitation from memory of these names is a feature of the NHK children's tv programme "Nihongo de asobō" (Let's play with Japanese) ja:寿限無

Did Tikki tikki tembo drown?[edit]

I am sure there is a version of the story in which Tikki tikki tembo drowns as it says on the page. But the discussion at the first of the external links indicates that he survives in the book to which most of the article refers? Jess Cully (talk) 22:48, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

A 2002 print reads, "But little Tikki ... had been in the water so long, all because of his great long name, that the moon rose many times before he was quite the same again." -- Suntag 01:30, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
That's how I remember it ending when I was a kid (he survives), too. - Montréalais (talk) 04:58, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
Cf. bowdlerization. — LlywelynII 01:25, 11 April 2012 (UTC)


Editor Shrigley added (Chinese: , Dìjī Dìjī Téngbó) to the lede as though this were actually some kind of original title similar to the Analects of Confucius and Lunyu. Thing is, though, this is not anything like a translated actual story; it's a native English story full of nonsense Chinese and we should avoid making it look like anything else (WP:OR; WP:UNDUE).

If there is a Sinified version that translated the story into Chinese, source it and include it in the variations at the bottom of the article, but don't give the impression that this story has anything to do with actual Han culture or any native Chinese version. (See above.) — LlywelynII 01:32, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

In fact, this book has as much to do with Wikiproject: China as Maoist Korean War movies have to do with Wikiproject:USA. Removed. If anything, it's about Western culture and its Tintinesque indifference to letting actual foreign cultures get in the way of a good story. — LlywelynII 01:36, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Editing this page[edit]

I have made one edit to this page and that is just listing the full name, Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo- chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo. There is one user, somebody named slimjims_2006 who has been making inappropriate changes.

Señorabrooklyn (talk) 00:57, 6 June 2016 (UTC)

For ur information I did not do anything inappropriate I added some details that were irrelevant so yeah don't talk bad about me if u don't have the right facts👿👿👺👺💩💩💩 SlimJims 2006 (talk) 01:03, 6 June 2016 (UTC)

&slimjims2006. It was inappropriate. Inappropriate means things that are irrelevant to the topic in discussion or something that not proper, so yes you're changes were inappropriate as well as irrelevant Señorabrooklyn (talk) 01:08, 6 June 2016 (UTC)