Mimsy

from Lewis Carroll – Jabberwocky on Rap Genius

Meaning

“Well then, ‘mimsy’ is ‘flimsy and miserable’ (there’s another portmanteau for you).”

—Humpty-Dumpty, Through the Looking-Glass

In an explanation for his family, Carroll glossed the word as: “MIMSY (whence MIMSERABLE and MISERABLE). Unhappy.”

In The Annotated Alice, Martin Gardner notes:

Mimsy is the first of eight nonsense words in Jabberwocky that are used again in The Hunting of the Snark. It appears in Fit 7, verse 9: ‘And chanted in mimsiest tones.’ In Carroll’s time, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, mimsey (with an e) meant ‘prim, prudish, contemptible.’ Perhaps Carroll had this in mind.”

To help improve the meaning of these lyrics, visit “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll and leave a comment on the lyrics box