We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Who is Humpty Dumpty?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Humpty Dumpty is a character in a well-known English nursery rhyme. The rhyme reads: “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall/Humpty Dumpty had a great fall/All the king's horses and all the king's men/Couldn't put Humpty back together again.” Many English speakers are familiar with this rhyme, since it is often included in collections of rhymes, most notably the Mother Goose collection.

Most modern English speakers assume that Humpty Dumpty is an anthropomorphized egg, not least because many illustrated children's books depict Humpty as an egg. However, at the time the rhyme was coined, “humpty dumpty” was a slang term for someone short, fat, and clumsy, as evidenced in numerous other rhymes and poems dating to around the same period.

Some people have also suggested that Humpty Dumpty may be a stand-in for a real historical figure, such as the disgraced Cardinal Wolsey or the English King Richard III. Originally, the rhyme was posed as a riddle, but since the rhyme has become so well-known, it is rarely presented as a riddle. In the riddle, the answer was “an egg,” and the “humpty dumpty” was included as a reference to distract people.

Humpty Dumpty has become so well known that he has appeared on his own. Through the Looking Glass, an 1871 book by Lewis Carroll, features a strange interaction with him, and he has even been referenced in court cases and judicial decisions. The line “all the king's horses and all the king's men” has also spawned a number of cultural references, with numerous books, songs, and films including the line.

He also sometimes appears in illustrations for children's books as a background figure who is instantly recognizable, as eggs are unusual characters, even in nursery rhymes. In many depictions, Humpty Dumpty is shown in a neat suit with a bowtie, giving him a rather fastidious appearance.

This literary figurehead is also borrowed as an illustrative figure for the Humpty Dumpty Association, an organization which focuses on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of traumatic brain injuries. Brain injuries are often more problematic than other physical injuries because the brain cannot be put back together again after a catastrophic injury.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By anon258802 — On Apr 03, 2012

I would really like to know what that riddle was.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.