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  1. #1
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    Default through the thick of his thumb

    Some time ago I asked here for a limerick with ‘th’ sounds
    I've started practicing it and now I do not understand one phrase from it. Here it is (in bold):

    Theophilus Thistle, the successful thistle-sifter,
    in sifting a sieve full of un-sifted thistles,
    thrust three thousand thistles through the thick of his thumb.
    Now, if Theophilus Thistle, the successful thistle-sifter,
    in sifting a sieve full of un-sifted thistles,
    thrust three thousand thistles through the thick of his thumb,
    see that thou, in sifting a sieve full of un-sifted thistles,
    thrust not three thousand thistles through the thick of thy thumb.
    Success to the successful thistle-sifter!

    I do not understand what Theophilus did to his thumb/what happened to his thumb

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: through the thick of his thumb

    The "thick of his thumb" = the pad on the upper joint of his thumb.
    He pushed 3000 thistles through it.

    There is no real meaning - this is a tongue twister, so it is the combination of sounds that matter, not the content

  3. #3
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    Default Re: through the thick of his thumb

    So to say "thrust three thousand thistles through the thick of one's thumb" is sheer nonsense?
    I thought perhaps it could mean that his thumb got 'tired" or something because of all those thistles ))
    I can see that being a limerick it does not have to make much sense but still, suppose, I had to explain it/translate it in my language to somebody... ))
    They'd think I just did not understand :)

  4. #4
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: through the thick of his thumb

    Just to make something clear - this is not a limerick. It is a tongue-twister. A limerick is specifically a humorous five-line anapestic poem with a rhyme scheme aabba.

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