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    #1

    Nellie the elephant

    Hello,

    I've just enjoyed listening to the song Nellie the elephant.I really can't decide what 'trump' and 'trumpety' refer to in the song.

    Do they refer to the sound an elephant makes with its trunk?

    Could you help me?

    Thank you very much,
    hety

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    #2

    Re: Nellie the elephant

    Nellie the elephant packed her trunk
    and said goodbye to the circus
    off she rode with a trumpety trump
    trump trump trump
    Nellie the elephant packed her trunk
    and trundled off to the jungle
    off she rode with a trumpety trump
    trump trump trump

    ==It's just a poetic device that conjures up the image of how an elephant might walk. Did it work? Did it give you a mental picture of Nellie leaving the circus?==

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    #3

    Re: Nellie the elephant

    Quote Originally Posted by heyt View Post
    Do they refer to the sound an elephant makes with its trunk?
    I do believe so. The sound the elephant makes with its trunk is the trumpet. "Trumpety" is not a true word--it's a neologism. It's an adjective created from the word "trumpet" like "rackety" (noisy) is created from "racket" (noise).

    "Trump" is also a neologism in my opinion. Although it is a word and it can mean the same as "trumpet", but this usage is rare and as far as I understand restricted to the musical instrument. The author of the verse simply needed a one-syllable word to have this stomp-like line ending, so they shortened "trumpet" to "trump".

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    #4

    Re: Nellie the elephant

    Quote Originally Posted by jlinger View Post
    It's just a poetic device that conjures up the image of how an elephant might walk.
    The best artistic rendition of the elephant's walk: YouTube - Henry Mancini: Baby Elephant Walk (Mancini, 1962)

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