One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A very small person or fictional being.
very small person, person of restricted growthView synonyms
- ‘A thumbling stepped out of the bushes into the tiny clearing around the tree in which they hid.’
- ‘Later the thumbling flies to Africa aboard a stork.’
- ‘It was well for the little thumbling that he did not see the smile on his sister's and brother's faces.’
- ‘When Tom is identified as a thumbling, he has been speaking to a dragonfly larva also about to undergo a metamorphosis.’
- ‘A thief steals the oxen and, hearing the thumbling's angry voice, takes him to be a ghost.’
Mid 19th century: from thumb + -ling.
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