2020: XXII

Da Petit Poucet a Tompusse, un concatenamento onimico

Roberto Randaccio
independent scholar

Pubblicato 2021-04-16

Parole chiave

  • 19th century literature,
  • 19th century newspapers,
  • Perrault,
  • Collodi,
  • Barnum


In the second half of the nineteenth century, the famous American dwarf, Charles Stratton, called Tom Thumb, toured Europe with the theatrical show organized for him by Phineas Barnum, enjoying international success and fame. His name, changed to Tom Pouce, became synonymous in Italy with a ‘very small person or thing’: a frequently repeated antonomasia, with phonetic and graphic adaptations of the nickname. This paper aims to show the significance and repeated testimonies of this artistic name in the newspapers and books of the time, until its definitive lexicographic attestation.