Monday, March 8, 2010

Hummel, hummel

This is an ABC Wednesday and MyWorld Tuesday post.
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This is the Hummelbrunnen (Hummel fountain) in Hamburg. It shows the watercarrier Hans Hummel (1787-1854) who apparently was a grouch and when children tried to annoy him by calling to him "Hummel! Hummel!", he answered with "Mors! Mors!" - which is short for the Low German Klei di an'n mors and means kiss my ass.

Sometimes it's said that Hummel Hummel - Mors, Mors is a greeting in Hamburg, but it's not and all you will probably get is a strange look. Sometimes people from Hamburg use it when they travel and meet another Hamburger, as a sort of verbal secret handshake and soldiers in WWI used it as a battlecry.
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Hans Hummel is what is called a Hamburger Original - a Original means someone with a peculiar personality or trait, someone everyone in the town recognized, Emperor Norton for example would certainly have qualified as a San Francisco Original.
Hummel is still very well known in Hamburg and apart from the fountain, there are colourful sculptures of him all over the city. They were auctioned to raise money for homeless people, but many owners allowed the sculptures to be left where they are. Here's a picture of one of them.

Just in case you don't know what a water carrier is: someone who carried water from the nearest public well to people's homes for a small fee. It was common in some places like Hamburg and Venice, for example, but not a widespread occupation.

18 comments:

Sylvia K said...

What an interesting post! Lovely photos and a fun read! Hope you have a great week!

Sylvia

Carolyn Ford said...

Very interesting! It's fun to learn something new by reading blogs! Thank you!

J Bar said...

Interesting monument.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Hazel said...

Mors Mors now I learned something :D I enjoyed your description. Nice shots. And by the way, my adventurous instict tells that image on your header will be an interesting place to explore if I were feeling brave and going with braver others. What and where is that?

Randi said...

What a lovely and interesting post.
Thanks for sharing.

Arija said...

Ha, ha, if you had not supplies 'die Ergaenzung' I would have. Nice post.

Bill said...

Thanks for explaining the Hummel Hummel saying. I was always intrigued what it means. I hear people who meet someone from Hamburg, immediately saying Hummel Hummel. Now i know why.

jabblog said...

Most informative! Poor old grump to be taunted by mischievous children.

Christine H. said...

What a wonderful post. I didn't know about Hummel, but somehow it reminds me a little bit of Herr von Ribbeck auf Ribbeck im Havelland (or his sons anyway.) I'm so glad to know about Hummel.

Tumblewords: said...

Fascinating post. Thank you!

LeAnn * ~ See Great Things said...

I loved reading about this! I had no idea of such an occupation.

photowannabe said...

I again learn something new. Fascinating and an interesting read.

jay said...

Interesting post! If I'm ever in Hamburg I will try to remember that! LOL!

Sheila @ A Postcard a Day said...

He doesn't look all that fierce! :)

shopannies said...

very interesting thanks for sharing

Manang Kim said...

Very interesting post I've learned a lot in this meme.

H for Hairdo

Roger Owen Green said...

Kiss my...well, all right then.

Interesting history.


On behalf of the ABC Wednesday team, thank you! - Ramblin' with Roger

Kelly L said...

very cool -

Love,
Kelly