Who, or what, was a Little Tommy Tucker?
Little ‘Tommy Tucker’ referred to in the words of this nursery rhyme was a colloquial term that was commonly used to describe orphans – Little Tommy Tucker . The orphans were often reduced to begging or ‘singing for their supper’. The reference to Little Tommy Tucker marrying and the lack of a wife reflects the difficulty of any orphan being able to marry due to their exceptionally low standing within the community. The first publication date for Little Tommy Tucker was 1829.
Little Tommy Tucker
Little Tommy Tucker sings for his supper,
What shall we give him? Brown bread and butter.
How shall he cut it without a knife?
How shall he marry without a wife?