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EvilGenius
11-04-2007, 06:02 PM
I just read the "definition" of pumpernickel bread and how it came to be named. I too, have always thought that it came from Napoleon's comment about the "black bread" he encountered when invading Russsia, and that he gave it to his horse Nico to try and if it didn't kill the horse, it was OK for his men to eat ("Bon por Nico"). Whether it is actually from the German "pumpern" or to fart, I don't know, but I was raised on the bread and it is not only delicious, but it doesn't cause gas (if properly made) ;) . It is a common bread found in delicatessens (literally means "delicate eating"), it is NOT indigestible!! So there. I have defended my childhood memory, and I think I'll stick with the Napoleon story. It is soooo much more interesting.......

Frank
11-04-2007, 06:07 PM
Welcome to the SDMB, EvilGenius. We have a forum specifically for comments on Staff Reports. I'll move this there.

Moved from IMHO to CoSR.


https://academicpursuits.us/mailbag/mpumpernickel.html

Johnny L.A.
11-04-2007, 06:17 PM
Pumperkickel reminds me of an old (and pretty bad) joke.

A guy is suffering from impotence, and he hears that pumperkickel will help cure it. He goes to a bakery and orders half a dozen loaves. The baker knows that that amount of bread will go stale before it can all be consumed, so he says 'It'll get pretty hard,' To which the man replied, 'Give me a dozen loaves!'

samclem
11-05-2007, 10:34 PM
I just read the "definition" of pumpernickel bread and how it came to be named. I too, have always thought that it came from Napoleon's comment about the "black bread" he encountered when invading Russsia, and that he gave it to his horse Nico to try and if it didn't kill the horse, it was OK for his men to eat ("Bon por Nico"). Whether it is actually from the German "pumpern" or to fart, I don't know, but I was raised on the bread and it is not only delicious, but it doesn't cause gas (if properly made) ;) . It is a common bread found in delicatessens (literally means "delicate eating"), it is NOT indigestible!! So there. I have defended my childhood memory, and I think I'll stick with the Napoleon story. It is soooo much more interesting....... Well, you made me do it. :)

I just sent to the OED the earliest cite for "pumpernickel/pompernickel" in English. 1740. http://books.google.com/books?id=xE4HAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA5&dq=pompernickel+date:1700-1740&as_brr=0

And the story is there about a Frenchman and his horse. The bread was only fit for his horse named "Nicholas."

So, keep dreaming about Napoleon. Sweet dreams.

AskNott
11-06-2007, 12:19 AM
Whatever the origin, it's mighty good eatin' :p I could prattle on about things that are delicious on it, but it's better you find out for yourself.In some recipes, the dark color comes from strong coffee, but sometimes, it's cocoa.

DSYoungEsq
11-06-2007, 06:09 AM
Well, you made me do it. :)

I just sent to the OED the earliest cite for "pumpernickel/pompernickel" in English. 1740. http://books.google.com/books?id=xE4HAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA5&dq=pompernickel+date:1700-1740&as_brr=0

And the story is there about a Frenchman and his horse. The bread was only fit for his horse named "Nicholas."

So, keep dreaming about Napoleon. Sweet dreams.
So you are saying that the horse story has a long history, and regardless of whether it represents the true German etymology, can't be dismissed out of hand as an origin, contrary to the opinion of Snopes and the OED, as reported by Ken?

hawthorne
11-06-2007, 07:15 AM
Cool, now it's a venerable horseshit etymology. Beautiful.

I wonder whether the sort of thing Samclem did would be a task that could be done by those distributed computing projects. It would obviously need the OED to run it. Perhaps it would need Google's cooperation too.

Mangetout
11-06-2007, 09:08 AM
I'm quite amazed. Usually when someone posts here with their preferred etymology, and especially when they end with "I'm sticking to my version", it's utter, contemptible bilge. But this time, it looks like the horsey version has at least quite an extensive history. Most unusual.

CalMeacham
11-06-2007, 10:18 AM
Whether it is actually from the German "pumpern" or to fart, I don't know, but I was raised on the bread and it is not only delicious, but it doesn't cause gas (if properly made) .

The impression I've gotten is that the name of the bread, "pumpernickel", comes from German for "Goblin Fart", and that it got that name because it was the dark peasant bread, and that "Goblin Fart" was the upper-class slang for the peasants. It's not that the bread causes flatulence -- it's that the upper-crust (Har!) and middle class purchasers of the bread were "slumming it" by buying a sort of likeable peasant "black bread" and calling it by the slang tetm for those bottom-dwellers. Kinda like "Hobo Stew", only if we had a nasty slang word for Hobos.

samclem
11-06-2007, 09:40 PM
My comment was only to suggest that the possible etymythology goes back quite a ways.

But, no, I doubt that the word "pumpernickel/pompernickel" was "invented" by some French guy travelling through Westphalia. But it shows the story was imbedded by that time.

I'm sure that the derivations from individual German slang terms are the most likely, but we'll never likely be able to prove the origin of the word.

Exapno Mapcase
11-07-2007, 11:02 AM
It is a common bread found in delicatessens (literally means "delicate eating")
Sorta, but not really.

delicatessen
1889, Amer.Eng. borrowing from Ger. delikatessen, pl. of delikatesse "a delicacy, fine food," from Fr. delicatesse (1564), from delicat "fine," from L. delicatus (see delicate).

dropzone
11-09-2007, 11:44 PM
Sam, that is a hilarious book! What I love about this place is the reading tips.

Uh, what is it about the Germans and their bowels? Sure, a good fart joke is appreciated the world 'round, but I swear every last German joke, pun, or amusing place name I've ever encountered had something to do with gas, defecation, or bottoms/butts/asses/arses. I mean, even my grandfather's name was "Heinie."

CalMeacham
11-12-2007, 08:06 AM
Uh, what is it about the Germans and their bowels? Sure, a good fart joke is appreciated the world 'round, but I swear every last German joke, pun, or amusing place name I've ever encountered had something to do with gas, defecation, or bottoms/butts/asses/arses. I mean, even my grandfather's name was "Heinie."


I don't know, but it's something I've seen too. Martin Luther seemed obsessed by it, but I think that's more a function of his being German rather than an individual affectation. The Dutch seem to share this to some degree as well.

Cluricaun
11-12-2007, 04:01 PM
only if we had a nasty slang word for Hobos.


More like "if only we had a nasty slang word for Hobos" because that we don't is a major cause of sadness in my life.

Arnold Winkelried
11-14-2007, 03:09 PM
Good find samclem!
The German Spy Or, Familiar Letters from a Gentleman on his Travels thro' Germany, to His Friend in England (Thomas Lediard, 1740)
says this about pumpernickel bread:
Upon Enquiry, I found that it was made of Rye, coarsely ground, with all the Bran left in it, and that there had not been the greatest Care taken, to sever it from the Pieces of Straw, Hair, and other Nastiness, which had been swept with the Corn from the threshing Floor.
I'm sure the school-master of the village would have ventured to explain, had our author asked him, that a well-bodied pumpernickel bread was said to contain the "whole nine yards" from the threshing Floor. :)

Chronos
11-14-2007, 06:42 PM
What's especially peculiar about that find, is that the author was clearly trying to insult the Germans, and presumably invented that etymology in order to do so... But the (apparently) true etymology, had he but known, is even more insulting.

elelle
11-14-2007, 08:08 PM
I don't know, but it's something I've seen too. Martin Luther seemed obsessed by it, but I think that's more a function of his being German rather than an individual affectation. The Dutch seem to share this to some degree as well.

This pumpernickel talk is muy enlightening, especially since I'm about to try a round of baking the bread.

To the quote at hand: travelling, and eating, in Germany was the most gassy experience I've ever had. The combination of beer, sausage, pickled cabbage, and whatever else, perhaps some pumpernickel, just made for constant gustatory "Berg und Tal Fahrt", excuse me. So, if it's all around ya, night as well have a Har Har tradition of dealing with it.

dropzone
11-17-2007, 12:24 AM
I don't know, but it's something I've seen too. Martin Luther seemed obsessed by it, but I think that's more a function of his being German rather than an individual affectation.This news story (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3944549.stm) didn't rouse the theological interest among my Lutheran congregation that I expected. Gives a new perspective to "religious movement," though.

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