Cameelious hump

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Senior Member
Dear all,

I can't understand the real meaning of bold part of the under mentioned poem.

The Camel’s Hump - by Rudyard Kipling

The Camel's hump is an ugly lump
Which well you may see at the Zoo;
<-----Excess quote removed by moderator (Florentia52)----->

We get the hump-Cameelious hump-
The hump that is black and blue!

Please explain.

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  • airelibre

    Senior Member
    English - London
    It seems to be an invented word, meaning "of a camel". Cameelious hump = a hump of a camel, a camel-like hump.

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I find it delightfully in the great British nonsense tradition.
    As for 'black' and 'blue', they are perfectly obvious ways to describe 'mood'. " Got the hump" meaning in a bad temper: playing with words, nothing to do with physical violence.

    Minnesota Guy

    Senior Member
    American English - USA
    This comes from Kipling's "Just So" stories. They are meant to entertain children, and part of the fun is that Kipling occasionally makes up words (as here), or uses long words purely for their sound (as when the Elephant Child asks, "Have you seen such a thing as a Crocodile in these promiscuous parts?")


    Senior Member

    The "black and blue" suggests a hump or lump one might receive from a beating or punishment. Is that how you interpret it, lapdwicks? I rather like Kipling but this is an odd poem.
    I wanted to know about the word "Cameelious" because I couldn't find it in any dictionary.

    Thanks to all of you who commented.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    I wanted to know about the word "Cameelious" because I couldn't find it in any dictionary.
    That is because Kipling invented it. OED:
    Jocular word invented by Kipling (in form cameelious) to describe the hump given to the lazy camel in Just So Stories.
    1902 R. Kipling Just So Stories 27 Kiddies and grown-ups too-oo-oo, If we haven't enough to do-oo-oo, We get the hump—Cameelious hump—The hump that is black and blue!
    1909 ‘I. Hay’ Man's Man xvi, The men have both got camelious hump.
    The correct adjective - relating to camels - cameline.
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