You were born, I suppose, at Little Witham. A reproof to a
noodle. The pun, of course, is on little wit. Witham is in
“I will be sworn she was not born at Wittham, for Gaffer
Gibbs says she could not turn up a single lesson like a
Heart of Mid-Lothian, chap. xxxii.
Puns of this sort are very common. (See
Bedfordshire, Nod, Dunce, Cripplegate, Shanks' Nag etc.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
More on Witham from Infoplease:
- Witham - Witham You were born, I suppose, at Little Witham. A reproof to a noodle. The pun, of course, is on ...
- The Wash - Wash, The Wash, The, inlet of the North Sea, 20 mi (32 km) long and 15 mi (24 km) wide, between ...
- Grantham - Grantham Grantham , town (1991 pop. 30,700), in the Parts of Kesteven, Lincolnshire, E central ...
- Boston, town, England - Boston Boston, town (1991 pop. 26,495), E central England, on the Witham River. Boston's fame ...
- Lincoln, city and district, England - Lincoln Lincoln, city (1991 pop. 79,980) and district, Lincolnshire, E England, in the Parts of ...