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.