Fuzzy Wuzzy

Fuzzy Wuzzy

The word Fuzzy-Wuzzy has various meanings. Firstly it was a name given to Sudanese soldiers by the British. Secondly it is the name of a bear in a children's poem. Thirdly it is the name of a war gaming strategy.

It is also often used as a derogatory term to describe black people, reffering to their hair.

udanese natives; a poem by Rudyard Kipling (1890)


The Beja people were one of two broad multi-tribal groupings supporting the Mahdi, and were divided into three tribes. One of these, the Hadendoa, was nomadic along Sudan's Red Sea coast and provided a large number of cavalry and "jihādiyya" (referring to mounted infantry units). They were armed with swords and spears and some of them carried breech-loaded rifles which had been captured from the Egyptian forces, and some of them had acquired military experience in the Egyptian army.

Kipling's poem "Fuzzy Wuzzy" praises the Hadendoa for their martial prowess, because "for all the odds agin' you, Fuzzy-Wuz, you broke the square." This could refer to either or both historical battles between the British and Mahdist forces where British infantry squares were broken. The first was at the Battle of Tamai, on March 13 1884, and the second was on January 17 1885 during the Battle of Abu Klea. Kipling's narrator, an infantry soldier, speaks in admiring terms of the Fuzzy Wuzzies, praising their bravery which, although insufficient to defeat the British, did at least enable them to boast of having "broken the square"—an achievement which few other British foes could claim. The poem takes a satirical look at the British soldiers of the time who percieved themselves as invincible.

Fuzzy Wuzzy Fallacy

The Fuzzy Wuzzy Fallacy is a name for a wargaming theory coined by Richard Hamblen in the September 1976 edition of Avalon Hill's "The General Magazine", loosely based on historical records of battles between the British and the Sudanese Mahdi. The Fuzzy Wuzzy Fallacy states that a single soldier with 2× firepower or attack strength is not equal to two soldiers with 1× firepower or attack strength. Instead, the soldier with 2× firepower is actually worth sqrt{2} of the 1× soldier, if either soldier can be killed in a single hit. This is another form of Lanchester's law.

As a result, tactics and strategy designed around this theory emphasize greater numbers and time, which the speed and mobility of the units in action can effect.

Children's song

"Fuzzy Wuzzy" is a song written in 1944 by Al Hoffman, Milton Drake and Jerry Livingston. Its chorus is a well-known rhyme::"Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear":"Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair":"If Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair":"He wasn't Fuzzy, was he?"

Papuan natives

* The Fuzzy wuzzy angels were native Papuans with similar hair who assisted Australian soldiers during World War II.

A plant

* "Kalanchoe tomentosa" var. "fievetii", a tropical plant of the "Kalanchoe" genus, is commonly known as "Fuzzy Wuzzy".

External links

* [http://www.kipling.org.uk/rg_fuzzywuzzy1.htm Historical background to the Kipling poem]
* [http://www.kipling.org.uk/rg_fuzzywuzzy_notes.htm Kipling.org] line-by-line explanation of references

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Fuzzy Wuzzy — Ein Hadendoa um 1912 Die Hadendoa (Hadendowa) sind eine Ethnie im Nordosten Sudans, im Süden Ägyptens (siehe auch Gebel Elba Nationalpark) und im Norden Eritreas. Sie sind eine Untergruppe der Bedscha und ihre Sprache ist der Hadendoa Dialekt des …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • fuzzy wuzzy — Meaning A derogatory term for a black person, especially one with fuzzy hair. Origin Probably of UK military origin …   Meaning and origin of phrases

  • fuzzy wuzzy — /ˈfʌzi wʌzi/ (say fuzee wuzee) noun Colloquial (derogatory) (racist) 1. an indigenous inhabitant of PNG. 2. an indigenous person elsewhere, especially in Africa. {reduplication of fuzzy; used originally by the British of Sudanese people with… …   Australian English dictionary

  • fuzzy-wuzzy — | ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷|wəzē noun ( es) Usage: usually capitalized F&W Etymology: reduplication & alteration of fuzzy (I) 1. : a Negro of the Republic of the Sudan 2. : a native of New Guinea or the Solomon islands …   Useful english dictionary

  • fuzzy-wuzzy — noun A Hadendoa warrior of the Mahdi army …   Wiktionary

  • Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels — The Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels was the name given by Australian troops to a group of Papua New Guinean people who, during World War II, assisted and escorted injured Australian troops down the Kokoda trail. Fuzzy Wuzzy was originally used by British… …   Wikipedia

  • fuzzy wuzzy angel — noun Australian History Colloquial any indigenous person of PNG who helped the Australians, especially the wounded, during World War II. {extension of fuzzy wuzzy, used by Australian troops in World War II} Usage: Although the term fuzzy wuzzy is …   Australian English dictionary

  • Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel — noun One of the native people of Papua New Guinea who, during the Second World War, helped stretcher wounded Australian soldiers to field hospitals …   Wiktionary

  • fuzzy — adjective a) Covered with fuzz or a large number of tiny loose fibres like a carpet or many stuffed animals. Mentioned in the popular nursery rhyme Fuzzy wuzzy was a bear. My recollection of that event is fuzzy. b) Vague or imprecise. I finally… …   Wiktionary

  • fuzzy — adj. (fuzzier, fuzziest) 1 a like fuzz. b frayed, fluffy. c frizzy. 2 blurred, indistinct. Phrases and idioms: fuzzy wuzzy (pl. ies) offens. 1 colloq. hist. a Sudanese soldier. 2 sl. a Coloured native of any country. Derivatives: fuzzily adv.… …   Useful english dictionary

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