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"It's a ticklish sort of job making a thing for a thing-ummy-bob
Especially when you don't know what it's for
But it's the girl that makes the thing that drills the hole
that holds the spring that works the thing-ummy-bob
that makes the engines roar. And it's the girl that makes the thing that holds the oil
that oils the ring that works the thing-ummy-bob
that's going to win the war."

"The Thing-Ummy Bob", A British song made popular by Gracie Fields[1]

"The Thing-Ummy Bob" is a 1942 song which was written by Gordon Thompson and David Heneker which celebrates the production line worker of World War II making components for complex weapons to win the war.[1] Its chorus is

A thingumabob or thingummy is an extended form of the word thing which the Oxford English Dictionary records being used as far back as 1751.[2]

The song was popularised by performers Arthur Askey and Gracie Fields.[3]


  1. ^ a b Bush Jones, John (2006). The Songs That Fought the War: Popular Music and the Home Front, 1939-1945. Brandeis University Press. ISBN 1584654430. (Google Books)
  2. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 2009
  3. ^ Craig Gerrard, The Foreign Office and Finland, 1938-1940