... was the antediluvian comment one of my school teachers used to make about, and to, one of the shorter members of the class. 'Titch' is a fairly widely used word, slightly teasing or derogatory, about someone, or something, on the small side. But it was only today that I learnt that the word 'titch' comes from my old friend the Tichborne claimant, the man who sought to portray himself as a long lost heir, won the support of hundreds of thousands of "Tichbornites" in the 1870s and 80s, but was jailed for perjury and eventually consigned to a pauper's grave in Willesden.
According to an online dictionary, this is the etymology of the word 'titch': from Little Tich, stage name of Harry Relph (1868–1928), an English music-hall comedian of small stature. He was given the nickname because he resembled Arthur Orton, the Tichborne claimant.
Relph was just 4'6" tall, and I'm not entirely convinced about the likeness (judge for yourself) - he seems to have adopted the name Little Tich in 1884 to tap into a wave of publicity for the claimant, then recently out of jail and touring the country trying to fan new life into his campaign, which became about justice, fairness, anti-elitism as much as about his own claim on the Tichborne inheritance.
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