Muppet

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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Coined by Jim Henson as an alteration of puppet. Henson once claimed that the word was a blend of marionette +‎ puppet, supposedly because a Muppet is operated partly like a glove puppet and partly like a marionette; he later recanted that explanation, as the similarity to marionettes is tenuous at best.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

Muppet (plural Muppets)

  1. A type of puppet created by Jim Henson, the Jim Henson Company, or the Muppets Studio LLC, and popularized by Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, typically operated with one hand of the puppeteer inside the head and a rod or glove to move one arm of the puppet.
  2. One of a group of established puppet characters acting as a sort of repertory company, which first appeared as a group on The Muppet Show and features Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, and Gonzo.
  3. One of a group of established puppet characters appearing on Sesame Street, including Big Bird, Bert, Ernie, and Cookie Monster.

Usage notes[edit]

Due to the acquisition of the Muppets by the Walt Disney Company, puppets created by the Jim Henson Company are no longer referred to as Muppets (unless they are created for the Muppets franchise or for Sesame Street). Creations of Jim Henson's Creature Shop—which have a more realistic style and complex operation than traditional Muppets—have never been considered Muppets, even prior to the Disney acquisition.

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