Posted by ESC on August 18, 2004
In Reply to: Oompah loompah posted by Bookworm on August 18, 2004
: : : From Willy Wonka. Meantime, has it gained any metaphorical usage?
: : I've heard it used to describe a group of workers.
: What does it mean?
They were the workers in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." A review at Amazon.com says:
Oompa-Loompas - "If you've seen the cinematic version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, you'll notice some differences between the book and the movie. Most notably perhaps are the Oompa-Loompas. In the film, they are orange creatures with bright green hair that work and sing in white overalls. In Dahl's book, the Oompa-Loompas are black pygmies from Dark Africa wearing deer skins and leaves. (Considering this book came out in 1964, one can easily see why the change was made for the film.)"
Here's a picture: http://www.whitehall.k12.mi.us/Teachers/JamesHams/Huskies%20home.htm