A Brazilian copper coin, worth about 2 1/2d.; also a round flat
lump of lead used on board ship for playing quoits and chuck-penny.
Hence dumpy or dumpty (squat or small). An egg is called
a humpty-dumpty in the nursery verses beginning with “Humpty
Dumpty sat on a wall,” etc.
Death saw two players playing cards,
But the game was not worth a dump.
Hood: Death's Ramble, stanza 14.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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