Some of the nonsense words invented by Carroll for the poem — like "vorpal" and "chortle" — have entered usage and become semi-official words.
Be aware that, while "Jabberwocky" is the name of the poem, the eponymous monster is the Jabberwock.
It is also said to have been inspired by a tree. Make of that what you will.
In 1999, prog rock keyboardists Clive Nolan and Oliver (son of Rick) Wakeman recorded a Concept Album based on the poem, with Wakeman Sr. reading bits of the poemnote between the songs.
The poem contains examples of:
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: The Vorpal Sword, which decapitates the Jabberwock in two slices.
- Achilles in His Tent: Briefly. The Hero stops to rest by a tree, and then stands there for a while in "uffish thought" (basically, sulking).
- All There in the Manual: Carroll created definitions for his nonsense words.
- And There Was Much Rejoicing: The Jabberwock's death elicits this reaction.
- Audible Sharpness: "The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!"
- A Winner Is You: "And hast thou slain the Jabberwock? Come to my arms, my beamish boy!"
- Big Bad: The Jabberwock is one of three feral beasts mentioned by The Hero's father, and the one he sets out to slay.
- Book-Ends: The first and last stanzas are identical.
- The Dreaded: The Jabberwock, considering the fact that the whole town cheers when it's slain.
- Feathered Fiend: The Jubjub bird is mentioned to be a dangerous creature.
- Makes Just as Much Sense in Context: Unless you've read Carroll's definitions, the entire poem is an amalgamation of nonsensical words jumbled together that vaguely tell the story of a boy who slays a monster.
- Neologism: A lot of them25 words in the poem are ones that Carrol just made up.
- No Name Given: Neither The Hero nor his father are mentioned by name.
- Off with His Head!: How the Jabberwock dies, being decapitated with the Vorpal Sword.
- Our Dragons Are Different: The Jabberwock resembles a dragon in the illustration, although the prose's description of it is rather vague.
- Perfectly Cromulent Word: Carroll filled his poem with words that did not exist at the time (burbled, vorpal, tulgey...)
- Public Domain Artifact: The Vorpal Blade is in many Tabletop Games and Video Games as a sword that tends to chop heads off.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: When the Jabberwock attacks the boy, he is described as having "eyes of flame".
- 24-Hour Trope Clock: Brillig is four o'clock in the afternoon, just when you start to broil things for dinner.
- Unsound Effect: The Vorpal Sword goes Snicker-Snack.
- Waistcoat of Style: John Tenniel's illustration depicts the Jabberwock wearing one.