Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A fun counting rhyme

I took this from a book from the 1800s I came across on google books. "Games and Songs of American Children". Even though it was published in 1890 some of the people that were the sources of the various rhymes were quite old at the time, around 90, so they do reflect some old rhymes and games.

This is a counting rhyme:

Intery, mintory, cutery corn,
Appleseed and apple-thorn;
Wire, briar, limber lock,
Five mice in a flock;
Catch him Jack,
Hold him Tom,
Blow the bellows,
Old man out.

This is for the kind of counting children do when choosing who will go first - rather than eeny meeny miney moe, for instance, or Bubble gum, bubble gum.

And the interesting thing is how many variations of these rhymes they have in the book, with explanations. It would seem it is related to number words from the British Isles. Eeny and meeny being similar to 'intery' and 'mintery', and eeny meeny likewise similar to the counting words from Ireland "eina" and "mina".

I believe that's how it works. Just as Fee Fie Foe Fum were also counting words

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