Counting-out Rhymes

: Popular Rhymes And Nursery Tales

The operation of counting-out is a very important mystery in many

puerile games. The boys or girls stand in a row, and the operator begins

with the counting-out rhyme, appropriating a word to each, till he comes

to the person who receives the last word, and who is accordingly "out."

This operation is continued till there is only one left, who is the

individual chosen for the hero of the game, whatever it may be. The

lowing verses are selected from a host of rhymes employed for this


One-ery, two-ery,

Tick-ery, tee-vy;

Hollow-bone, crack-a-bone,

Pen and eevy.

Ink, pink,

Pen and ink;

A study, a stive,

A stove, and a sink!

One-ery, two-ery,

Tickery, teven;

Alabo, crackabo,

Ten and eleven:

Spin, spon,

Must be gone;

Alabo, crackabo,


O-U-T spells out.

[Something similar to this is found in Swedish, Arwidsson, iii. 492:

Apala, mesala,

Mesinka, meso,

Sebedei, sebedo!

Extra, lara,

Kajsa, Sara!

Heck, veck,


Gack du din lange man veck,


Igdum, digdum, didum, dest,

Cot-lo, we-lo, wi-lo, west;

Cot pan, must be done,

Twiddledum, twaddledum, twenty-one!

Hytum, skytum,

Perridi styxum,

Perriwerri wyxum,

A bomun D.