Rhymes for playing Tig

John Johnson Marshall
Chapter XIII (2) - Start of Chapter

For the smaller children, especially boys, there are no more popular games than those of touch, or “tig,” as it is generally called. These are mostly played by a simple rhyme repeated by one of the players pointing to each of those engaged in the game, as he pronounces each word and the player with whom the last word ends has the “tig.” A characteristic one is:—

“Mrs. Mason broke a basin

How much will it be?

Half a crown, leave it down,

Out goes she (or he).”

Another similar one is:—

“Eeny, meeny, miney mo,

Catch a fellow by the toe,

If he hollers let him go—

Eeny, meeny, miney mo.”

What seems a variant of the foregoing is:—

“Eeny, meeny, figgety fig,

Ill doll allymalig—

Blockety block, stony rock,

Hum, bum, thrush.”

“Cutchie cutchoo.” A children’s game in vogue in the eighteenth and early part of the nineteenth century. The players bent themselves into a posture as near sitting down as possible—what is known as “hunkering down,” the girls with their clothes tucked between their knees, and one chases the others in a hopping motion, the feet kept together, crying “catch you, catch you.” The slurring of the words in pronouncing them quickly gives its name to the game, the rhyme of which, as far as the writer has been able to ascertain, is as follows:—

“Cutchie cutchoo, grannie your bread’s a burning—

Cutchie cutchoo, it’s ready for turning.”

Whereupon grannie cries “then turn it!”

Whoever kept up the hopping longest was the winner.

A popular rhyme used by boys in starting races is:—

“Bell horses! bell horses, what time o’ day?

One o’clock, two o’clock, three and away.”

The runners on the alert are off as the last word is uttered.