Percy B. Green called this "A Catch Rhyme" in his book "A History of Nursery Rhymes". This probably means it's recited either as part of a ball catching game or as part of a game of tag. It sounds like a counting-out rhyme.


The first line is nonsense as far as I can tell. Here are some definitions to help put some sense to it nonetheless:

Tottle: 1. from the Oxford English Dictionary, "to move and bubble, as a boiling liquid; also said of the vessel; and applied to the somewhat similar motion and sound of a rivulet over a stony bed. 2. ... to toddle.
Aboo: 1. from the Urban Dictionary, "a term commonly used by school boys to suggest randomness, weirdness".

Thanks and Acknowledgements

This rhyme can be found in A History of Nursery Rhymes by Percy B. Green (1899).