Nievie is the Scottish word for fist.

This rhyme can be used for either a counting-out rhyme for choosing "It" or as a guessing game.

Here's how the guessing game works: hold both hands behind your back with a prize in one (like a sweet). Have the child pick either the left or right hand trying to guess which one has the prize.

Nievie, Nievie, Nicknack - Scottish Children's Songs - Scotland - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image


This rhyme is alluded to by Sir W. Scott, St. Ronan's, iii. 102.; Blackwood's Magazine, August, 1821, p. 37.

Game Instructions

Counting-out Game for Choosing "It": All the kids put out their fists. One kid goes around tapping the other kids' fists with his fist. The one whose fist he ends the rhyme on is out (that kid puts that fist behind his back). Then go around again and again until only one fist is left. The one that is left at the end of all the rounds is "It".

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Translated into English by Lisa Yannucci.