HC Bolton, who wrote Counting-out Rhymes of Children (Boston, 1897), said the following about this rhyme: "According to Leland, the rhyme beginning with 'One-ery, two-ery, ickery Ann' is a Gypsy magic spell in the Romany language."

[cf "Children's Rhymes and Incantations" by Charles G. Leland, The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 2, No. 5 (Apr. - Jun., 1889), pp. 113-116]


Dorothy's father taught this rhyme to her and everyone in her family can recite it. There are many different versions of it from the past 175 years or so. The oldest one I've been able to find comes from a book called Mother Goose's Quarto (c. 1825) which goes as follows:

One-ery, You-ery, Ekery, Ann

One-ery, you-ery, ekery, Ann,
Phillisy, follysy, Nicholas, John,
Quee-bee, quaw-bee, Irish Mary,
Stinkle-em, stankle-em, buck.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Dorothy Grant for contributing this rhyme.

Thanks so much!