A Daffodil Ditty

Yesterday I saw the first daffodils of the season. It made me think of an old English rhyme, which goes…

Daffy-down-dilly is new come to town,
With a yellow petticoat and a green gown.

An alternative version is…

Daffy-down-dilly is new come to town,
With a petticoat green, and a bright yellow gown,
And her white blossoms are peeping around.

Seeing daffy-down-dilly used for daffodil, made me curious about the word. I looked it up in the Oxford English Dictionary and found all of these variants of daffodil

Affodil
Daff
Daffy
Daffadilly
Daffodilly
Daffydowndilly
Daffadowndilly
Daffodowndilly
Daffadoondilly

Then there’s also the word daffying, that dates back to 1871, which means to gather daffodils.

Whatever you’re doing this season, I hope you get to see some lovely daffy-down-dillies. It’s a wonderful sign that it’s springtime!

Lisa

This article was posted on Thursday, March 30th, 2006 at 7:36 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, Daffodil, English, English Nursery Rhymes, Languages, Nursery Rhymes, Nursery Rhymes about Flowers, Nursery Rhymes about Spring, Poems about Spring, Rhymes about the Seasons, Rhymes by Theme, Songs about Spring, Songs by Theme, United Kingdom, Words & Phrases. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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