Do You Know a Rhyme That Starts… “Head Knocker, Eye Blinker,…”?

Barb wrote:

I am looking for an action poem that has to do with head knocker, eye blinker, nose blower, mouth chewer, chin chopper, gulla gulla gulla…but I cannot remember all of it. Can someone remember for me? I’m getting old in my young age.


If anyone can help, please let us know in the comments below.



This article was posted on Wednesday, January 17th, 2007 at 12:39 pm and is filed under Australia, Countries & Cultures, English, Finger Plays, Languages, Nursery Rhymes, Questions, Readers Questions, United Kingdom, USA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

250 Responses to “Do You Know a Rhyme That Starts… “Head Knocker, Eye Blinker,…”?”

  1. Kyla Solomon Says:

    Far bumper. (Forehead)
    Eye winker. (Eye)
    Tommy tinker. (Other eye)
    Nose smeller. (Nose)
    Mouth eater. (Mouth)
    Chin chopper. (Chin)
    Golly wopper!! (Tickle under chin)

  2. Tavi Says:

    Thank you guys. You have saved my bacon.Especially the German variations. I learnt this in elementary school and made the mistake of singing it tonight and forgot the word part the way through. My 3 y.o. was not having that.

  3. Nicole McArthur Says:

    Eye blinker
    Snot blower
    Jaw breaker
    Bull shooter
    Milk shaker
    Belly acher
    Joy maker
    Pop shooter

    Brow schweater with the wrinkles (indicating eye brows and forehead) that’s what I learned in my school yah yah!

    Came from my French grand father.

  4. Devon Carroll Says:

    The way I remember it from childhood over 50 years ago (parents of German background):

    With my hand on my shoulder and Vas iss das here?
    This IS the domininker (pointing to the top of one’s head) my darling, my dear.
    Domininker…and that’s what I learned at my school.

    Song repeats moving down the body (pointing to the indicated body part) and including the previous parts as well: by the song’s end you recite all 15 parts in rapid succession ending with “and that’s what I learned at my school….SOME SCHOOL!”

    the thinker (brain)
    eye blinker (eye)
    nose blower (nose)
    soup strainer (moustache)
    kiss maker (lips)
    jaw breaker (chin)
    head holder (neck)
    coat hanger (shoulders)
    heart breaker (heart)
    tummy acher (stomach)
    sit downer (tush)
    knee bender (knee)
    foot stomper (foot)
    toe stubber (toe)

  5. Julie P Says:

    I’m in an ethnic german cultural group, and we sing a version of this old tune! Ours goes like this:

    With my head on my shoulder, was ist das hier,
    Das ist mein_____, mein teacher dear.

    (then list each part that you’re up to)

    That’s what I learned in the Schule!

    And the parts we use are as follows:
    Sweat boxer (forehead)
    eye blinker (eyes)
    snot blower (nose)
    bull sh*tter (mouth)
    Chinny chin chin (chin)
    Milk jugger (breasts)
    Belly acher (stomach)
    Trouble maker (private parts)
    Sh*it blower (butt)
    ball breaker (knee)
    a$$ kicker (foot)

    Ours is obviously less of a children’s song, and more of an adult drinking song… but it is still a lot of fun to sing, as it is so fast-paced!

  6. Bill Anderson Says:

    Here’s something I posted on my Facebook page on Father’s Day this year.

    As this is my first Father’s Day since my father passed away back in October, I thought I’d post a favorite memory of him. When I was little he used to love to teach me nursery rhymes, and it was only yesterday morning, quite by coincidence, that I learned how special one of his rhymes really was. Here’s how it went:

    Eye winker (He’d touch my eye)
    Tom tinker (He’d touch my cheek)
    Nose dropper (He’d touch my nose)
    Mouth eater (He’d touch my mouth)
    Chin chopper (He’d touch my chin)
    Gully gully gully…. (He’d tickle under my chin to much giggling)

    Now yesterday, with absolutely none of that in mind, I decided to tidy-up my iTunes library. For some reason none of my audiobooks were showing up on my iPod during a recent car trip and I wanted to fix that. So while I was in iTunes, I randomly clicked on an audiobook, which just happened to be MADE IN AMERICA by Bill Bryson. Ever heard of Bill Bryson? He writes some great stuff related to language, and in this particular book he discusses how America has changed the English language over the years.

    At the very beginning of the book he talks about how children on a small island between Denmark and Sweden were heard in the 1940s to recite a nursery rhyme that made no sense to them: “Jok unt Jill vent upa hill unt Jill come tumlin ofter.” Turned out some English soldiers had occupied the island during the Napoleonic wars and this rhyme had persisted until the present. Amazing, right?

    So then he goes on to talk about a modern day couple in London who’d spent their careers researching nursery rhymes, and one puzzle they’d discovered was that a rhyme once as popular as Humpty Dumpty and Hickory Dickory Dock had faded into obscurity, and they didn’t know why. The rhyme was “Brow Bender” and according to Bryson it hadn’t been recorded anywhere in print since 1788. Well to their great surprise, one night the couple heard their children’s nanny tucking the kids into bed while reciting the 1788 version of “Brow Bender” with an extra five lines never before recorded! Here’s the print version:

    From Tommy Thumb’s Song Book (1815, Glascow/earliest edition was in 1744):
    Brow bender,
    Eye peeper,
    Nose dropper,
    Mouth eater,
    Chin chopper.

    Bill Bryson’s point is that even though language changes over the years, nursery rhymes have proven to be persistent through the spoken word, even in rare cases where the people reciting them don’t understand what they’re saying. And I find it delightful that the apparently long-forgotten Brow Bender actually persisted through my father’s family right up to me! Thanks for the cultural history lesson, Daddy! Miss you.

  7. Katherine Says:

    I can’t remember much of anything except the melody and “Snoot snorter” for nose. It was from grandma in Milwaukee in 1957.

  8. Chelly Says:

    We learned headacher, eye-winker, nose dropper, bread eater, chin chopper, gully gully gully and got a tickle on the neck. We’d point to the parts of the face as we were saying it.

  9. Darrin Lindsey Says:

    This is the way I learned it. It progresses from the door to the top of the head, much like “The Twelve Days Of Christmas”

    What is this here? (pointing at foot)
    This is my toe stomper
    Oh momma dear
    Toe stomper Inky Dinky Doo
    This is what I learned in school, Ya Ya

    What is this here? (pointing at knee)
    This is my knee knocker
    Oh momma dear
    Knee knocker, Toe stomped
    Inky Dinky Doo
    This is what I learned in school, Ya Ya

    What is this here? (pointing to hip)
    This is my hip swayer
    Oh momma dear
    Hip swayer, Knee knocker, Toe stomped
    Inky Dinky Doo
    This is what I learned in school.

    (This progresses with all of the following areas. It becomes a game to see how fast someone can say all of the names, from top to bottom, without messing up. The names for each area, as I learned them, are as follows.)

    Bread Basket (Stomach)
    Clothes Hanger (Shoulder)
    Chin Copper (Chin)
    Girl/Boy Kisser (Lips)
    Nose Blower (Nose)
    Eye Blinker (Eye)
    Head Thinker (Top of Head)

  10. Joel Pedersen Says:

    MaryBeth Says:
    October 3rd, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Does anyone know a Danish version?

    I heard this from my grandfather (long passed) and my mother, who is 91 and has Alzheimers. I am afriad it may be lost forever. The only parts i remember are (spelled as they sound to me)

    Panna bean (forehead)
    Oye shtean (eyes)

    A little help, please?

    My Danish Great Aunt sang this nursery rhyme to my kids many many times.

    Pandeben, øjensten, næsetip, mundelæp, hagefip, killikillivavvav!

    Which translates (roughly) to:

    pandeben = forehead (literally forehead bone)
    øjensten = apple of my eye (literally stone of my eye)
    næsetip = nose tip
    mundelæp = lip of the mouth (may be a made up word to rhyme/ mouth-lip
    hagefip = hairy chin
    killikillivavvav! = tickle tickle

    There is a website source for the above, but it is all in Danish/ it does confirm the provided Danish spellings – reference “101.” on this page:

  11. Caroline Says:

    I remember this little rhyme from my childhood, I’m surprised there’s so many variations! Now that I’m thinking about it, it’s pretty weird lol.

    Head bumper (forehead)

    Eye winker (left eye)

    Tom tinker (cheek)

    Nose dropper (nose)

    Mouth eater (mouth)

    Chin chatter (chin)

    Gully gully gully! (Tickling neck/chest/stomach)

  12. Sharon Tavares Says:

    As learned from my Grandmother, a girl scout troop leader. Add each verse * to previous ones sung until last verse contains all toe on up last verse adds to last verse “That’s what I’ve learned in the school”

    My hand on myself
    What is thus here
    This is my head knocker*
    Oh Mama dear

    My hand on myself
    What is thus here
    This is my sweatboxer*
    Oh Mama dear

    My hand on myself
    What is thus here
    This is my eye blinker*
    Oh Mama dear

    etc…. nose blower*, nail bender* (chin), Chest x’er*, bread basket* (stomach), knee knocker*, toe stubber*

  13. yasotha J Says:

    i leart this song in 70s from a 80 year old teacher but almost forgotten.thanks now i recalled it.

  14. Rita T Says:

    I wish everyone would’ve added the region they grew up in (some did) so we could see the similarities!
    From KY

    Fore bumper,
    Eye winker,
    Tink tonker,
    Nose smeller,
    Mouth eater,
    Chin chopper,
    Gully, gully, gully (under the chin)

  15. gerry Says:

    I have een thinking about this and another song (Mein hut it has drei echen) for a few months. I learned about the time I turned 50 that my mother didn’t speak Engish at home until she started school back in the 20s; her parents spoke German and maybe Yiddish, though they were not Jewish. All I could remember was
    Soup strainer … bread basket … and baby bouncer (knee). There might have been a hat rack or something along with several other body parts.
    A lot of variations here. Thanks all.

  16. Cheryl Mcknight Says:

    My mum said “this is where the cat sits” touching forehead
    “Theres where he jumps to” touching between the eyebrows
    “Eye winker” circle one eye
    “Nose dropper” touch nose
    “Mouth eater”
    “Chin chopper, chin chopper, chin chopper!” Tickling under the chin

  17. margaret brett Says:

    The version I know:

    With our hands on our heads what have we here?
    This is my May thinker my teacher dear.
    eye blinkers
    smell boxer
    mouth eater
    chin chopper
    chest cougher
    bread basket
    knee knockers
    foot tappers
    nicky nacky nocky nok
    that’s what they taught me when I went to school.

  18. Allison Says:

    My great grandmother said it this way:

    Brow beater
    Eye peeper
    Nose smeller
    Mouth eater
    Chin chopper
    Gully gully in the hopper

  19. DJ Says:

    This is an AMAZING thread!

    Here is my family’s version:

    Brows bendy
    Eyes winky
    Nose nippy
    Cheeks cherry
    Mouth merry
    Chin chopper chin chopper chin chopper

  20. Eugenie Says:

    I am almost 70 but remember this rhyme that we learnt from my grandma and mum.
    The words are almost the same except when it came to the ‘bottom’, we used to turn around, point to our bottom and sing,
    With my hands on my hips,
    What is this here?
    This is my DIGNITY
    my teacher dear!
    And everyone would laugh as the song came to an end with that phrase!

  21. Tony Manos Says:

    My brother in law sang this song. I can’t remember all of it but he sang… this is my chest protector yes Polly dear… that’s what I learned in bud school!

  22. Jenn Dupilka Says:

    Love it !!!!!

  23. Lisa Says:

    My mom sang it like this:

    Head acher (point to head)
    Eye winker (point to eye)
    Nose dropper (point to nose)
    Mouth eater (point to mouth)
    Chin chopper (point to chin)
    Tummy tickler (point to belly)
    Getchie getchie getchie goo (tickle tummy)

  24. Karis Loos Says:

    I remember this song from summer school – we would sing in the hallway:

    My hand on myself, what is dis here? Dis is my (say one body part at a time) my mama dear.
    Sweat boxer (repeat twice)…
    Nicky nicky nicky noo….that’s what I learned in my school…YAHOO!
    Repeat “my hand on myself, what is dis here….dis is my…..(sing next body part):
    Eye blinker
    “my mama dear….eye blinker, eye blinker, nicky nicky nicky noo….that’s what I learned in my school – YAHOO!
    Repeat “my hand on myself, what is dis here…..
    Nose blower
    Food pusher
    Chin chopper
    Chest sweller
    Bread basket
    Knee bender
    Foot kicker, or stomper (? not too sure about this line)
    Toe stopper

    After every time you add a body part, go up the body:
    “toe stopper, foot kicker, knee bender, bread basket, chest sweller, chin chopper, food pusher, nose blower, eye blinker, sweat boxer, nicky nicky nicky noo…..that’s what I learned in my school…YAHOO!

  25. Crystal Daniel Says:

    The NC version!

    Head knocker
    Eye winker
    Nose stinker
    Mouth eater
    Chin freezer
    Deep breath
    Giiiiddy, GIDDY-Goooh!!

  26. Crystal Daniel Says:

    Chin GREEZER!!! The spell check miscorrected it!!

  27. Mendi Says:

    I am not sure why I started thinking of this song today. I don’t remember singing it with my boys. My 18 mo granddaughter is coming to play – perhaps that’s the trigger! I was thrilled to find this thread and fill in some words I’m struggling to remember. Am I the only one that sang “that’s what I learned at the zoo YAYA!”? Maybe I remember wrong! I remember toe touched, knee knocker bread basket chin chopper boy kisser nose blower eye peeper headknocker… maybe I should text Mom and my sisters!

  28. Cory Jo Fox Says:

    My mom used to do this to me and I was a teacher for a few years before changing my studies, I would do this with me pre-k students.

    Fore Bender
    Eye winker
    Nose Sniffer
    Mouth Eater
    Chin Chomper
    Gully Gully Gully
    *Then proceeds to tickle under the chin/neck

    The kids loved it.

  29. Barbara McLain Says:

    My Mum would say this to us when we were little. I don’t think she ever sang a song with it. It went;

    Fore bumper (point to forehead)
    Eye winker (point to left eye)
    Tom tinker (point to right eye)
    Nose smeller (point to nose)
    Mouth eater (point to mouth)
    Chin chopper (point to chin)
    Gully, gully, gully (tickle under the chin)

    To this day, we all call an eye lash, an eye winker!

  30. April Ford Says:

    You version I grew up with from my mother who was of German and English descent
    here’s where the cat sits, (head)
    here’s where he jumps, (forehead)
    eye Winker, (eye)
    tin tocker, (other eye)
    nose dropper, (down the nose)
    cow catcher, (upper lip)
    Chin Chopper, (chin)
    and then giddy giddy giddy while tickling

  31. James Rabiola Says:

    My dad sang a version of this song in front of a lot of my mom’s relatives and had them all rolling on the floor with laughing. Unfortunately I can’t ask him how the whole song goes as he has passed.

    Starts out much the same as other versions listed above.

    My hand on my _____, what have we here.
    Knee bender
    Belly aches
    Chest protector
    Rubber necker
    Bull shooter
    Horn blower
    Eye blinker
    Brain buster
    I don’t wanna go now
    That’s what I learned in my school

    I wish I knew dad’s version of the whole song

  32. David Says:

    Our version is

    Here’s where the cat sits (between eyebrows) there’s where he falls, (slides down nose). Eye winker (right eye) tom tinker (left eye) nose smeller, mouth water, chin chomper and a gully gully gully (tickle under chin with index finger side of knuckle).

  33. Linda C. Kuenzli Says:

    We always said:
    Louse bed (head)
    Forerunner (forehead)
    Eye winker (right eye)
    Tim tonker (left eye)
    Nose smeller (nose)
    Mouth eater (mouth)
    Chin chopper (chin)
    Gully, gully, gully (tickle under the chin)

    But I don’t know the origins… my mother is Irish/English and my husband’s mother is German, we can’t
    even remember which one said it to our kids, but now I’m saying it to my grandchildren. : )

  34. A K M Adam Says:

    I recall learning this in the 60s in an elementary school with students of central European descent. It was taught as a Pennsylvania Dutch song, and ran mostly as Heather (January 18th, 2012 at 1:59 am) said:

    Mein hands by mein sides,
    Was ist dis hier?
    Das ist mein [———], My Teacher Dear …
    [Then the sequence of comical words for body parts catalogued here]
    Dat’s vat ve learned in der Shul.”

    The blank line ran as Gary Eden suggested (November 11th, 2014 at 2:17 am), ‘do va dik a von do’, though I would have used German spelling —

    Du wenn ich von du

    (which I know doesn’t make sense, but I learned it phonetically as a child and now can’t get any perspective on what it might mean, assuming it’s not just a string of nonsense).

    Anyway, this morning the phrase ‘Was ist das hier?’ came to mind, and I wondered if the song were remembered on the Net.

  35. Sandy VB Says:

    Head Acher
    Fore Bender
    Eye Blinker
    Tommy Tinker
    Nose Sniffer
    Mouth Eater
    Chin Chopper
    Gully, Gully, Gully

  36. T. Shrock Says:

    These look very familiar to my German Amish / Mennonite families saying:

    Forehead bumper
    Eye winker
    Nose blower
    Mouth eater
    Chin chopper chin chopper

    My father did it in both English and low German.

  37. kirsty perkins Says:

    Does anyone know the English version, instead of the nicky nacky noo, my grandad used to sing ‘wiggly waggly wool’ does anyone know that version?

  38. Patricia Bloom Says:

    Floor mopper
    Head topper
    Eye winker
    Tim tinker
    Nose dropper
    Mouth eater.

  39. Thom Baker Says:

    My grandfather sang it:

    Hand ona meself,
    Vas ist das dich, (or dist?)
    Dich ist mein,
    Head bumper,
    molly my dear…(or momma dear)

    Head bumper,
    Eye blinker,
    Ear acher,
    Lip smacker,
    Chin chopper,
    Neck stretcher,
    Chest cover,
    Bread basket,
    Hip hugger,
    Leg stretcher,
    Knee knocker,
    Shin scraper,
    Ankle bender,
    Foot stomper,
    Toe tapper,
    Volly, volly, volly, voo.
    Das vat I learned in das school, yahoo.

    Start over with the next body part.

    The last time through was hard and got faster toward the end and gasped after the last one, and then the last ‘molly my dear’ very slowly:

    Hand ona meself,
    Vas ist das dich,
    Dis ist mein toe tapper, molly my dear…

    Toe tapper, foot stomper, ankle bender, shin scraper, knee knocker, leg warmer, hip hugger, bread basket, chest cover, neck stretcher, chin chomped, lip shmacker, shnozola, ear acher, eye blinker, head bumper, volly volly volly voo, (slowly) das vat I learned in das school, yahoo

  40. Earnest Morgan Skinner IV Says:

    This isn’t exactly the same, but this is what I remember could be similar to it.
    I point to myself, Vas is (or maybe instead of “vas is” it is “I say”) das here?
    Das is my foot-stomper, ya mama dear. (Foot)
    Foot stomper
    Knee knocker
    Chest protector
    Chin chowser
    Lunch muncher,
    Soup strainer,
    Eye winker,
    Sweat browser,
    Top notcher, ya mama dear,
    Das what I learned in der school, Boom, Boom.

  41. Geoff Binns-Calvey Says:

    So fun to see this! I remember this from growing up in the near western suburbs of Cleveland, mid 1960’s. Not Scouts, but maybe from school, or summer school camp? Similar to most versions above, with one exception I don’t see… Where other versions have something like “Inky dinky doo” , or “Wacky wacky wool…”, our version was “Du a vicka von du…”
    I remember that part very specifically, for some reason! No idea if it means anything. Thanks for all the memories!

  42. Alan Todd Says:

    Our family’s version, passed down by my mother (born 1909), was:

    Here’s where the cat sat (forehead)
    Here’s where it fell (nose bridge)
    Eye winker, Tom tinker (each eye)
    Nose dropper (pinch nose)
    Mouth eater (mouth corners)
    Chin chopper chin(tickle under chin)

  43. McCracken Poston Says:

    My grandmother and mother handed this down to us, which is very similar to all above:

    Fod (forehead) napper
    Eye blinker
    Nose dropper
    Mouth feeder
    Gully Gully Gully

    They were from Middle Tennessee and NW Georgia

  44. Karen Says:

    My hand on myself (what have we here/what do we fear) this is my ____ Cootie Catcher mama dear, cootie catcher inky dinky do, that’s what I learned in my school yaya…..

    Sweat boxer (forehead)
    eye blinker
    nose blower,
    soup strainer,
    boy kisser,
    chin chopper,
    (don’t recall) neck,
    heart beater,
    bread basket (was stomach)
    baby bouncer (was thigh)
    Knee kicker/boyfriend kicker,

    New Hampshire version i believe.

  45. Bonnie Lee Thatcher Says:

    My hands to myself, now what is this here. This is my hair mopper my Mama dear. Hair mopper hair mopper, rinky dinky doo, that’s what I learned at day camp…yo ho.

    Sweats boxer
    Eye blinker
    Nose blower
    Meat grinder
    Chin chopper
    Rubber necker
    Air blower
    Bread basket
    Hip swinger
    Thigh bender
    Knee knocker
    Foot stomper

  46. Erin Says:

    I remember sitting on my grandma’s lap when I was very young and her saying a version of this. She would touch each part of my face as she would go:

    Head of hair
    Forehead fair
    Eye opener
    Nose dropper
    Cherry cheeker
    Mouth eater
    Chin chopper chin chopper chin chopper
    And around the ear we go, and around the ear we go

    She’d say the last part about the ears slowly building up to a climactic tickle on the tummy.

  47. Peg Says:

    Du bis farickt. dats what we learend in the school. Sorry my German is not that good

  48. Peg Says:

    Was isdat here mine mother dear that is the chin whisker mine mother chin whisker Dubois farict that’s what we learned in the school. Etc. on about the soup strainer..nose blower..eye blinker that’s what we learned in the school. 84. Hard to remember the whole song. Good luck

  49. DanielB Says:

    This is an amazing discussion of a song that people all over Europe and North America have heard for generations but doesn’t seem to be written down anywhere. Thank you to everyone who posted their version. I found a website that has a fully written version plus music:

  50. Beerlovesbob Says:

    I never heard this as a child but About 15 years ago, as an adult, I was taught this version by my roommate:
    Put your finger right here, vas ist Das my dear?
    Das ist my _______ my darling, my dear.
    _______(recite the progressively longer list), that’s we learn in Das school my dear.

    Curly-verly vinkle (head/hair)
    Brow crinklin (eyebrow)
    Eye vinker (eye)
    Schnot blower (nose)
    Soup strainer (upper lip)
    Bull shooter (mouth)
    Punch schtopper (chin)
    Head holder (neck)
    Coat hanger (shoulders)
    Chest protector (sternum)
    Bread basket (belly)
    Jenuflector (knee)
    Boot stomper (foot)
    Toe tapper (toes)

    Milwaukee, WI 2007 ish

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