Looking for an Old Czech Rhyme

Julie wrote:

I’m looking for the old czech rhyme/finger play ditty my grandma used to play with me. It was about an insect-spider who crawls up (your arm) finds a hole (ear) and crawls in (tickle ear). It phonectically sounds like “broczech leza pludla meza daya jerka tomza leza”.

Ideally, I would like the actual translation to English as well as the Czech words.

Thank you so much, Julie

If anyone can help, please comment below.



This article was posted on Saturday, January 20th, 2007 at 8:19 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, Czech, Czech Republic, Finger Plays, Languages, Nursery Rhymes, Questions, Readers Questions. 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.

116 Responses to “Looking for an Old Czech Rhyme”

  1. Hana Says:

    I am from Czech Republic and I think that the Czech words are:
    Brou?ek leze podle meze
    kde je dírka tam zaleze.
    In English:
    A little beetle crawls along the balk
    where is a whole there it crawls in.


  2. Hana Says:

    In English:
    A little beetle crawls along the balk
    where is a little hole there it crawls in.

  3. julie Says:

    Yes! That is the one. Thank you so much, Hana. You have made my day. And thank you too, Mama Lisa!

  4. Alžbeta W. Says:

    My great-grandmother was Czech, and when I was a child, she sang me this song/nursery rhyme all the time.
    The problem is, she has passed away now, and all I can remember is what the title SOUNDED like… I was wondering if it sounded familiar?

    “šlima linka”
    (shleema linka)

    If anybody could help, it would be greatly appreciated!


  5. Hana Says:

    The Czech words are:

    Šla Nanynka do zelí,
    do zelí, do zelí,
    natrhala lupení, lupeníčka.
    Přišel za ní Pepíček,
    rozšlapal* jí košíček.
    Ty, ty, ty, ty, ty, ty,
    ty to budeš platiti.

  6. Lisa Says:

    Thanks Hana!

    If anyone can provide an English translation, that would be great! -Lisa

  7. Alžbeta W. Says:

    yes, thank you so much!

    I am very appreciative of this!

  8. Hana Says:

    An English translation is:
    šla- went
    Nanynka – Nancy
    do zelí – to the cabbage field
    natrhala – picked, plucked
    lupení – leaves
    přišel – came
    Pepí?ek – Joe
    rozšlapal – trampled (under foot)
    koší?ek – a little basket
    ty to budeš platiti – you will pay for it

    The second strophe of this song is:

    Já to platit nebudu, nebudu, nebudu
    radši se dám na vojnu, na vojni?ku.
    Na vojnu se nedávej, truc rodi?ům nedělej.
    Udělám, udělám, na vojnu se přece dám.

    In English:
    I am not going to pay for it,
    I will rather go to the army.
    Don´t go to the army, don´t be stubborn (don´t do it against the will of your parents)
    I will do it, I will do it, I will go to the army.

  9. Soňa Surjomartonová Says:

    Hello Mama Lisa,
    I get big help from your sites to teach my boys english.
    I can help with czech.
    Julie asked about this I hope:
    Brou?ek leze, leze
    Najde dírku,
    do ní vleze.

    Little bug go up,up
    find a hole
    go in there

  10. Lisa Says:

    Thank you all for helping with the Czech rhyme!

    If you’d ever like to send me a recording of you singing any Czech songs or rhymes that would be wonderful!

    If you’d like me to post a recording of an English song or rhyme – just let me know and I’ll try to help!

  11. Carolyn Novotny Says:

    I learned two other Czech games as a child that I would love the real words and translations for. One was about butting heads with a goat and sounded like “Beronek, beronek, beronek, duz.” The other one sounded like “mu ti ti”.

    I also learned a version of the “mother mouse” game, where the mother passed out a knife, fork, and spoon. Then she sliced the porridge into pieces, by making slicing movements up the child’s arm before tickling him. Do you have the words to it?

  12. Hana Says:

    Máme doma berana a ten trká rohama
    Berany, berany, berany duc.

    there is a lot of versions of this finger play:

    Vařila myši?ka kaši?ku na zeleném rendlí?ku.
    tomu dala na lži?ku – she gave it on a spoon to this one
    tomu dala na vidli?ku – she gave it on a fork to this one
    tomu dala na talířek – she gave it on a little plate to this one
    tomu dala na misti?ku – she gave it on a little bowl to this one
    a na toho malého nezůstalo nic!
    Tak utíkal do komůrky na homolky a tam se napapal!

    Look at http://www.mamalisa.com/world/europe.html

    Czech Republic – Vařila myši?ka kaši?ku
    (Mother Mouse Cooked Porridge)

  13. Carolyn Novotny Says:

    These are the words I remember! Dekuju.

  14. James Kadlec Says:

    Ms. Novotny — Thank you for asking the question about the Vařila myši?ka kaši?ku finger game.

    Hana — thank you so much for the response! My mother used to play the game with 4 generations of Kadlec children and I have been looking for the actual words with diatrics for several years…

    Thank you both so much!

  15. Jennifer Says:

    Oh my gosh. Those are the words. I just connected the “tomu dala” words and the mouse/porridge idea. Thank you for your help. This is the right one. I just had the beginning of the rhyme wrong. Wow. My aunt will love to see this.
    Thanks again.

  16. JOAN ARENS Says:

    My Mom used to say it all the time and I would love to pass on that poem. She can’t remember all of it. I always thought it was she gave this one some, this one some and this one some, and the last one got none or nitz in Czech. Then you tickle the little child under the arm. I hve tried to find this for so many years. I’m also looking for the full version of Happy Birthday in Czech. Can anyone help me? My mother was a Pavelka from Nebraska.

  17. Sarah Says:

    I heard the same version as you where she gave this one some, this one some, and the other none.

  18. DCN Says:

    I can’t believe finding this site via a Czech reply on a Trip Advisor forum – I was seaching for the do zelí rhyme BUT in reading this page I realise that my mother used the Varila myšicka kašicku rhyme too. Sadly my parents could see no point in teaching me Czech in 50’s London where I was born (they used it to talk when I wasn’t supposed to understand & when I apparently said ‘I know what you’re saying’ they stopped). Tragic – the music of the language & various exclamations [Ježís marja!] & ‘bad words’ are totally familiar; I am writing a ‘book’ & so all this has been very helpful. Dík :)

  19. Hana Says:

    I think, that in Czech you can sing Happy Birthday:
    Hodně štěstí , zdraví
    Hodně štěstí, zdraví
    Hodně štěstí, Joan,
    Hodně štěstí , zdraví!

  20. Christine Says:

    I am looking for the words to a rhyme that my Mother and Grandmother used to do. It was a type of finger rhyme where they would say words, tug on my fingers, and at the end, they would pinch my palm. The words went something like:
    Bajay del sicso rah, pincse…..

    And I am also looking for the lyrics to the rocking chair song that goes Ho, Ho, grava do, meso nico….

    Thanks for you time. I appreciate your help!

  21. Tereza Kyndlová Says:

    Unfortunately I can’t help with the first one, but the second goes this way:

    Hou, hou, krávy jdou, nesou mlíčko pod vodou;
    kde je ta jalovička? U božího kostelíčka.
    Kostelíček hoří, stodola se boří,
    skoč má milá do vody, pro ty černé jahody.

    Proč já bych tam skákala, sukýnky si máchala,
    kde bych si je usušila? U pana Víta.
    Pan Vít není doma, jel do Berouna,
    pro štyry ovce, pro pátýho berana, s velikejma rohama.

    Have a nice day!


  22. Lisa Says:

    Thanks Tereza! Would you (or anyone else) be able to provide an English translation?

    Thanks in advance!

    Mama Lisa

  23. Christine Says:

    Thank you so much Tereza! I appreciate your help. My Mother passed away two years ago and I have fond memories of her rocking my son singing bits and pieces of that song. Thank you! :-)

  24. Kathryn Says:

    My grandmother used to do a nursery rhyme where she made a circle in your hand, then wiggled each finger then, ran her hand up your arm…it sounds similar to the mouse porridge rhyme above..but may be different, from what I remember it sounded like
    When I asked her what it meant, when I was an adult, she said something about men getting thier heads cut off..I know this is pretty gruesome, and maybe she was getting a little senile then. but if anyone could help, I would sure love to have the correct words and translation. thanks, Kathryn

  25. Whitney Says:

    yes!!! ive been searching for that one too.. my grandma told me it was something like the little piggies on your toes.. that your stiring a pot of porridge and one gets a little, one gets some, one gets alot and one gets none.. and then last one runs screaming all the way home (up your arm)
    all i can rememeber is it sounding like

    vujula vujula kushestes ku,
    domo dalo noviezsu,
    tomo dalo, tomo vietz, tomo…tomo nietze
    (im sure all my spelling is totally wrong)

    thats all i know.. if anyone can find it i would be grateful as well

  26. Lisa Says:

    Hana said…

    What about this?


  27. Hana Says:

    For Whitney:

    Vařila myšička kašičku
    na zeleném rendlíčku,
    tomu dala,
    tomu taky,
    tomu málo,
    tomu víc,
    a na toho maličkého
    nezůstalo vůbec nic!
    A ten maličký utíkal
    do komůrečky
    na homolečky
    a tam se napapal.

    Look at this:

  28. Cheryl Says:

    I have been trying to find the words and translation for an old Bohemian rhyme/finger play that my Grandfather use to say. It went something like this(my english phonetic words):
    Vajshula Vajshula kutches koo
    Najshula Venda Brendesh koo
    Tocdomolala, Tocdomolala, Tocdomolala, Tocdomolala, Androstrawpesku?
    Tacolila, Tacolila,
    Beajshala, Beajshala, Beajshala,

    This said while swirling a finger in the palm of the hand and up the finger then around the wrist then walking fingers up the arm and tickling the arm pit.

    Anyone able to help?

  29. Hana Says:

    There are many versions of this fingerplay. I think that this could help you a little:

  30. karisa Says:

    My grandmother taught me a version of that fingerplay…it’s similar, but different. I’d love to know the actual Czech spelling of this one. She always said it was about a mother fox cooking a stew of peas and carrots. Then she gave some to this one, this one, this one, but there wasn’t any left for the last one, so she twisted off his little head and ran and hid in her hole (armpit).

    any insight?

    Vaszrila liska krupke hrah
    Vaszro lato nukem nah
    domo nezbitala
    zacrocheela hlavichku
    Beajshala, Beajshala, Beajshala,
    Shupsetum Scovala

  31. karisa Says:

    There was also a song she would sing that started off (phonetically)

    bubyupka shtidiupka

    I will try to unearth the old recordings I have, but the ones on my computer currently are oddly blank.

  32. Hana Says:

    bubyupka …..

    I think it is this one:

    Měla babka čtyři jabka
    a dědoušek jen dvě
    dej mi babko jedno jabko
    budeme mít stejně.

    Grandmother had four apples
    grandfather had only two
    give me grandmother one apple
    we will have as well

    Vařila liška krupky, hrách
    vařila to na kamnách.
    tomu dala
    tomu dala
    tomu dala
    tomu nezbývala
    zakroutila hlavičkou
    běžela, běžela, běžela
    šup se tam schovala.

  33. Hana Says:

    For Karisa

    You can hear “bubyupka” (Měla babka) in the end of this:


    And this is the way, how children in Czech Republic are usually singing this song and dancing a dance callled “MAZURKA” :


  34. karisa Says:


    Thank you so much! My grandmother just passed away yesterday, so I was trying to get some recordings properly labeled to share with family.

    She would also always say a phrase “Bombi czech les putras stra” which essentially meant “What goes around comes around” or “you’ll get what’s coming to you”.


  35. Hana Says:

    Your Grandmother used to say :”Pánbíček vás potrestá” meaning “God will punish you”.

    “Pánbíček” – is very informal and diminutive of “Pán Bůh” (God The Lord)

  36. Christina Says:

    My grandfather, 100% czechloslovakian, used to sing a song to my sister and I when we were little. He has since passed and I am looking to find the entire song/ translation. I don’t even know the correct spelling but phenetically it was like, “Jesh bil yo shinko, jesh bil derana, hoopi shoopi hoopi shoopi”

    I wish I knew the correct spelling I am sure it would make it much easier to figure out! If anyone could help at all, it would be greatly appreciated!

  37. Hana Says:

    I am sorry, I do not know this song, but the words could be :

    Kdes byl, Jožinko, Where were you, Joe
    Kdes byl do rána? Where were you till morning?
    hupi šupi hupi šupi!

  38. Don Jiskra Says:

    Hi, I’m looking for the childrens song “Jan Jiskra ze Brandyska”, is it available or did anyone ever hear of it? I was told such a song was sung by children many years ago. Jan Jiskra was in Slovakia in the mid 1400’s.

    Thank you for your kind reply.
    Don Jiskra ze Chicago U.S.A.

  39. matt Says:

    I am looking for a polish or slovak nursery rhyme that my grandma used to do with the grandkids…I only know a very little of a phoenetic translation…it’s something about a grandma mixing porridge and it has the baby using his finger on his open palm like he’s mixing…

    mele baba (or babka) muchku….

    at then end the baby will pretend he eats the porridge.. any ideas?

  40. Hana Says:

    For Matt:

    Can you add more ( slovak ) words?

  41. Cindy Says:

    My grandmother was from Slovakia and came to America via Austria. She used to tell us a nurery rhyme that’s about a mouse cooking rice all us kids call “Vazula”. Phonetically “in English” it sounds like this but I’m sure the spelling is wrong. I’d like to see it in the origional (Bohemian?) language and translated into English.

    Vaz-a-la, vaz-a-la, meesh-ka hair-ah-shik
    Spa-lay-la hoe-na-pra-shik
    First va-shil
    Den sma-shil
    Den becht
    Den Yet
    Den a-not-a-hoe sen-yetz-ned-i-sta-lo
    Dock mee-shik
    Dock vee-a-zala, vee-a-zala
    Ah see stah-dee sko-vah-la.

  42. Hana Says:

    Hi Cindy
    I am sorry I do not know this nursery rhyme, but it is about a mouse cooking green peas. Maybe this could help you a little (in Czech):

    Vařila vařila myška hrášek (in Slovak hrášik)
    Spálila ho na prášek (in Slovak prášik)
    První den vařila
    druhý den smažila
    Třetrí den brečela
    Čtrvrtý den ječela
    Pátý den a noc se nic nestalo
    Tak myška vařila, vařila
    Pak se takhle schovala

    A mouse cooked peas
    She burned it to the powder
    The first day she was cooking it
    The next day she fried it (the second day)
    the third day she was crying
    The next day she was yelling (the fourth day)
    On the fifth day and night, nothing happened
    So mouse cooked, boiled
    Then he hid itself

    I am sorry my English is not good enough, but I hope you understand it.

  43. Hana Says:

    I am sorry I made some mistakes. Correct spelling:

    Třetí den brečela
    Čtvrtý den ječela

  44. Cindy Says:

    Hana, thank you so much, my family and I have looked your version and agree that it is so very close. and don’t worry about your English…it was as if I were in my aunts kitchen again, listening to her talk.

  45. Vanessa Says:

    Whitney, my grandmother’s version sounded very similar to yours, especially the beginning.

  46. KIT Says:

    slovak – remember something like “ken kavama ken” from childhood but not knows what from. nursery rhymes? song? carttoon? tv or raadio ad? Maybe words be different like “ken kava ma ken” or “ken kava maken” “ken ka va maken” c ould be slovak hungarian czech … exposed meny languages on childhood

  47. Hana Says:

    I really do not know, but could it be for examlple something like:

    Kolo kolo mlýnský….

    Can you add more?

  48. Julie Says:

    Hello all!
    I was wondering what the funny question marks are in this czech word that were a part of the rhyme I asked about all the way at the top of this: Brou�?ek
    Thanks to anyone who can help!!

  49. Monique Says:

    Julie, it’s brouček (I hope it will show right, a c with a reverse circumflex)

  50. Lisa Says:

    Here’s a link to more lyrics to Czech songs.

  51. Madeleine Says:

    Hi! I realize this is a really old thread, but I have been searching all over for an answer to a question. When I was a little girl, my mother would tap a rhyme on my palm. It was essentially like “This Little Piggy,” but it was about these little chickens eating, and at the end, the one flies away. My grandmother died a few years ago, and my mother makes up the words toward the end. I know virtually no Czech, but it’s killing me to know.


  52. Mila Says:

    Hi, I would like to get back to what Cindy wrote on January 16th, 2011 and to Hana´s answer. I think I found a version closer to the original that Cindy recalled. This is how it goes:
    Vařila vařila myška hrášek
    Spálila ho na prášek
    Ten vařil (squeezing the first finger of a child)
    Ten smažil
    Ten pekl
    Ten jedl
    Na toho se nedostalo
    Tak myška běžela, běžela,
    Až se tady schovala

    A mouse cooked peas
    She burned it to the powder
    This one cooked it
    This one fried it
    This one baked it
    This one ate it
    For this one, nothing was left
    So the mouse ran, ran
    Until he hid himself here

    I must say that this discussion is very interesting for me. I am Czech and I think I know many traditional nursery rhymes, but it seems that only some have survived in our country to this day while many were forgotten and are not actively used by parents any more. Yet they were preserved overseas, in the memories of you who heard them from your ancestors so long ago, and we can actually learn them back from you now! For example, I have never heard “A little beetle crawls along the balk…”. I am sure some Czechs know it, but my parents and grandparents never played this one with me.

  53. Lisa Says:

    Thanks for writing! If would like to share any of the rhymes you know, we’d love to add them to our Czech songs and rhymes pages. -Mama Lisa

  54. Mandy Says:

    My husband’s grandfather sings a song to our daughter, and I’d like to know the English translation. It starts off “slow baby posable . . ”

    He says it’s about a baby walking with a basket full of eggs . . .

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  55. Lisa Says:

    Mandy – If you can get a recording of him singing the song we can probably find someone who can help with the lyrics. -Lisa

  56. Kari Says:

    My dad use to say this phonetic rhyme to me. I know his grandmother came from Bohemia as listed from her entrance papers at Ellis Island.

    Incy mincy tippety fig
    Idle didle domonig
    Itcy pitsy domonitcy
    Om Pom polivue
    Out goes you!

    If there is any clues to what it means or where it comes from….I’d love to hear.

  57. Rick Says:

    Trying to figure out this nursery rhyme that my mother use to tell me that she learned from her Czech grandmother. I do not know how to even spell in Czech so I will do it phonetically. It sounds like – Ish jo shek popo les ulta huni yako pes i wan clichi yi yi yi mushta kushki nupli di. She was told it was about a Jewish man and woman in the forest picking up bones – but her grandmother said that wasn’t quite right I’ve been trying to find the Czech spelling and true English translation for this rhyme for about25 years now. Any help would be appreciated.

  58. DizzyD Says:

    Has anyone heard a nursery rhyme about a pig… It sounds like this

    Moya mada nechka
    Dobray goozboo deenya
    Flaz la za pitz
    Evila svinya
    Nisho nisho noot noot noot
    Nisho nisho noot noot noot

    My gram says she was polish but doesn’t know where her parents were from. None of my polish friends recognize this. Someone suggested it may be Czech. If any one could help with both translations that would great!

  59. Hana Says:

    I do not know that nursery rhyme, but maybe I could help with the first three lines:

    Moja galánečka
    dobrá hospodyně
    vlezla za pec

  60. Debbie Says:

    Hi all,

    I love this thread. I visited the Czech son links and didn’t see the one my grandmother used to sing to me. I would love to know the meaning of this one (I will spell the words phonetically). When I asked my grandmother what it meant, she said it was about a donkey, but it could have been about a horse. English was not her strong language.

    I ya sam, diskie sam.
    Sveck oh neechkie oh saylam.
    Sveck oh neechkie, oh say lou ya,
    Svoh, my janko, paul may lou ya.
    I ya sam, diskie sam.
    Sveck oh neechkie oh saylam.

    Here’s another fun word to teach your family – poopeck – its the Czech word for belly button :)

    Thanks so much!


  61. Hana Says:

    Hi Debbie

    The song is about horses

    A já sám, vždycky sám, své koníčky osedlám,
    a já sám, vždycky sám, své koníčky osedlám,
    své koníčky okšíruju, svou panenku pomiluju, a já sám, vždycky sám, své koníčky osedlám,
    své koníčky okšíruju, svou panenku pomiluju, a já sám, vždycky sám, své koníčky osedlám

  62. Dale Gulas Perry Says:

    I was hoping to find the rhyme Granny Gulas always said for little toes. Sounded like:
    Babishek, cryshez, baneshka, creshka, coo, coody, coo.

  63. Phil Says:

    My grandmother’s family came from a town outside Prague (in what she always called Bohemia) called Lipec. Here is a postcard from my great grandfather’s papers:
    Can anyone tell me what name to look for on a modern map?

    I remember she did a version of “stirring the pot”, but I can’t remember what variation! I remember a rhyme like “zmazhila lalishdishka”

    And “this is the way the farmer rides”

    But one I haven’t seen at all is one that includes something about repairing (or making) a shoe, where she would tap on our feet with her fist. The rhyme I remember is something like “kovey kovey kovey zichku”

    Thanks in advance for any help!

  64. Monique Says:

    Phil, if you put “Lipec Czech Republic” into Google maps, it’ll lead you right there. It’s about 30 miles East of Prague, following the Road 11 (E67), South-West of a town called Žiželice and South of a smaller one called Radovesnice II. You need to zoom in very much because it’s a very small town and the name doesn’t show till you’ve zoomed in a lot.

  65. Hana Says:

    Hi Phil

    Takhle jedou páni

    Vařila liška krupky, hrách

    Kovej, kovej, kováříčku


  66. Donna Miller Says:

    Hello! I’m wondering if anyone could helprme with a translation. My great great grandmother was czech and she used to do this version of finger play with my mother who then passed it on to myself and my sisters. It sounds phonetically something life this:
    Vadiwa vadiwa tatichku
    Tomu dawa
    tomu dawa
    Tomu dawa
    Takikus takikus takikus
    Aynta unta kowa meshishka
    On tuto skuma skuvawa

    Thank you!

  67. Lisa Says:

    Hi Donna,

    We have a different version of this rhyme at the link below:


    I hope that helps!

    Would anyone else know Donna’s version?


    Mama Lisa

  68. Hana Says:

    Hi Donna

    I am really sorry. I do not know your version but the Czech words could be like this:

    Vařila vařila kašičku
    Tomu dala
    tomu dala
    Tomu dala
    Taky kus taky kus taky kus
    A tak utíkala myšička


  69. Judy Vancrew Says:

    My grandmother was Bohemian and used to sing a song to us that sounded like “da da go bee butts shish ski” . She would sing it mostly to the babies and tap their bare feet together. Do you know all of the Bohemian words and also the English words? I can hum the tune, but I can’t remember all of the words.

  70. Hana Says:

    Hi Judy

    I suppose that you are looking for the rhyme:

    Paci paci pacičky




  71. Roy Van Til Says:

    My grandmother, Ruzena Vydra Blaha, (born in Blatna, 1879) used to sing a song while bouncing me on her knee when I was just a tot. I had to do with the way a prince would ride, a lady would ride, etc. I know no Czech whatsoever, but phonetically it sounded like “Daclay edoe pahnee, daclay edoe pahnee, dock-sul-kee, brohulkee, etc. This was nearly seventy years ago and my memories of it are fading. But my daughter would love to learn all the real Czech lyrics and sing them to her newborn son. Can anybody help me to find the lyrics and melody of this fun nursery rhyme that made me laugh so hard as a toddler when Grandma Rose Blaha would bounce me as if in a steeplechase?
    Thank you so much, Roy

  72. Hana Says:


    One version of that rhyme:



  73. Lisa Says:

    Not very good, but maybe helpful:



    A lot of Czech songs:


  74. Roy Van Til Says:

    thank you so much!

  75. Allyssa Says:

    Hello! My great grandmother was from Czechoslovakia, and I’m trying to find a finger play that is very similar to the mouse and fox finger play, but some of the words sound different. It starts by swirling in the palm and goes to your fingers, I only know bits and pieces but I can spell them phonetically one part sounds like “temu dalah” and each time that repeats it slightly changes how it sounds, and towards the end of the finger play it sounds like “tens-vi-shell” twice i believe, and then moves to ” Beajshala, Beajshala, Beajshala” like the other finger plays. I have not been able to find any with the sound “tens-vi-shell” but that part is what i remember the most clearly in the finger play so I know the fox and mouse are not them. Please if anyone could help me find this finger play I would be so grateful!

  76. Lisa Says:

    Allyssa -are you looking for the one at this link:


  77. Danelle Says:

    Can anyone help me with this, my grandma use to say a little rhyme to me when I was little. It something about a kitty, not sure on the spelling. Kutzi webasque commana wathasow shmuticlay kutzi kutzi kutzi.

  78. Jay Says:

    My Mother used to sing & play this nursery rhyme with us: while exchanging thumb & index finger pinching the back of each hand until it was 4 hands high…then the song began about the “Tower of Babel” with the end of the song the tower collapsed leaving only the mice in the tower running around tickling each of us into giggles!
    My mom called it (phonetically) “Bawbi Lon Skevesha”. Our Czech side is from the eastern Moravian/Wallachian area.
    Would anyone know the full song in Czech and the full English translation? That would be fun to get again and pass on to our children and grandchildren. Thanks !

  79. Patsy Weiser Says:

    My grandmother and mom did this little rhyme on the bottom of a baby’s foot about shoeing a horse. It went skrab, skrab, skrab, vrti, vrti, vrti, kuy, kuy, kuy, kuy. When you said skrab you would act like you are scraping the foot, then for the vrti you would drill the foot and for the kuy you would hammer the foot (of course all done gently). I know what the skrab and vrti mean buy I cannot fine a word in the Czech language that would mean kuy (don’t know if that is the way it is spelled). Both my mom and grandmother are deceased. Would love to know if this was just a rhyme they did or if others did it also and what kuy or kooy stood for? It was supposed to be hammering in the nails for a horseshoe???? Thanks.

  80. Hana Says:

    Hi Patsy

    Kovej, kovej, kovaříčku
    okovej mi mou nožičku,
    okovej mi obě,
    zaplatím já tobě.
    škráb, škráb, vrty, vrty, kuj kuj kuj!

    kovář – a blacksmith
    kovat – shoe sth.
    kuj – it is the imperative mood (hammer sth or shoe sth)

    I think, that you are right – “hammering in the nails for a horseshoe”


  81. Hana Says:

    Hi Patsy

    you can find the song here:


    In Czech we have two similar verbs:

    kovat – hammer sth or shoe sth (horseshoe) – imperativ “kovej”
    kout – hammer sth or forge sth (IRON) – imperativ “KUJ”

  82. cathy Says:

    My stary mama Mary Misan (Shebesta), born in Holic or thereabouts, used to bounce us on her knee and say:

    Tapu linki tapuchki.

    Any ideas would be appreciated.

  83. Monique Says:

    Hana wrote to us from the Czech Republic:

    “Actually the town Holič is in the Slovak Republic (we used to be one republic – the Czechoslovak Republic). In Czech we have versions of that rhyme like Paci paci pacičky…
    The versions with Ťapi ťapi are always in Slovak. I have found only these two versions:

    Ťapulinky, ťapky,
    daj Janíčko labky,
    daj Janíčko prštek,
    výjdeme na vŕštek.

    English Translation

    Ťapulinky, ťapky
    Little John, give me your hand (palm)
    Little John, give me your finger
    We are going to climb the hill

    Ťapulinky, ťapky,
    daj Alexko labky,
    daj Alexko prštek,
    výdeme na vŕštek.

    A na vŕšku barančiatko,
    pozerá sa na chlapčiatko,
    ťap, tap, ťapušká,
    prečo nemáš kožúška?

    English Translation

    Ťapulinky, ťapky
    Little Alex, give me your hand (palm)
    Little Alex, give me your finger
    We are going to climb the hill

    And there is a little lamb on the hill
    It is looking at the little boy
    Ťap, tap, ťapušká,
    “Why don’t you have fur?”

    You can find many versions of “Ťap ťap ťapušky” on this forum (in Slovak only)”.

    Thank you Hana!

  84. Donna Marie Says:

    Oh my goodness I LOVE that you posted varila mysicka kasicku!!!!! My mom and dad are both gone, as is my brother. My niece asked me recently for this one. THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! :)

  85. Bruce Says:

    My wife’s mother grew up in a bohemian family. Grandma sang a rhyme which went like this… vashidi vashidi cows kiss kitchen, and ended with tumbilla, tumbilla, …

    Does anyone recognize this?

  86. Hana Says:

    Hi Bruce

    what about this rhyme:

    Vařila myšička kašičku…



  87. Amanda Says:

    My husband said his grandmother used to say a rhyme to them in Czech when he was little but he can’t remember the exact words. He thinks it was possibly some version of the quiet game as the rough translation was “He who is the first to wake the poop has to eat it.” Does this sound familiar to anyone?

  88. Hana Says:

    Hi Amanda

    I have found a version with the “dirty word”

    Tiše, tiše, ………. spí, kdo ho vzbudí, ten ho sní!

    I am sorry. I like Czech language and I would never teach my children this version. You can replace the word “poop” and use for example “ježek” – hedgehog
    and I think that that nursery rhyme is much better…

    Tiše, tiše, JEŽEK spí, kdo ho vzbudí, toho sní!


  89. Sandy Says:

    Need correct spelling & words to a “toe” rhyme that my husband’s aunt use to say to the kids.
    Bohbec (she would wiggle their big toe) Raschek. Veska chacha-veska…. male ki (then in English she would say… And the little one flew away!)
    Thank you so much! Love your help!

  90. Hana Says:

    Hi Sandy

    maybe it was only made-up nursery rhyme. My guess is that …

    “bohbec” – PALEC – thumb

    rashek – HRÁŠEK – peas (pea) / in Czech index finger is UKAZOVÁČEK/

    veska – VIČKA – Hairy tare, hairy vetch (Vicia hirsuta)

    chacha-veska – ČOČOVIČKA – čočka – lentil (plant)

    male ki – MALÍK or MALÍČEK – pinkie


  91. Amy Says:

    My grandmother used to sing one to me as a child. I only remember a few lines
    Clap clap clap your hands
    God gave us our little hands to work with
    God gave us our little hands to play with

    I am terrible with Czech spelling but in English some of the lines sounded like

    Rush rush rush haleigh
    Diam en jetsch ku vyieljaleigh

  92. Christina Ralston Says:

    My grandma use to sing a song while doing a circle on our hand going up each finger and tickling under the arm. It was about a mouse trying to find his cheese and under the arm is where he found it. I would like to know the words to it as my grandma has since passed on.

  93. Jenn Says:

    My grandmother was from Ostrava and used to sing me a song when I was little about a flower on a bridge. I can’t seem to find it online. I know this is an old thread but maybe if someone sees it they can help me? It started off (phonetically) like “natom proskim moste, konvalinka roste” or something. She died when I was 12 and I’d like to sing the song to my daughter.

  94. Kimberly Says:

    Hello there ..

    My great grandma was from Czech Republic and used to do this hand rhyme with me when I was a kid but I don’t remember it… It is close to Vařila myšička kašičku but the words and hand gestures don’t sound the same and the hand things are a little different… I remember you put like an X on the hand pull the pointer finger and thumb and then she would run her hand up the arm like she’s tickling you… I hope you can help me with this.

  95. Hana Says:

    Hi Jenn

    Your song is this:


    Na tom pražským mostě (On the Prague bridge)

    1. Na tom pražským mostě, rozmarýnka roste,
    žádnej ji tam nezalejvá, ona sama roste,
    žádnej ji tam nezalejvá, ona sama roste.

    2. Já tam tudy půjdu, zalejvat ji budu,
    ona se mi zazelená, já ji trhat budu,
    ona se mi zazelená, já ji trhat budu.

    Version with the flower “ROZMARÝNKA” – ROSEMARY:


    Version with the flower “KONVALINKA” – “lily of the valley”


    Best wishes


  96. Katie Dimza Says:

    Been looking for a translation for this song or rhyme, phonetically it goes:

    Hulana, Hulana
    Donselvali ushlepreach
    Ushla thekla novaich

    Again, sorry for the spelling, I’m sure I absolutely butchered it.

  97. Emilie Says:

    Does anyone know of a lap game that was roughly translated
    The shoemaker is making shoes
    The shoemaker is making shoes
    Wheres my shoes?
    Look! (And then my grandmother would point up and when i looked she would put me upside down)

    I think the first 2 lines are 9 syllables total (as a kid it sounded like one word repeated 3 times “schubute” or something like that)
    The wheres my shoes part was 6 syllables
    And then it ended with divej se

    Thanks in advanced :) excited to find this page!

  98. Hana Says:

    Hi Emilie

    I know only this rhyme about making shoes:


    Šiju boty do roboty,
    nemám chleba ani sýra,
    všechno mi to kočka snědla!
    Udělala kšššš!


  99. Hana Says:

    hi Emilie

    Šije šije švec

    Šije šije švec,
    zlámal kopytec.
    Zlámal kopyto,
    odpusťme mu to.

    This is another rhyme about making shoes.

    Šili ševci, šili boty,
    sedlákovi do roboty,

    Šili ševci, šili boty,
    sedlákovi do pole.

    Šije, šije, švec,
    zlámal kopytec,

    Zlámal kopyto,
    odpusťme mu to.

    I am sorry. I do not know your version.


  100. Stephanie Says:

    Hi. When we were young, my Dad would have us stand on his feet and sing a song while he walked around the room. Sounded like this:

    Yedna vje, Tata de, Shrepti….

    Then with his grandchildren, one of the words changed:

    Yedna vje, Deda de….

    Would anyone know the rest of the song and it’s meaning? Thank you so much!

  101. Hana Says:

    Hi Stephanie

    the version, that sang your father, was maybe made up, but each child in Czech republic knows this version:

    Jedna dvě, Honza jde, nese pytel mouky,
    máma se raduje, že bude péct vdolky.
    Máma vdolky nepekla, Honza skočil do pekla,
    máma vdolky pekla, Honza vylez z pekla.

    piano music is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOyba4F4WnU

    You can hear the song here: http://www.predskolaci.cz/jedna-dve-honza-jde/3170

    Maybe you know this version (by Fr. Hrubín):

    Jedna, dvě
    Honza jde,
    jedna, dvě, tři
    pes ho větří
    jedna, dvě, tři, čtyři,
    kampak si to míří,
    jedna, dvě, tři, čtyři, pět,
    běží k mámě na oběd.

  102. Hana Says:

    Hi Stephanie

    Can you remember more words of your song?

    Yedna vje, Tata de.. means: One two Daddy goes……
    Yedna vje, Deda de means: One two Grandoa goes…..

    Jedna dvě, Honza jde means: One two Johnny goes……


  103. Hana Says:

    Hi Stephanie

    How many years ago did your father sing the song? Is it possible that he knew that song from The Simpsons?


    táta jde.
    pojď se svézt.
    dej to kosům.
    přidej se k nám!


  104. Lisa Says:

    Hi Hana, Hahaha! Was that song made for The Simpsons or is it traditional? :) -Lisa

  105. Hana Says:

    Hi Lisa

    I think, that the song was made only for The Simpsons.

    Czech people are really great – for example the movie Shrek in Czech is really very funny.


  106. Lisa Says:

    That’s so cool Hana! :)

  107. Jason Says:

    If this blog is still active, I could use some help :) Looking for audio of a song to give to my mother as a gift. It is of a tune her father used to sing to her. I think it has been filtered through the years, but I think with the help of google translate I’ve made out some of it :) parts in parentheses are phonetics that I haven’t made out yet…

    Vstávej má milá (stroi-ko-nee)
    Jdes mi máma (flenta/flinta), Jdes mi máma (flenta/flinta)
    Ty jsi moje moje drahá, ty jsi moje moje drahá, ty jsi moje moje drahá
    Já jsem tvoje!

    The beginning line starts with the same melody as the first lines of the Aj, Lúcka, Lúcka siroka march.

    Thanks in advance!

  108. Lisa Says:


    If you type into Google “Vstávej má milá” you’ll see some YouTube videos and also there’s a choice to go to itunes. So it must be for sale there. It also comes up in searches on Amazon to buy as mp3’s or on cd’s. I hope this helps! -Mama Lisa

  109. Jason Says:

    Still looking! Searching for Vsávej má milá gets results for a different song. It must not be the title. Would love to find this! Thanks for your help :)

  110. Hana Says:

    Hi Jason
    it is not easy to find “your song”.

    (stroi-ko-nee) – stroj koně – go and prepare the horses
    Flinta means gun

    It is possible to find similar but not the same lyrics for example in these songs but I do not know your old song. I am sorry.



  111. Leesa Says:

    My grandmother once told me a rhyme- something to do with three sisters meeting three brothers on holidays and then they get married to each other.

    They had names like tzipi, tzipi drippi, tzipi dripy limpin poney. And yak, yaksi drak, yaksi draksi draksi toni.

    Does anyone know this one?

  112. DeeDee Says:

    Hi. My grandmother was from czechoslovakia and when I was a child, she used to pinch the top of my hand and say this rhyme that sounded like “cheep cheep cheephuschke, (something something) nanuschke”.

    Does that sound familiar at all to anyone?

  113. Hana Says:

    Hi DeeDee

    It might be this Slovak rhyme:

    Ťap-ťap ťapušky,
    išli mačky na hrušky.
    Podriapali kožúšky…




  114. Hana Says:

    Hi DeeDee

    another version of that song for you:

    Cip, cip, ciburušky,
    išly mačky na hrušky.
    Podriapaly kožúšky,
    pove-šaly na vráta, pride kušnier zapláta — — ši — ši, ši!



  115. Gabrielle Says:

    I thought I wrote a comment on this already because someone else mentioned this but my great grandmother her name was Rose Skodacek- American version. :) I only know the sounds in my head that I can barely remember.. I KNOW IT is nothing like this.. but I will sound it out and I hope someone knows… Vacht vach vaucheetsah, shnidle little shepitsah, PSHHHHH! My dad said something about quack, quack goes the duck.. i dont know though. any help would be nice and I hope I didn’t curse anyone out in another language PAHAH!

  116. Kary Says:

    Hi! I am hoping this is still active. My grandmother was from Czechoslovakia, and she just passed away last week.
    She used to do some sort of nursery rhyme with me that I can’t seem to find. I THINK it was something like the This Little Piggy Went To Market one, the only word I remember were when she got to the ‘wee wee wee all the way home’ part, I remember her tickling my feet and saying ‘poddi-oochi, poddi-oochi, poddi-oochi’. Of course I don’t actually know how to spell it, that’s just how it sounded to me. And that’s all I can remember :(
    I’d love to be able to find whatever it was that she did.
    Thanks so much!

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