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Counting..

Michelle Malkin brings to attention a case where:
"Eenie, meenie, minie, moe;" may have caused offence.

What she (probably) doesn't realise is that this rhyme is an echo of a very long ago past - a preRoman counting system that persisted in England up to a few years ago. My local example is :
Ain, Tain, Tethera, Methera, Mimp,
Ayta, Slayta, Laura, Dora, Dik,
Ain-a-dik, Tain-a-dik, Tethera-dik, Methera-dik, Mit,
Ain-a-mit, Tain-a-mit, Tethera-mit, Gethera-mit, Ghet.
(1 -20 in Wiltshire Sheep Counting System)

So chant in pride - you are following a least twenty centuries of example.

Comments

Hmmm. Trackback ping has bounced.
Never mind, I've followed up Tim's post with a little remembering of dialect counting and a link to a site with Lakeland counting systems in my post http://www.gunculture.net/index.php/weblog/counting_sheep/

It's claimed as Welsh here

http://smilingunderbuses.blogspot.com/2005/08/voices.html

It'll be the same Celtic origin I would think.

That looks similar to the Gaelic my grandmother taught me..

It's originally P-Celtic/Brythonic - see the post Yan Tyan Tethera at News From Beyond The North Wind -
http://nfbtnw.blogspot.com/2005/06/yan-tyan-tethera.html
Though I doubt anybody has actually used it since before the Industrial Revolution. Still, I am absolutely astonished there's a version in Wiltshire . . .

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