Hickory Dickery Dock

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One of our best known nursery rhymes, but in former times it was used more as a counting-out rhyme. First printed about 1744, and reported regularly in children's rhyme books and folklore collections ever since, the rhyme appears to have been particularly popular in Scotland, and the Opies demonstrate the similarity of the first line with the old ‘shepherds’ counting’ method, particularly popular in the northern counties, which includes the numerals Hevera (8), Devera (9), Dick (10).

Opie and Opie, 1997: 244.

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