Crosspost on 'Eensy Weensy Spider'

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Oct 28 20:15:58 UTC 2005

Replies as usual should go to the poster at the below address as well
as to the list.


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LINGUIST List: Vol-16-3071. Mon Oct 24 2005. ISSN: 1068 - 4875.

Subject: 16.3071, Qs: 'Eensy Weensy Spider'; Questions in Art Museum

Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2005 20:03:44
From: Lynn Santelmann < santelmannl at >
Subject: Regional Variants on 'Eensy Weensy Spider'

Does anyone know anything about regional (dialectal?) variations on the
English children's song ''The eensy weensy spider''?

Having lived in various parts of the (northern) U.S., I've heard both
''itsy bitsy spider'' and ''eensy weensy spider'' -- so much so that I'm
now at a perpetual loss whether to sing ''itsy bitsy'' or ''eensy weensy''
to my children!

I'm just curious as to where the boundaries lie, and whether the use of
itsy bitsy vs. eensy weensy reflects a more general choice of one or the
other as diminutives.

I've done a quick lit search on LLBA and not found anything. I will gladly
post a summary of replies.

Lynn  Santelmann
Associate Professor Applied Linguistics
Portland State University

LINGUIST List: Vol-16-3071

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