Regional Variants on 'Eensy Weensy Spider'

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sat Oct 29 21:20:38 UTC 2005

I had a kid's record on which it was "The Eentsy Beentsy Spider."  This is the only form I ever knew. Some people in Colorado once ridiculed me for it, claiming "itsy bitsy" was correct.


"James A. Landau" <JJJRLandau at AOL.COM> wrote:
---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: "James A. Landau"
Subject: Re: Regional Variants on 'Eensy Weensy Spider'

I am a native of Louisville, Kentucky, and I can remember the song (I think
we did it in the first grade (1954) as a recital at a PTA meeting). To the
best of my recollection it was "Itsy bitsy spider". I cannot recall ever
having heard the phrase "eensy weensy", which in fact reminds me mostly of "Eeny
meeny miney mo
Catch a tiger by the toe..."

(Yes, even in Kentucky in the 1950's it was "tiger" not "n****r by the toe").

My wife, who is a native of /dee TROIT/, Michigan, also says it is "itsy

- James A. Landau

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