higgledy piggledies

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sun Sep 2 00:50:37 UTC 2012

At 9/1/2012 06:12 PM, Arnold Zwicky wrote:
>On Sep 1, 2012, at 2:30 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
> > How accurate is Wikipedia on higgledy-piggledies, particularly the
> >
> "purportedly<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higgledy_piggledy#cite_note-Hecht_and_Hollander-0>
> > invented by <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Hecht>Anthony Hecht
> > and Paul Pascal in 1961"?
>the Hecht & Hollander 1967 book was when the form came to me, and i
>have no other sources.
>why are you asking?

The Wikipedia article talks about double dactyls as a verse form, and
"having a history as a parlor word game earlier in the
century".  There are also the nursery rhymes "Higgledy piggledy my
black hen", attributed to Mother Goose, and (perhaps) "Higgledy
piggledy my son John",* although these don't fit the mold of Anthony
Hecht and Paul Pascal..  So I wondered if anyone had written anything
scholarly and well-documented (in contrast to what one finds rife on
the Internet).

* Mother Goose seems to have "Diddle diddle dumpling".


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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