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Alphabe Thursday …. J is for Jack and Jill

July 24, 2014

jack and jill

This nursery rhyme is considered by some as fairy tale because it has a romantic air.  From the beginning of the 19th century it formed one of the chapbook series; the story was extended to fifteen verses.  The second verse is probably a legacy of this extension and not so old as the first verse which alone and appears in 18th century documents. The rhyming of water (wahter) with after (ahter) suggests that it dates from early 17th century.  

At first glance the rhyme seems to be nonsense but there is a theory that the verse refers  to the Eddaic Hjuki and Bil.  Hjuki in Norse would be pronounced Juki to become Jack ; and Bil, for the sake of euphony, and in order to give a female name would become Jill.  The children were used in a Scandinavian myth to explain the markings on the moon. When the moon is full so the children can be seen with the bucket on a pole between them.  

alphabet thursday

13 Comments leave one →
  1. July 24, 2014 12:57 pm

    Thanks for explaining what’s thought to be the origins of this well-known rhyme.

  2. July 24, 2014 2:34 pm

    What a fun post and neat reminder of a classic nursery tale ~ fun for J ~ thanks, ^_^

    artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

  3. July 24, 2014 8:53 pm

    Those old Mother Goose rhymes are fun to read…still.

    • July 25, 2014 6:57 am

      Aren’t they? sadly they have been ousted by our Pop Culture ….

  4. July 24, 2014 11:43 pm

    I still sing Jack & Jill once in a while. I think ones like this one stay with you always. 🙂

  5. storybeader permalink
    July 26, 2014 5:45 am

    I never knew the other verses! I guess most people in the know don’t want to say the verses that are violent – and I would agree. Very interesting though… {:-D

  6. August 6, 2014 7:46 pm



    Nothing says ‘children’s nursery rhymes’ better!


    I knew one of the other verses but, wow.

    I always enjoy seeing what you’ll come up with!

    This was just a neat post!

    Thanks for linking.


  7. August 6, 2014 7:46 pm


  8. October 4, 2014 3:59 pm

    Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article.
    I’ll be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful information. Thanks
    for the post. I’ll definitely comeback.

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