Childrens Nursery Rhymes Quiz 1

Posted in other trivia quizzes

Hello boys and girls. Now I?m sure you can all remember back to those days of childhood and the rhymes you used to sing ? some of us with young ones or grandchildren still do!

Hidden inside these newspaper headlines are well known nursery rhymes and songs. I wonder if you can work out what they are?

Many, many thanks yet again to Lynne Boston from the UK for this fantastic quiz round

1. Young female in terror attack by arachnid

2. Cavalry in unsuccessful bid to reassemble ovoid

3. Rodent meets with (un)timely end

4. Collapse of capital landmark

5. Infants have misadventure during outdoor pursuit

6. Female involved in hot water activity

7. Military leader in mighty manoeuvres

8. Floral dance ends in disarray

9. Questions asked over small scale stellar activity

10. Possible flasher spotted on housing estate

11. Young female goes up and down in quick succession

12. Furry animal seen rotating in external floral arrangement

13. Male offspring of Scottish musician caught in porcine theft

14. Minder of ovine mammals mislays her charges

15. Trio of visually impaired rodents suffer vicious attack

16. Musical peal announces whereabouts of missing feline

17. Elderly rural landowner counts his blessings

18. Female stalked by small woolly creature

19. Royal tale ends in mutilation of palace servant

20. Crockery and cutlery items vanish after possible drunken evening entertainment

21. Elderly female in severe overcrowding issue

22. Arachnid makes second attempt to scale outdoor structure during spell of fine weather

23. Medical man has mishap whilst visiting town in West of England

24. Young male with learning difficulties encounters pastry seller on journey to outdoor entertainment

25. Musical peal has fruity beginnings

26. Sleeping infant in possible danger of falling

27. Small male child falls asleep whilst overseeing livestock

28. Elderly monarch entertained by trio of violinists

29. Awkward young female is quizzed as to her floral arrangements

30. Story unfolds of the death of feathered redbreast

31. Elderly woman unable to feed household pet due to lack of food

32. Quintet of small porcines linked to digits on pedal extremities

33. Palace servant linked to theft of pastries produced by royal female

34. Sea voyage of avian and domestic pet ends in matrimony

35. Enquiry of dark coloured ovine elicits response as to supply of its covering

36. Noises produced by hounds announces arrival of vagabonds to minor conurbation

37. Instructions issued for the production of edible substance for infant and another

38. Domestic feline relates capital visit to royalty

39. Spotted insect urged to return to its domicile as infants at risk

40. Cowardly attack on young females is prevented by arrival of young males for outdoor recreation  


1. Little Miss Muffet Little Miss Muffet: Believed to be the daughter of Dr Muffet (1553 ? 1604), a famous entomologist who wrote the first scientific catalogue of British insects.

2. Humpty Dumpty Humpty Dumpty: Not actually believed to be a person, but a large cannon! It was used at the siege of Colchester in the Civil War. At the time, Colchester was strongly fortified by the Royalists (the King?s men) and was laid to siege by the Parliamentarians. Next to the city wall was the church of St Mary?s. A huge cannon, nicknamed ?Humpty Dumpty?, was placed on a wall near the church. Unfortunately, a shot from a Parliamentary cannon damaged the wall beneath ?Humpty Dumpty? and he/it fell. The Royalists tried to raise the cannon but, because it was so heavy, ?all the King?s men couldn?t put Humpty together again?.

3. Hickory Dickory Dock The earliest recorded version of the rhyme is in Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book, published in London about 1744, which uses the opening line: 'Hickere, Dickere Dock'. The next recorded version in Mother Goose's Melody (c. 1765), uses 'Dickery, Dickery Dock'. The rhyme is thought by some commentators to have orignated as a counting-out rhyme. Westmoreland shepherds in the nineteenth century used the numbers 'Hevera' (8), 'Devera' (9) and 'Dick' (10).

4. London Bridge is falling down

5. Jack and Jill went up the hill While the true origins of the rhyme are unknown, there are several theories. The earliest publication of the lyrics was in the 1760's in John Newbery's Mother Goose's Melody. As a result, Jack and Jill are considered part of the canon of "Mother Goose" characters. As is common with nursery rhyme exegesis, complicated metaphors are often said to exist within the lyrics of Jack and Jill. Although these theories of meaning appear to make perfect sense, it does not follow that they are in fact the original meaning of the song.

6. Polly put the kettle on The tune associated with this rhyme "Jenny's Baubie" is known to have existed since the 1770s. The melody is vaguely similar to "Oh du lieber Augustin", which was published in Mainz in 1788-89. A song with the title: "Molly Put the Kettle On or Jenny's Baubie" was published by Joseph Dale in London in 1803. It was also printed, with "Polly" instead of "Molly" in Dublin about 1790-1810 and in New York around 1803-7. In middle-class families in the mid-eighteenth century "Sukey" was equivalent to "Susan" and Polly was a pet-form of Mary. The nursery rhyme is mentioned in Charles Dickens' Barnaby Rudge (1841), which is the first record we have of the lyrics in their modern form

7. The Grand Old Duke of York Grand Old Duke of York: Believed to refer to Richard, Duke of York who, during the War of the Roses, was trapped inside his castle at Sandal by the Lancastrians. The castle was built on top of giant earthworks (he marched them up to the top of the hill). In a moment of madness, he left his position of strength in the castle and went down to make an attack on the enemy (he marched them down again). Unfortunately for him, his army was overcome and he perished.

8. Ring a ring o? roses

9. Twinkle, twinkle little star

10. Wee Willie Winkie

11. See saw Margery Daw The seesaw is one of the oldest 'rides' for children , easily constructed from logs of different sizes. The words of "Seesaw Marjorie Daw" reflect children playing on a see-saw and singing this rhyme to accompany their game. No person has been identified by the name Marjorie Daw and so it is assumed that this was purely used to rhyme with the words 'seesaw'. The last three lines of "Seesaw Margery Daw" appear to reflect the use of child labour in work houses where those with nowhere else to live would be forced to work for a pittance (a penny a day) on piece work. The words of "Seesaw Margery Daw" might be used by a spiteful child to taunt another implying his family were destined for the workhouse. The rhyme may have its origins as a work song for sawyers, helping to keep rhythm when using a two-person saw. In his 1640 play The Antipodes, Richard Brome indicated the connection between sawyers and the phrase "see saw sacke a downe". The game of see-saw in which two children classically sit opposite each other holding hands and moving backwards and forwards first appears in print from about 1700.

12. Round and round the garden, like a teddy bear

13. Tom, Tom the piper?s son

14. Little Bo Peep

15. Three Blind Mice Three Blind Mice: The origin of this rhyme dates from Tudor times. The ?farmer?s wife? refers to Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry V111, and her husband King Philip of Spain, who together owned great estates. The ?three blind mice? were 3 noblemen who were convicted of plotting against Mary. She didn?t, however, have them blinded?. instead she had them burnt at the stake! Nice one, Mary?

16. Ding Dong Bell

17. Old McDonald had a farm

18. Mary had a little lamb

19. Sing a song of sixpence References have been inferred in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (c. 1602), (Act II, Scene iii), where Sir Toby Belch tells a clown: "Come on; there is sixpence for you: let's have a song" and in Beaumont and Fletcher's Bonduca (1614), where the line "Whoa, here's a stir now! Sing a song o' sixpence!" occurs It is known that a sixteenth-century amusement was to place live birds in a pie. An Italian cookbook from 1549 (translated into English in 1598) contained such a recipe: "to make pies so that birds may be alive in them and flie out when it is cut up" and this was referred to in a cook book of 1725 by John Nott. The wedding of Marie de Medici and Henri IV of France in 1600 contains some interesting parallels. "The first surprise, though, came shortly before the starter?when the guests sat down, unfolded their napkins and saw songbirds fly out

20. Hey diddle diddle

21. There was an old woman who lived in a shoe

22. Incy Wincy Spider

23. Doctor Foster went to Gloucester Doctor Foster: Said to refer to King Edward 1, nicknamed ?Longshanks? because of his height, which was over six feet. During a visit to Gloucester, he fell from his horse into a large muddy puddle! It is said he was so humiliated by the experience he refused to visit the place ever again!

24. Simple Simon

25. Oranges and Lemons

26. Rock a Bye baby

27. Little Boy Blue

28. Old King Cole Old Mother Hubbard: This rhyme does not refer to a female at all. It refers to Cardinal Wolsey, the religious leader during the time of Henry V111. A faithful servant to the King, he upset the monarch by refusing to ease the King?s divorce from Katherine of Aragon. Henry was keen to remarry and had his eye on Anne Boleyn. In the rhyme, Henry was the ?doggie? and the ?bone? refers to the divorce (not money as some believe). The cupboard was the Catholic Church.

29. Mary, Mary quite contrary

30. Who Killed Cock Robin?

31. Old Mother Hubbard It has been suggested that the character of Mother Hubbard may have its origins in St. Hubert, the dogs' saint. It has also been suggested that the rhyme refers to Thomas Cardinal Wolsey refusing Henry VIII's divorce from Queen Catherine of Aragon, but the connection is based on speculation

32. This Little Piggy went to marketThe first line of this rhyme was quoted in a medley "The Nurse's Song", written about 1728, a full version was not recorded until it was published in The Famous Tommy Thumb's Little Story-Book, published in London about 1760. It then appeared with slight variations in many late eighteenth and early nineteenth century collections. Until the mid-twentieth century the lines referred to "little pigs".

33. The Queen of Hearts

34. The Owl and the Pussycat

35. Baa, Baa Black Sheep A description of the medieval 'Great' or 'Old Custom' wool tax of 1275, which survived until the fifteenth century. Contrary to some commentaries, this tax did not involve the collection of one third to the king, and one third to the church, but a less punitive sum of 6s 8d to the Crown per sack, about 5 per cent of the value. This theory also depends on the rhyme surviving unrecorded and even unmentioned in extant texts for hundreds of years.

36. Hark, Hark, the dogs do bark

37. Pat a Cake The earliest recorded version of the rhyme appears in Thomas D'Urfey's play The Campaigners from 1698, where a nurse says to her charges: ...and pat a cake Bakers man, so I will master as I can, and prick it, and prick it, and prick it, and prick it, and prick it, and throw't into the Oven

38. Pussycat, pussycat where have you been?

39. Ladybird, ladybird fly away home

40. Georgie Porgie, pudding and pie, kissed the girls and made them cry Georgie Porgie: The ?Georgie? of this rhyme was George Villiers, courtier of King James 1 of England. He was the favourite (and lover) of the monarch, who created him the first Duke of Buckingham. He was a rather ?naughty? boy and had many affairs and liaisons ? one of which was featured in the novel ?The Three Musketeers?. Of course, we probably know his name best nowadays as his London home is now the residence of our present Queen (Buckingham Palace)?.mm, nice work, if you can get it!


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