Where Did the Children’s Rhyme “Eeney Meeney Miney Moe” Come From and What Does it Mean?

“Eeney, meeney, miney, moe” is a children’s rhyme where, with each word, the person counting or reciting points at one of a group of players to establish who will be “it.”

The ritual was handed down from the Druids, who used the same counting formula to choose human sacrifices.

The precise meanings and origins of the words eeney, meeney, miney and moe are unknown.

The theory that the rhyme is from an ancient Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, or Welsh numbering system can’t be proven.

The rhyme was first written down in 1855 along with several other versions, for example, “Hanna, mana, mona, mike.”

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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