Old 06-10-2002, 08:54 AM
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1
A tisket a tasket

As I was thinking of nursery rhymes to read to my baby, this thought ocurred to me...
Is there any meaning to the words "A tisket a tasket"? I tried to look tisket and tasket up in the dictionary and neither were listed. Are these just ridiculous words to rhyme w/ basket, or was there ever such a thing as a tisket or a tasket?
Old 06-10-2002, 09:12 AM
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Pratts, Mississippi
Posts: 6,246
I couldn't find anything, except you can get "A Tisket, A Tasket" at Walmart.
Old 06-10-2002, 10:19 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: NY but not NYC
Posts: 30,094
The OED online doesn't have an entry for either, but a full text search came up with this:

1978 Amer. Poetry Rev. July/Aug. 44/4 Incantatory rituals are often marked by the repetition of magic formulas. Abbra Cadabra. Enny Meeny Minny Mo. Shazam. A Tisket a Tasket or Hi do Hi do hi de ho.
All the other cites I found indicated that the phrase originated in a nursery rhyme or folk song, but maybe the rhyme is taken from an earlier lost source.

Evidently, though, the words were made up for their sounds not their meaning.

Good question.
Old 06-10-2002, 10:30 AM
Join Date: May 2001
Location: England
Posts: 57,536
That is so weird; I was playing a CD of nursery rhymes in the car yesterday (for my kids) and I was about to start a thread asking exactly the same question.

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