This Little Piggy

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"This Little Piggy"
Roud #19297
This Little Pig Went to Market by Lilly Martin Spencer, 1857, oil on cut arched board - New Britain Museum of American Art - DSC09337.JPG
This Little Pig Went to Market by Lilly Martin Spencer, 1857
Written by Traditional
Published 1760
Written England
Language English
Form Nursery rhyme

"This Little Piggy" or "This little pig" is an English language nursery rhyme and fingerplay. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 19297.

Lyrics[edit]

Children playing This Little Pig.[1]

The most common modern version is:

This little piggy went to market,
This little piggy stayed home,
This little piggy had roast beef,
This little piggy had none,
And this little piggy cried wee wee wee all the way home.[2]

Another version often cited is:

This little piggy went to market,
This little piggy stayed home,
This little piggy had jam and bread,
This little piggy had none,
And this little piggy went crying all the way to town[3]

Finger play[edit]

"... This little piggy had roast beef..."

The rhyme is usually counted out on a person's toes, each line corresponding to a different toe, usually starting with the big toe and ending with the little toe. A foot tickle is usually added during the "Wee...all the way home" section of the last line.[citation needed] The rhyme can also be seen as a counting rhyme, although the number of each toe (from 1 for the big toe to 5 for the little toe) is never stated.[citation needed]

Origins[edit]

The 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.[4] 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."[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wentworth. Work and Play with Numbers. p. 14. 
  2. ^ Herman, D. (2007). The Cambridge Companion to Narrative. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 9. 
  3. ^ Rizzo, C. (1995). All the Ways Home: Parenting and Children in the Lesbian and Gay Communities. Norwich VT: New Victoria Publishers. p. 104. 
  4. ^ a b Opie, I.; Opie, P. (1951). The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (1997 ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 349–50. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Wentworth, George; Smith, David Eugene (1912). Work and Play with Numbers. Boston: Ginn & Company. 
  • Brewster, Paul G. (1976). Children's Games and Rhymes. Ayer Co Pub. ISBN 978-0405079146.