To market, to market

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"To market, to market"
Nursery rhyme

"To market, to market", "To market, to market, to buy a fat pig" or To market, to buy a fat pig is a nursery rhyme[1] which is based upon the traditional rural activity of going to a market or fair where agricultural produce would be bought and sold.[2] It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 19708.


The first complete recorded version of the rhyme appeared in 1805 in Songs for the Nursery with no reference to a pig:

To market, to market to buy a penny bun,
Home again, home again, market is done.[3]

When the rhyme reappeared later in the nineteenth century, it took the now common form:

To market, to market, to buy a fat pig,
Home again, home again, jiggety-jig.
To market, to market, to buy a fat hog,
Home again, home again, jiggety-jog.
To market, to market, to buy a plum bun,
Home again, home again, market is done.[3]

There have been many variations such as this reworking:

To market, to market, to buy a fat pig!
Home with it! home with it! jiggety jig!
Stuff it till Christmas and make a fat hog,
Then at Smithfield Show win a prize, jiggety jog![4]


The rhyme is first recorded in part in John Florio's, A Worlde of Wordes, or Most Copious, and exact Dictionarie in Italian and English, published in 1598, which defines "Abomba" as 'a man's home or resting place: home againe, home againe'. The 1611 edition is even clearer, referring to "the place where children playing hide themselves ...Also as we used to say Home againe home againe, market is done."[3] We do not have records again until the following version was printed in Songs for the Nursery (1805):

To market, to market, to buy a penny bun,
Home again, home again, market is done.

References in popular culture[edit]

In happy far-away land (1902)
  • The rhyme was used the children's book In happy far-away land (1902) by Ruth Kimball Gardiner 1872-1924
  • The rhyme was used to provide the structure and title for the novel Plum Bun (1928) by Jessie Redmon Fauset.[5]
  • To Market, to Market, to Buy a Fat Pig (2007) is a PBS documentary produced by Rick Sebak at WQED-TV in Pittsburgh about farmers' markets across the country.[6]
  • In the 1947 Christmas film classic Miracle on 34th Street, Kris Kringle sings this short rhyme as a bedtime song.[7]
  • In the 1982 film Blade Runner, J.F. Sebastian's Toy-friends Bear and Kaiser greet him when he comes home with the line, "Home again, home again, jiggety-jig. Goooood evening, J.F."[8]
  • In The Greatest American Hero television series, Season 3 Episode 13 Vanity, Says the Preacher, Ralph Hinkley says to Bill Maxwell "Home again, home again, jiggety-jig."
  • In a deleted scene from the 1986 film Blue Velvet, upon arriving home after picking up Jeffery from the airport, his Aunt Barbara exhales "Home again, home again, jiggity-jog."
  • Red Wagon Books published a revised version by Anne Miranda in 1997. The book was illustrated by Janet Stevens. In Anne's version, eventually the animals take the protagonist to the market to buy some vegetables for soup. The book was an ALA Notable Children's book and American Booksellers Honor book. It also was a Golden Kite Honor book for its illustrations.
  • The rhyme is quoted in Stephen King's 'It', where the fat hog refers to Myra, the obese wife of one of the neurotic child survivors, as an Oedipal image.
  • In the 2010 film The Losers, Max utters the line "Home again, home again, jiggety jig" while sailing into the Port of Los Angeles.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Elmendorf, Lawrence (1919). The Boyd Smith Mother Goose. G.P. Putnam's Sons.
  2. ^ William J. Baker (1975), "Historical Meaning in Mother Goose: Nursery Rhymes Illustrative of English Society Before the Industrial Revolution", The Journal of Popular Culture, IX (3): 645–652, doi:10.1111/j.0022-3840.1975.0903_645.x, archived from the original on 2013-01-06
  3. ^ a b c I. Opie and P. Opie, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford University Press, 1951, 2nd edn., 1997), p. 299.
  4. ^ Extraordinary Nursery Rhymes and Tales: New Yet Old. Griffith and Farran. 1876.
  5. ^ Mary Conde (1994), "Passing in the Fiction of Jessie Redmon Fauset and Nella Larsen", The Yearbook of English Studies, 24: 94–104, doi:10.2307/3507884, JSTOR 3507884
  6. ^ To market to market to buy a fat pig, retrieved 19 July 2008
  7. ^ Miracle on 34th Street
  8. ^ Blade Runner Quotes
  9. ^ "The Losers (2010)".