Category Archive 'Eeny Meeny Miney Moe'

29 Sep 2006

Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Moe -2

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I fell to wondering about the origins of the Eeny Meeny Miney Moe counting rhyme, and I searched around and found the answer in a dead post.

It’s Scottish and very old.


Eeny meeny miney mo

Inimicus animo is Latin for “enemy of the soul”.

Catch the nigger by the toe

“The nigger” is really a reference to the devil. (Variants actually saying “the devil” are known.)

If he hollers let him go

If you grab his toe and he protests, he’s human, and you should let him go. The devil has a cloven hoof which will not feel pain if pinched.


My source was on the British Phrases board in 2003, and signed himself Kai Lung. He was clearly quite right.

I’ve used the n word. No Senate seat for me.

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